{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Interviewing with founders of a small shop. I want to ask them in a professional, sincere way if they had to let go of people during the pandemic. Is that bad to ask? “What steps did you take in order to protect job security during client loses?” Is possible. Bc I know some places were able to keep ppl.", "post_id": "6109db29d10749002a49c787", "reply_count": 7, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "5565cfca8b2b9a03009acf57", "bowl_name": "Advertising" }

Interviewing with founders of a small shop. I want to ask them in a professional, sincere way if they had to let go of people during the pandemic. Is that bad to ask? “What steps did you take in order to protect job security during client loses?” Is possible. Bc I know some places were able to keep ppl.

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I would keep it more generic, but leading. “Obviously, the pandemic had an impact across several verticals, but how did the company adjust and how did the business change?” The way the company handled change and manner in which they did it should be the focus. Were they transparent, did they try to give employees a severance, did they encourage WFH, etc. Focus on the company ethos and values, not any negative results.

likesmart

Great advice!

likehelpful

Agree with DMA1. ThAts the best way to ask it but careful not to betray your true motive for asking if you head down that path. It was hard for a lot of agencies out there

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Small businesses do not have the same resources and leverage to spread out losses like holding companies do. Unless the founders are independently wealthy, they are lucky to have their doors open post-pandemic, and it’s a small miracle if they do. It’s a fair question to ask, but the wording is important, as is asking yourself if you’re trying to measure them with the same yardstick as a global conglomerate.

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Name a holding company that didn't have layoffs during the pandemic.

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That is good advice above. Transparency is key. I personally prefer a blunt question like the one you posed initially. My company was able to avoid most downsizing in 2020 through sheer luck and savvy maneuvering from our finance team, however, we had to let a few people go this year. We felt we could outrun the pandemic entirely but we were wrong. Only recently are we staffing up again. I think it’s ok to be asked about that. Founders and leaders should feel comfortable to answer honestly while understanding why you may have concerns about joining an organization to which books you have no visibility into. The Covid pandemic is a new environment for everyone; we were all affected somehow.

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