With redundancies rising, one might expect to find outplacement agents licking their lips and ordering a new Jaguar in anticipation of rising demand for their services.
However, the chances are that they have got one already - the business of resettling 'downsized' talent is pretty brisk all the time. As Frances Cook, managing director of Sanders & Sidney explains: 'Demand is linked to change, not specifically to recession.' None the less, redundancy is clearly not a dirty word in the world of outplacing. 'People really do say "it was the best thing that ever happened to me",' says Tony Gould, managing director of Drake Beam Morin, which softens the blow for 2,000 suddenly ex-employees at a time.
The negative effects of redundancy are not restricted to those who lose their jobs. Remaining workers can end up feeling so demoralised and guilt-ridden that their productivity plummets. Gould believes using an agency when job cuts loom helps to avoid such 'survivor syndrome'.