Who are usually let go first in an agency during layoffs? Is it the more junior or more senior?

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More senior for sure. It’s all about the $$$ and it’s seen as a better business decision to cut one person on 200k than four on 50k each

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Most of the above is crap. When we go through layoffs, it is usually the following factors in this order:
Allocation on billable accounts.
Underperformance (including adaptability).

So, if you are a junior OR senior person who is fully allocated on billable clients and you’re performing well, then you have less to worry about. But if you’re partially allocated on billable work and rigid in your talent/experience (or you’ve been generally underperforming)… then when we have to reduce agency costs, you’re the one that goes.

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Seconding this. #1 factor is what is causing the layoffs. If it’s loss of an account or reduction of spending by given client(s), the people allocated solely or mostly to those accounts would be most at risk.

That said, the more expensive ones are harder to find places for in this scenario so that is why they would generally be more likely to go first.

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Usually, not the most junior. They're the cheapest labour. Not the C-suite. Cuz they're the ones calling the shots. Assuming it's an organization wide cut, the more senior titles tend to get cut a little more (around director level). Even when it's accounts related, it's easier to absorb a junior into a different team rather than a group director, so it just depends on how they move things around.

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Most compliant yes people stay on.

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1) freelance
2) under performers and personality conflicts
3) overpriced compared to similar performance
4) niche contributors (only one client, or very specific work that others could take)

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Underperformers first

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Debatable

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The most expensive and over 40 people they can find.

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I have had to make a list for layoffs before. It’s typically done by dept managers. My team still had work to do, so it came down to who is the most valuable to me, who can get great work done efficiently - it’s not the team that needs handholding or the guy with attitude about every brief. Finance usually asks for that list and runs the numbers to see if we hit the money mark across teams.

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To avoid the appearance of ageism, companies usually mix a few juniors in with the senior layoffs. The seniors get cut because of high salaries and the juniors are disposable because they don’t have client relationships. Both practices are vile.

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@CD1: It’s a legal weasel.

A mix because they probably have quotas to fill but you never want to be the highest paid person for your job because it’s often based off of price for labor

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Talent acquisition

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