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    3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 9, 2009 10:38 PM by Iwrite

    Proof that you can look good even when you're laying-off

    Iwrite Pioneer
      Here is an interesting article that shows how to turn a unpleasant business decision into a positive. If this does not format right, here is the link to the story:


      Martin Agency: We'll Pay You to Hire Talent We Laid Off
      Shop Lets Employees Go With Severance Packages, Incentive for Prospective Employers

      by Rupal Parekh

      Published: March 02, 2009
      NEW YORK ( -- The Martin Agency may be one more shop to have wielded the ax, but at least it is trying to soften the blow.

      When client cutbacks drove the Interpublic Group of Cos. shop to cut 5% of its staff last week, each of the 24 affected employees received a severance package, plus an offer: The agency is promising to pay prospective employers one half of the first month's salary, up to $4,000, for any laid-off employee hired by May. It may not sound like much, but collectively, that's a commitment of nearly $100,000 -- not exactly a drop in the bucket for any agency in these cash-strapped times.

      "We're trying to think creatively about how we can get the employees we let go hired by someone else, and hopefully incent them to get them on their payrolls right away," said Beth Rilee-Kelley, partner at Martin and director of human resources. "We believe that it's important that if you are faced with a layoff situation, you think of creative ways to help our employees land on their feet."

      The cuts, Martin's first since 2006, affected staffers in its Richmond, Va., headquarters as well as its smaller New York office. They came even though the shop -- which made Ad Age's 2008 Agency A-List -- delivered its best year in its 43-year history.

      "We've seen steady erosion in projected spending among several of our clients during the past six to eight weeks," a spokesman said. The agency's biggest client is Walmart, and it also churns out work for Geico, UPS and the American Cancer Society.

      As a faltering economy has driven marketers to scale back on their marketing, agencies and media companies have suffered a tremendous loss of talent -- by some estimates fast approaching 100,000 employees.
        • Re: Proof that you can look good even when you're laying-off
          Iwrite Pioneer
          I am surprised no one had a comment.

          We talk about laying off employees and the ramifications it can have on a business. And here is a company that found a way to minimize the negative feelings and position themselves as the place to work. I understand that a small business may not be able to afford to make the same offer but what about other creative things they can do?

          I'm really interested in hearing the forum members' thoughts on this subject.
          • Re: Proof that you can look good even when you're laying-off

            Nice article; I'm glad you posted it.

            Like you point out with the subject line ... companies can "look good" even when doing something that has bad connotations. While their willingness to pony up some money to incent other companies to hire those they are laying off is particularly admirable and one that has to leave a good impression (I would think) in the minds of those being laid off instead of the bad taste that is often the result of getting down-sized, laid off, etc.

            I think an important thing to note is that this company, coming off their best year ever, is being proactive to manage a difficult situation early (and with grace) to deal with what their forecasts/projections from clients are telling them is coming ... shrinking revenue. Not just barrelling into a cash-flow problem (like a lot of companies do) and then with a knee jerk "backs-to-the-wall" reaction, wacking jobs and people without any heads up or certainly not with the forthright way they have dealt with it at present.

            A refreshing and good "do the right thing" example.
            1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Proof that you can look good even when you're laying-off
                Iwrite Pioneer
                Thank you.

                That's why I posted it. I am hoping it gets us to thinking about how we can better handle things.

                Can you imagine what we could do if we invested this much energy in finding better solutions to our business problems instead of settling for the quick and easy? Just look at some of the issues that have been raised here which could benefit from some fresh thinking.

                One of the reasons I started my own business was to try to do things differently from how I have seen others do it. I have been surprised how many of us aren't interested in doing things differently from the way we have seen it done. Is it any wonder we struggle the way we do?