What's up with the Hire/Fire culture at large firms?


I was talking to a friend who said this was going on in her firm... what's up with that? Horrible way to earn a bad reputation with employees. 

Feb 2, 17 7:19 pm

I've never understood it.

I live/work in a fairly small market, and eventually everyone knows everyone. 6 months out of grad school I knew exactly which firms boom + bust, and most of my peers try at all costs to avoid those firms.

The only people they get are naive out-of-towners, desperate recent-graduates, and the bottom-of-the-barrel who can't hack it anywhere else. Anyone who can do better leaves, and anyone who can't is disgruntled and trying to get out

...and the quality of their work reflects that.

Feb 2, 17 7:26 pm

I don't think that will be bad experience anymore. If the employees are too good and know how to take responsibility then it's position news for him. On the other hand, if the employer don't care about the company profit. Then it will surely a bad experience ever.

Feb 2, 17 11:22 pm

They owe you nothing. You owe them nothing. Once the project you worked on is finished and they don't have another one for you, they kick your ass to the curb. The days of mentoring and grooming employees for advancement are over. You are employed if you produce more revenue than they pay you.  You're gone once you become an expense. Just the way it is these days, so adjust your life accordingly.

Feb 3, 17 8:24 am

Every top firm does this it's nothing new, I don't get it myself.

It's probably about getting as many people with the firm's name on the resume :D

Feb 3, 17 8:28 am

I think it is more about the inability of large firms to manage their work flow to be able to keep their staff busy year round, this is especially hard with corporate interiors where everyone want's their project in a year of in this quarter and that means a few weeks for drawings and if you can't deliver there are dozens of other corporate interiors firms that a demanding client can go to.

Some firms have specialties that by there very nature take a long time to design draw and permit and are relatively constant. Others have a strategy to manage the ups and downs but if they are beholden to investors and shareholders and have a drive for quarterly profits they are more likely to lay off people or to rely heavily on contractors from temp agencies who come and go as workload changes on a weekly basis.

Another very nasty thing some firms do is they constantly have positions advertised so they can replace people they think are slow or are not 100% at the level of skills and proficiency they expect. One side effect is a lot of hours off the clock so that on paper you look good.

Get your licence and or other certifications and this game of musical chairs is a little less horrible as you have more options. Also a good defense from becoming obsolete is to learn Revit and to become well versed and familiar with something that most projects need.  For example you can become the elevator guru or the one who knows or has relationships with reps for systems furniture. If you can breeze through door hardware schedules or can spot an accessibility code violation even before you had your first coffee you will become more indispensable. Become good at 1 or 2 hard task that no one else wants to do and do it well and you will be better off, but until you own a stake in a firm you can't expect much security in this profession. 


Over and OUT

Peter N

Feb 3, 17 11:08 am

Maybe I'm naive, or maybe I've been lucky, but I have to wonder if the jaded posters who insist "every firm does this" are the ones who are just stuck in the tier of firms that do this.

The only design job I've been fired from was one where the entire company went out of business.

Feb 3, 17 12:50 pm

^My only layoff is when I was a part-timer during school at a firm in New Orleans when the Katrina rebuilding money ran out during the recession. Over 4 and a half years now with first firm out of school. 

Feb 3, 17 12:59 pm

There are several reasons: economical-sudden decline of projects, mismanagement of projects.This usually happens to big firms doing a few but very huge projects; once that project is donzo and they failed to follow thru , people get laid off. 

I was in Singapore when a major downturn of the economy happened,a big firm fired around 50 people in a single day- those who got the boot first waited outside the building for their buddies then went straight to the pub got themselves a few drinks like nothing happened.

Feb 3, 17 2:03 pm

"those who got the boot first waited outside the building for their buddies then went straight to the pub got themselves a few drinks like nothing happened."

When my last company collapsed, this is exactly what happened. It turned into an epic bar crawl / bitch session that carried on til almost midnight (layoffs started at 10am).

Boy was that cathartic.

Feb 3, 17 2:07 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: