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I've recently been told by my employer that I'm going to be made redundant because there isn't enough money left in the business.

When I'm speaking to recruiters for new jobs, will it hurt my negotiating position if i tell them that I'm being made redundant, and therefore need to get something sorted ASAP?

Would the answer be any different if I was applying to a company directly?

  • Are you obligated to tell them your old position has been made redundant? – Kaizerwolf Feb 27 '20 at 14:09
  • No, don't tell anyone (unless you're at your current employer less than a year). And do try to apply to companies directly. your chances will be higher if you do. – Stephan Branczyk Feb 27 '20 at 14:10
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    Does this answer your question? When should I address being made redundant when applying for jobs? – gnat Feb 27 '20 at 14:12
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    @gnat Thanks but not really, I'm more interested in whether mentioning it might affect my negotiating position, as they would know I'm under pressure – Andy Feb 27 '20 at 14:19
  • @Kaizerwolf That's what I'm asking really, I don't know if I have to tell them or not – Andy Feb 27 '20 at 14:20
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There are two answers for two very different scenarios.

Agencies:

Tell them straight. They are paid for getting people into the job, and just want to know about your situation with regards to availability. They will usually push for the best fit salary for your skillset because this keeps them sweet with both you and the prospective employer.

Direct:

This is much more subjective as some employers will snap you up if you've been made redundant due to the loyalty factor (you're not quitting), whereas some will use it to their advantage. In reality, you probably wouldn't want to be working for the latter anyway.

As a rule of thumb, only tell them if you feel like it won't impact your chances. Once you have the salary and planned start date, you should be able to tell them that you were made redundant when they ask, otherwise you can use

The company is undergoing a few changes and it's time for me to move on

As for whether to hide it entirely, it will be pretty obvious when they ask for a reference, or if an enterprising HR bod just looks up the previous employer and finds an industry news article.

Please note, this is a UK-centric view of the situation, other cultures may have different recruitment styles

  • "They will usually push for the best fit salary for your skillset because this keeps them sweet with both you and the prospective employer." - that is a very optimistic view. I have yet to find someone with a similar opinion. Agencies have contracts with companies, not with dudes. They make sure to match the needs of the companies (their customers), not some "traveling workforce". – virolino Feb 27 '20 at 14:27
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    @virolino - I have yet to find someone with a similar opinion count me in as sharing that opinion. I've been made redundant, and I've told recruiters as much. They worked to place me somewhere that they knew I would be happy. Talented recruiters focus on making good-fit placements, not just on getting commission. Slamming people into employers is a short term win and a long term fail, good recruiters will be after the long term relationships. If a recruiter isn't acting in your best interests, you can simply stop working with them and find another. – dwizum Feb 27 '20 at 14:59
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    @dwizum is correct. Good recruiters will find matches that make everyone happy because this ensures repeat business on both sides. Also, the money that recruiters make is based on the salaries of the people they place, so it is in their financial interest to maximize your salary. – 17 of 26 Feb 27 '20 at 16:08
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You're not obligated to tell them you're being made redundant - and on the whole your instincts are correct, telling them you are being made redundant can hurt your negotiating position.

The circumstances where you are better off telling them is where it would likely appear as if you were trying to cover up an otherwise negative trait (such as job-hopping or having been fired).

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There is one benefit to telling them you are being made redundant, the notice period may have just dropped to zero.

If you normally have to give a notice period of weeks or months, being made redundant can remove the notice period. Leaving quickly can save the old company money.

To the new employer being able to add you quickly can help them. They know that the time between acceptance and start date can be measured in days. That may mean that you could be getting training from the employee that is retiring, or that the gap between employees can be eliminated.

Yes, some employers and recruiters may think that you will accept anything; but sometimes that no-notice situation can make you a more attractive candidate.

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