Over the past several months, as telecoms firms across the Caribbean restructure their operations, there have been major objections to the downsizing of staff numbers that has also been occurring. In some instances, and to try to make it more palatable, firms have been making the cuts through Voluntary Employee Separation programmes; but regardless of the medium, people are losing jobs.
Although unions and politicians have been in an uproar, these developments in the region’s telecoms landscape are inevitable, as firms can no longer absorb the employee numbers that they used to, and be competitive by today’s standards. In the spirit that every adversity can be considered an opportunity, below are three considerations when reports of job layoffs in the Caribbean telecoms/tech industry make the news.
1. Relevant skills and industry experience are always in demand
In the Caribbean, the telecoms markets – within each countries and across the region as a whole – are still developing. New players are entering; existing players are diversifying and broadening their services; and new value added (or over the top) services are continually coming being launched, to name a few. All of these developments point to the fact that the markets are not stagnant: opportunities are continually emerging.
As a result, there is almost a constant need for individuals who have relevant skills and experience, which typically means not just industry-specific, but also specific to the market under consideration. For most firms new to a market, it is crucial to secure individuals that already possess the requisite experience to reduce their own internal training costs and speed to market. However, and perhaps more importantly, those persons can also possess environment-specific knowledge that can help the firm better strategise and navigate its experience in the market.