Compass conducts layoffs

Real estate giant has more than 100 offices in California

Compass conducts layoffs

Compass has joined the growing list of American employers reducing headcount ahead of an anticipated recession.

The real estate giant is undergoing layoffs Tuesday as part of its plan to “significantly” reduce costs by the end 2022, VICE reported. The company’s technology team will be heavily impacted, according to the report. The firm, which has more than 100 offices in California, didn’t disclose the size of the layoffs.

“These reductions are difficult, but ultimately necessary to ensure we can confidently navigate the current market,” CEO Robert Reffkin wrote in an email to staff. Reffkin added that the layoffs wouldn’t affect regional operations employees. 

Read more: How HR leaders should manage layoffs ahead of recession

Compass’ layoffs come on the heels of Lucidworks, a San Francisco-based tech firm, laying off 10% of its staff. Additionally, Lucidworks CEO Will Hayes is stepping down from his role this week with a replacement to be named shortly.

Ahead of an anticipated recession, three out of four (78%) American workers are fearful they will lose their jobs, according to a survey from Insight Global, a national staffing services company. Meanwhile, 56% of American workers say they don't feel financially prepared for a recession or they don't know how they would prepare for a recession. More than half (54%) would be willing to take a pay cut, even with inflation at a 40-year high, to avoid being laid off if there were a recession.

“It's unfortunate we're already seeing some companies turn to mass layoffs because I believe layoffs should be the absolute last resort,” said Bert Bean, CEO of Insight Global. “Instead, I encourage leaders to consider other solutions, such as building a plan that avoids layoffs and helps you grow through a recession. Get your employee base executing on that, because when you bounce back from a recession, you'll need your people more than ever.”

Of course, HR leaders who experienced the global recession of 2008-2009 are better positioned to weather this potential storm. They’ve learned what works and business leaders will be turning to them to take the helm. As for HR professionals who are about to enter uncharted territory, this will be trial by fire.

“You never know how long these scenarios will last,” Jaemi Taylor, managing director in the HR practice of Allegis Partners, told HRD. Before joining the New York City-based executive search firm, Taylor spent nearly 20 years recruiting HR leaders, having worked for Robert Half, Beacon Hill and ChapmanCG.

“I’ve worked with HR leaders during COVID who asked the CEO or the board for more time, whether that’s a quarter or a month, before making drastic cuts,” Taylor says. “You want to review critical hiring, determine critical business initiatives and most importantly, avoid knee-jerk reactions.”

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