[CAJobPortal Insights] Recruitment/Retrenchment & The Shampoo Bottle Syndrome

Recruitment/Retrenchment & The Shampoo Bottle Syndrome 

Today, as I was looking at the entire pack of Shampoo Bottles I have- the list was humongous 

Himalaya Anti-Dandruff, Boericke & Tafel Arnica, Heads & Shoulders, Jaboran Shampoo, 

Patanjali Kesh Kanti, Kaya Earth, Mamaearth…….It’s a long list. 

These were times when the going was good recruitment was in full swing. Money wasn

a constraint. And I didnt bat an eyelid before I ordered a shampoo at offering the slightest 

hope of arresting my hair fall/dandruff. 

Now the Covid19 spoilt the party, I am reviewing each bottle and finding that there are many 

which are just redundant. They were just impulse purchases, even costly ones, and hardly 

used ever. 

(And I am sure, if you analyse at your home the story would be similar) 

Made me reflect on the event and draw analogies. 

Over the past 2 years, a lot of organisations, funded start-ups in particular, were in a 

recruitment frenzy. Multiple people were hired for solving a similar problem with role 

overlaps. Cost wasnt an issue. VCs and PEs were writing blank cheques and who cared 

about costs. So a lot of Impulse Purchases were made in the People domain 

Now suddenly that the tap ran out of water, one is analysing the Organisational Structure and 

questioning about what is the role of X, Y and Z how much do they contribute to the 

organisation, do they justify their salaries etc. New purchases of Shampoo Bottles 

(Employees) is frozen and the mandate is to use the existing ones properly or discard them. 

In my case, the redundant shampoo bottles represent a sunk cost and thus, even if worthless, I 

might still keep them to adorn the shelves to flaunt ☺ 

But in case of employees, the ones found redundant, unless fired, will have to be paid 

salaries. And hence organisations are handing them the pink slips mercilessly or otherwise. 

In Big 4, they are put on a Performance Improvement Plan ☺ 

Think about it in your organisation, are these Employees who are like a Stack of unused 

Shampoo Bottles.