Technology company, IBM, had recently laid off 300 employees from its services division in India, most of whom were of course software professionals. The Company now claims the exercise was part of its plan to ‘re-invent’ itself in line with the changing needs of the business. The Company reportedly wishes to “pioneer new high-value technologies”.
IBM has been inviting criticism for giving preference to younger candidates during the hiring process. It had also been found that the Company had been systematically laying off the senior members of its staff or forcing them to retire. In fact, almost about 20,000 employees above the age of 40 were affected by this strategy over a period of six years.
In fact, IBM had been charged with laying off even some high performers merely because they were old. The money thus saved apparently was used to hire younger replacements!
The Company, however, had stated that it is proud of its work and also its employees who are capable of reinventing themselves time and again, and that the Company had always been law abiding. IBM has throughout been maintaining that its hiring strategy is all about skills and not about age.
It is not just IBM that is into systematic laying off of the older lot of employees. Yet another technology company, Cognizant, had also laid off 600 of its senior staff members because they were apparently unable to keep up with the changing work environment.