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Employers Are Turning To Professional Consultants to Navigate Layoffs Amid Social Media Scrutiny

Videos documenting the aftermath of being laid off, from tearful goodbyes to CEO apologies, are now being widely shared and discussed online.
Cover Image Source: TikTok | hr_molly
Cover Image Source: TikTok | hr_molly

In the age of social media, hiring and laying off decisions taken by companies are no longer private. This includes how companies handle layoffs, a sensitive and often challenging process for both employers and employees. With the rise of platforms like TikTok, where users share snippets of their daily lives, including work-related experiences, companies are finding themselves under scrutiny like never before.

Image Source: TikTok | hr_molly
Image Source: TikTok | hr_molly

TikTok, known for its short-form video content, has become a platform where people share intimate details of their lives, including their experiences with layoffs. Videos documenting the aftermath of being laid off, from tearful goodbyes to CEO apologies, are now being widely shared and discussed online. These videos not only provide a glimpse into the emotional toll of losing a job but also shed light on how companies handle the process.

The fear of social media backlash has led many employers, especially those in smaller tech firms lacking robust HR operations, to seek assistance in navigating the delicate task of layoffs. Professional consultants specializing in layoff logistics, such as Onwards HR, have seen a significant increase in demand for their services. These consultants offer guidance on how to standardize the layoff process, automate severance payments, and facilitate smoother collaboration across HR, legal, and finance teams.

Image Source: TikTok | hr_molly
Image Source: TikTok | hr_molly

Sarah Rodehorst, co-founder and CEO of Onwards HR, emphasizes the importance of meticulous planning and providing employees with the opportunity to ask questions and express concerns during the layoff process. The goal is to ensure that the process is handled with empathy and transparency, mitigating the risk of damaging the company's reputation and affecting employee morale. A mismanaged layoff can have far-reaching consequences beyond just public perception. It can also result in other employees choosing to leave the company, further impacting morale and productivity.

Image source: TikTok Scott H220
Image source: TikTok | Scott H220

Jenny Dearborn, a veteran HR officer, recalls her experiences with layoffs at companies like Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard. She highlights the emotional toll that layoffs can take on individuals and stresses the importance of staying empathetic and compassionate throughout the process.

Kim Rohrer, who has experience leading layoffs at companies like Oyster, emphasizes the complexity of coordinating layoffs, especially in a fully remote company operating across multiple countries. Rohrer and her team provided managers with guidance on how to deliver the news with empathy and prepared documentation to address common questions and concerns from employees.

Image source: TikTok | S R
Image source: TikTok | S R

At Oyster, employees were given a bonus week of paid time off to review information and ask questions before being officially let go. They were also encouraged to apply for other open roles within the company, demonstrating a commitment to supporting employees even during difficult times.

@hr_molly Layoffs are bad enough. Why worsen them with a poor delivery of that message? In my opinion, they fumbled it right from the beginning. Managers or HR or whoever does these meetings need to respect the impacted staff and provide an appropriate experience. Don't place the blame on the employee. #humanresources #hrtiktok #workplaceproblems #jobtips #corporatetiktok #careertiktok #layoff #managersbelike #managersoftiktok #leadershipdevelopment #greenscreenvideo #greenscreen ♬ original sound - HR Molly


Anxious to maintain their reputation, employers are turning to professional consultants for guidance on navigating this sensitive process with empathy, transparency, and professionalism. By prioritizing the well-being of employees and treating them with dignity and respect, companies can minimize the negative impact of layoffs on both individuals and their reputations in the long run.

 You can follow HR Molly (hr_molly)  on TikTok for more HR consultancy content.