Who's most at risk during layoffs? Insider sat down with Chris Williams, Microsoft's former vice president of human resources, who shared the three types of workers who are most vulnerable during layoffs — and those who are safest.
- Event planning or benefits employees: Activities that are considered luxuries, like generous benefits and perks, are some of the first things that companies cut when times get tight — and people who provide such services are at a higher risk of layoffs.
- Employees working on new initiatives: If the company recently decided to explore new lines of business or expand into new territories, these kinds of new initiatives are tenuous places to work, as they're often the first ones cut.
- Contract workers: At the highest risk are contract employees, which companies use for this very contingency. They want to remain flexible in case of a downturn, and as such, contract employees are usually the first ones out.