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Humanising the redundancy process

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It would be easy in an economic environment like this to lay the blame for all redundancies on the 'credit crunch' but I believe that there are other reasons why some of these redundancies are taking place. In prosperous times creative businesses are prone to 'over hiring' or bringing staff in for poorly defined and previously non-existent roles which do not directly benefit an agency's bottom line.

Therefore when things get tough and costs need to be cut it can be these roles that are called into question and are usually the first to go. In these situations in particular, agencies need to manage these redundancies with an eye to their future reputation and the good will that a gentler and more human approach will engender.

Any agency, or other company for that matter, that has to make a raft of redundancies may fall into the trap of treating each individual involved as a burden to be offloaded via a series of legally required meetings. It can only be to the longer term benefit of both the company and the individual in question that as much support and guidance for their next steps is offered as is possible.

The company will then leave that individual with a better impression than they would otherwise have and the individual can leave with a greater sense of self esteem and better prospects for the future. We have worked with agencies who have taken this approach, one even giving each person taking redundancy an emailable reference with photos and job titles for relevant people in the business.

Of course, as a recruitment consultancy we can also play a useful role in helping to ease this process for both parties through advice, managing the exit relationship and aiding in the hunt for a new job.

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Written by Toby Thwaites, Director, Purple Consultancy - Specialists in creative recruitment

Toby Thwaites and Paul Wood founded Purple in June 2000. Purple provides recruitment consultancy to advertising, design, integrated marketing, publishing, digital and agency office support services. With 30 staff in London and Leeds, and with the highest paying referral scheme in the UK, they're definitely worth talking to. Through innovation and focus on client service, Purple achieves high client satisfaction levels which set it apart from its competitors.

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