HP's divide, layoff and conquer strategy a challenge for managers

HP CEO Meg Whitman announced layoffs of 30,000 workers in an attempt to refocus and restructure the company. But is it already too late? And how will front-line managers handle retaining and motivating workers?

According to Jason Berkowitz, Vice President of Client Services for recruiting and staffing firm Seven Step RPO, it's clear much of the workload carried by those 25,000 to 30,000 workers will be delegated to lower-cost, less-skilled workers in offshore locations, though Whitman doesn't come right out and say so. It’s Whitman’s comments about the reality of the IT market that are most disturbing to some industry experts.

"It's not unusual for companies to move some operations to lower-cost locations. However her comments about how she has to do these layoffs because of the 'remarkable' speed of change is worrisome to some. This has been the norm in IT for the last 10 years. The market's always changing -- moving lightening-fast, and if they're making these changes as a reaction to the market, they've already fallen behind," says Berkowitz.

Companies that can't keep up with the breakneck pace of IT become reactive instead of proactive -- a dangerous position in an increasingly competitive and cutthroat technology market. The ability to be nimble and proactively address changing market conditions, customer needs and demands is critical to success.

HP Enterprise and HP Inc. also face some talent management and recruiting challenges: How to retain those not affected by the layoffs and how to recruit new talent for the areas they've earmarked for growth.

According to Berkowitz, the embattled CEO faces an uphill challenge. "Every recruiter I know can smell the blood in the water. They know now that the people who remain, people who may have been content at HP will be more willing to take calls from recruiters. Turnover's going to be a problem for them in the near-term, and that becomes a problem if it happens in areas they're targeting for growth, like cloud technology and cybersecurity, he says.

You can see the full article as it was originally posted on CIO.com here.

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