Friday, April 24, 2009

Big 4 Firings after busy season

You're Fired!

No, not me. I still have a job =), but today's topic is about big 4 layoffs. This should come as no surprise to anyone in the current economy.

I've been hearing left and right about who exactly is fired. My firm was affected, as were all big 4 firms. Some of my unfortunate friends were also laid off. I'll talk a little bit about the process.

The partner or manager schedules a meeting with you. Usually someone with HR is also there. They talk about the economy and how service needs are declining. Then the partner hits you with a:

"Due to the market change for advisory, your skills are no larger needed, so we are letting you go"

From one of my friends in IT, your laptop is immediately confiscated and returned to IT. In fact, IT is asked to change all your passwords so you can no longer log in. This is probably a good thing. If you were a loyal employee, you'd be pretty pissed off and could wreck havoc on the server. One of my friends from IT told me a computer was returned to him where the person was in the process of writing an email.

Ouch. Ugly.

Some firms are nicer than others. They'll let you write a goodbye email. However, you are not allowed to say you are fired.

Other firms are not so nice. They have an escort, security guard, to take you out.

Who got fired?

It seems like a wide range of people got fired.

Seniors, senior managers who were not top performers got axed.
Intermediates about to become seniors got axed.
People about to go on UFE leave got axed.
People on maternity leave got axed.
Co-ops got their terms shortened. I haven't heard any stories about co-ops getting axed.

Surpringly, almost no juniors got axed. It is probably because they provide the cheapest labour rates and are willing to work like slaves.

Of the people who got fired that I know, some were actually strong performers. I'm actually very surprised that they got fired. One possible reason is that anyone who failed the UFE, regardless of their performance got fired.

Another friend told me partners go into a big conference room, put up pictures of everyone, and throws darts. Whoever the dart lands on gets fired. It seems outrageous ,but the firings have been very random and very unexpected. =(

I know the economy is bad, but firing someone after busy season is just mean. No matter what their performance, they all worked like slaves for you.

Even a "bad big 4 performer" is someone who works OT for you, complains very little, and gets the job done. I mean they still had to be really good to get into a CA big 4 firm in the first place.

Big 4 layoffs are further proof that the whole "WE have a shortage of CAS" ICAO bs advertising is really bs. Just like the IT meltdown in 2001-2002, the people who did it for the money were easily flushed out and out of a job.

I will keep you updated on the situation.