Recruiters Try Asking Laid Off Tech Workers to Return to the Same Companies as Contractors
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The Seattle Times reports:
After losing their jobs at one of Seattle’s biggest tech companies, some workers find themselves facing an unexpected question: Do you want to return to the company that just let you go?
There’s a catch. Those offers, from third-party recruiters eager to place workers at the companies they just left, are for contract positions rather than staff positions. They would come with an end date, a lower salary, no benefits and no stock options.
For workers the messages range from insensitive to insulting. “We all just got the shock of our life, the last thing I need is for you to continue to ask me to go to a company that just let me go,” said one former Microsoft worker who was laid off in March and asked to remain anonymous during the job hunt. Another worker who was laid off from Amazon in January and also asked to remain anonymous out of concern for future job prospects said they’ve heard from several recruiters looking specifically for people with Amazon experience. In one response, the former Amazonian passed this message to the recruiter: “Tell Amazon if they want an engineer, they can just not fire me later this month….”
Because companies and recruiters cast such a wide net, workers who were recently cut are still getting caught in the pool of potential candidates — whether they want to be or not… [T]ech companies often ask recruiters to find workers who have already worked at their company, particularly when hiring for a contract position that would require a worker to get up to speed quickly, said Nabeel Chowdhury, senior vice president at recruiting firm 24 Seven Talent. That’s what happened with the former Amazon worker. One recruiter sent a message that began “Reaching out to see if you might be open to returning to Amazon on a contract position?”
One former Microsoft worker told the Seattle Times “I do have a sense of pride. There’s no way I want to go back … making half the amount.”