No job is safe, no future secure. That’s the new normal as executives in both the private and public sectors confront a disturbing reality – retrenchment.
Executive head-hunters are today witnessing an upsurge in the number of senior candidates who are in the job market for one reason only: recent or imminent retrenchment.
The development is not purely local. These days, international candidates with quality CVs often test the South African waters after being blindsided by retrenchment.
The drivers are fast-changing technology, tough economic conditions and belt-tightening by private companies and public services. Cost savings are substantial when ‘tall poppies’ are cut.
How should executives react to an environment in which seniority is no safeguard and delayering of organisational structures ensures some top managers, advisers and professionals will be redundant?
First, never assume ‘this can’t happen to me’. You may have good qualifications, with good relationships in place, but you can still be thrown under the bus when economic pressures mount and operational losses pile up.