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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Default Juniorisation - if thats a thing?

    Recently my company has gone through a number of layoffs involving the more senior staff and more responsible given to the 2nd line teams aka the cheaper ones.

    Some examples are 2nd line teams taking on change requests and escalation whereas previously these were done by 3rd line teams. A new development is that we've been asked to take on voice responsibilities when previously this was a dedicated team.

    Its all good for personal development I suppose, but when is enough and enough? At some point is going to become too much for the money offered I suppose
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    That means your company is trying to cut costs and thing thats the best way to do it. By laying off people and shiftinf their responsibilities to whoever is left.

    Problem with that is that when the company starts to get on its feet again they will try to hire people again and will have to pay more money that they saved by laying off the previous employees.
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  4. Completely Clueless TechGromit's Avatar
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    #3
    Probably the brain child of some upper management, a good example would be when Circuit City fired all there sales staff making more than minimum wage. A brilliant way to cut costs, bonuses to management all around... but the experience sales staff were the ones making the bulk of the sales, thus sales took a nose dive the next quarter.

    The same is true of getting rid expensive senior staff and replacing them with junior staff, at some point when enough senior staff are eliminated, the junior staff thinks Password123, is a great password to use. The company gets hacked and lose millions of dollars. When you count the losses visits the cost savings eliminating senior headcount, it rarely comes out in the companies favor in the long run.

    My own company isn't exempt from such stupidity. They eliminated a good number of the help desk contractors to save money, wait times on the phone for help desk went from a few minutes to 30+ minutes, at times over an hour. So you saved money by getting rid of contractors making $20 an hour and now have engineers making $60 a hour doing nothing, waiting on the phone for computer help. Brilliant!
    Last edited by TechGromit; 11-05-2017 at 04:15 AM.
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TechGromit View Post
    My own company isn't exempt from such stupidity. They eliminated a good number of the help desk contractors to save money, wait times on the phone for help desk went from a few minutes to 30+ minutes, at times over an hour. So you saved money by getting rid of contractors making $20 an hour and now have engineers making $60 a hour doing nothing, waiting on the phone for computer help. Brilliant!
    Yep, replace the DBA, System Admin, and storage admins and outsource to someone who promises they will save you 90% of the costs in the first year.

    Then wonder why alarms are ignored, nothing works, routine maintenance neglected, and have to pay by the hour to fix it all.
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    If your company manages to turn things around... then they did you a great favor (with all the EXP you gonna get).

    If they can't turn things around.. then you will start to see C-levels leaving the company.
    That's when you know its time to abandon ship.

    Until then... do the needful.
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  7. Senior Member
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    #6
    This really isn’t limited to IT. I met a guy once who was a personal trainer/gym manager. The owner of the gym laid off the older, more experienced guy(higher paid) and the guy that I was talking to took his place. It’s just one of those facts of life that when you are highly paid you can bet the bean counters are going to be evaluating whether the company can survive without you and save on overhead(your salary) or at the very least if more, less experienced, cheaper labor can provide more coverage and the same KPIs as a single, more experienced highly paid individual.

    I remember when I took some accounting classes in college that there was a calculation for cost of capital that included the risk of future bankruptcy into the cost of borrowing money. The more money you borrowed the more you increased this risk. I think companies should include a similar metric when they start doing things that the OP mentioned and have some sort of weighted metric that accounts for the increased risk of catastrophic incidents(equifax) taking place due to less experienced personnel like the examples TechGromit provided.

    I don’t think it doesn’t help any when Economists who have no clue about IT refer to IT professionals as being fungible and C-level executives who also have no clue about IT hear stuff like that and decide that since all nerds/geeks are essentially the same that they might as well use the nerds/geeks in low cost of living countries.

    Two equally competent IT personnel might be able to easily step in and do the other person’s job with comparable results, but what seems to happen is the companies replace highly competent geeks and nerds with far less competent geeks and nerds and wonder why they don’t have the same KPIs as before since “IT personnel are fungible.”

    I’m just waiting for the day that some shareholders at a company take it to the next level and try to outsource the C-level execs to a country with cheaper labor.
    Last edited by thomas_; 11-05-2017 at 03:04 AM.
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  8. Senior Member
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by TechGromit View Post
    The same is true of getting rid expensive senior staff and replacing them with junior staff, at some point when enough senior staff are eliminated, the junior staff thinks Password123, is a great password to use. The company gets hack and lose millions of dollars.
    ha!
    and don't forget about the C-levels who cash out their company-stock prior to the Public Disclosure of said data breach :]

    And of course, No Criminal Charges forthcoming (insider trading, and all).

    #NothingToSeeHere
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  9. Self-Described Huguenot blargoe's Avatar
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    #8
    I have seen the other side of this... keeping "senior" people busy doing things like adding users to Active Directory groups for a pre-approved access to an application, because "It is an Active Directory change, that should always be handled by the Server team", when in reality, the next tier down could and should be fulfilling these types of requests.

    In your case, that doesn't sound like what is happening, though.
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  10. Junior Member
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    #9
    I see it all the time. That's why I think it's funny when hiring managers try to read too much into people being let go, etc. Often times it has nothing to do with skill or performance. A lot of time they keep the more junior guys even if they aren't as talented or know less simply because they are cheaper.

    Of course when everything blow up they want to know what happened. lol
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    #10
    I saw the same thing at Motorola in the '90s. They started offering early retirement incentives in advance of layoffs. A senior IT manager of more than 24 years told me that they were trying to move out the older staff to try to give Motorola a younger image. I remember meeting an engineer there in his 70s. My boss told me that this guy was one of the more productive engineers at our plant. Ageism licks balls compared to the Quik Stop.
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    #11
    Sometimes the senior guys are dead weight, or overkill for the work that's available. During growth periods they are needed to engineer new solutions, but if the company is stagnant and just maintaining the existing infrastructure, then a highly paid team of senior engineers is a wasted expense for the company.

    It sucks for those of us looking to move up and we like to predict dire consequences for any organization that does this, but at times executive management is actually doing exactly what they need to be doing.
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  13. Senior Member IronmanX's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Raisin View Post
    Sometimes the senior guys are dead weight, or overkill for the work that's available. During growth periods they are needed to engineer new solutions, but if the company is stagnant and just maintaining the existing infrastructure, then a highly paid team of senior engineers is a wasted expense for the company.

    It sucks for those of us looking to move up and we like to predict dire consequences for any organization that does this, but at times executive management is actually doing exactly what they need to be doing.
    It just comes down to money and risk.
    Low level guy doesn't free up a lot of money but the risk is very low.
    The higher up guy frees up a lot of money but the risk is very high.
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  14. Senior Member
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    #13
    It can work okay if you have people in tier-2 that are on the verge of moving to tier-3, call them tier-2.5... But a wholesale removal of tier-3 personnel? That's not a layoff, that's suicide.
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  15. Junior Member
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    #14
    In my experience, businesses don't operated on future expenses. It's all about the here and now.

    This is why they don't like to train new hires properly (or at all). Even though the longterm costs of NOT training is more expensive than the up-front cost of training, they don't care about what happens tomorrow, they just care about today. They like to worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes.

    This the main reason why it's hard to find a well-organized company where things run relatively smoothly. Everyone's an incompetent scatterbrain.
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  16. Junior Member
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    #15
    This forum does not allow edits...apparently.

    My above post was in response to the following....

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFORCE View Post
    That means your company is trying to cut costs and thing thats the best way to do it. By laying off people and shiftinf their responsibilities to whoever is left.

    Problem with that is that when the company starts to get on its feet again they will try to hire people again and will have to pay more money that they saved by laying off the previous employees.
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  17. Senior Member
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by LarryTR View Post
    In my experience, businesses don't operated on future expenses. It's all about the here and now.

    This is why they don't like to train new hires properly (or at all). Even though the longterm costs of NOT training is more expensive than the up-front cost of training, they don't care about what happens tomorrow, they just care about today. They like to worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes.

    This the main reason why it's hard to find a well-organized company where things run relatively smoothly. Everyone's an incompetent scatterbrain.
    'd like to beleive that that is not the case, otherwise, whats the point of the 2-3 year plan and the 5-10 year plans that they preach in every big company presentation and meeting?
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  18. Senior Member
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by IronmanX View Post
    It just comes down to money and risk.
    Low level guy doesn't free up a lot of money but the risk is very low.
    The higher up guy frees up a lot of money but the risk is very high.
    It all depends on what your staff are doing. If your expensive senior people are mostly doing password resets, then the risk of cutting them loose isn't going to be too high.
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