Hyderabad: The Human Resources (HR) Departments of software companies, whose responsibilities include management of the payroll, benefits, hiring, firing and overseeing of tax issues, are being extra careful while handling layoffs. Companies are afraid of the consequences of criticism from former employees.
Since mobile phones may be used to record conversations, members of the HR teams of some IT firms issue clear instructions to employees, asking them not to their carry phones during HR discussions. Others insist that the phones be brought along, but be switched off and kept aside.
An IT professional from the city whose services were recently terminated by his company said that earlier there used to be no restrictions, but companies had begun playing it safe to avoid any controversies after layoffs.
Despite the nation-wide outcry against retrenchments in the IT sector, fresh layoff lists are prepared every month and techies whose names feature in the list are bid adieu.
HR personnel do not communicate this news over the phone, for fear of conversations being recorded. Recently, an audio recording of a conversation between a software engineer and a member of the HR team of Tech Mahindra created a huge uproar. The top-bosses of the company were forced to issue an apology and state that one of the company’s core values was to preserve the dignity of individuals. Now, employees simply receive calls asking them to come meet with the HR team; nothing beyond that is said over the phone.
A. Mrinalini, a senior HR professional, said that HR representatives should be empathetic towards those affected by retrenchments, and techies should also understand the company’s position and the challenges faced by it.
The director of a software firm in the city said that firms had begun to understand the importance of the HR team.
“Members of the HR team, particularly those at the junior level, need to be sensitised so that they can handle the situation without causing any friction. Ultimately, HR executives just communicate decisions made by those at the highest level, and there is nothing they can do about it,” he said.