Employer Loyalty Is Dead

Office Worker Walks Past Parking Meter
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Well, we shoulda seen this coming. After years of saying that employee loyalty was gone (thanks Gen Xers), now employer loyalty seems to be going the same way. Some say it already has. Whatever. Now it’s worse.

In a new survey from staffing company Veritude, “The New Normal: Recession Response and Workforce Planning,” two-thirds of companies polled reported “upscaling” their workforce.

A full two out of three companies said that they’ve used the recession to fire underperforming workers and replace them with more qualified ones.

Peter Cappelli writes at HRE Online:
“The fact that firings go up during downturns isn’t exactly news, but usually that happens as a way to reduce headcount. That isn’t what is happening here…Another way to look at that is that the workers being pushed out for poor performance would not have been let go in normal times. It is the fact that better workers are available that led to the change.

What that means is that the performance standard needed to keep a job is not absolute.”

He points out that this is pretty standard in pro sports, and in academia when tenure committees compare candidates to other professors at other schools. But this is fairly new in corporations. And suddenly 2/3 of them are doing it.