Agoda launches talent directory for 1,500 laid off staff

Just last week, Agoda laid off 1,500 staff globally as part of its cost cutting measures due to the impact of COVID-19. In light of significantly reduced travel demand, Agoda has since reduced marketing spend, implemented a hiring freeze, as well as a temporary 20% salary cut for all senior leadership team members. This was announced by Agoda CEO John Brown at a virtual townhall, where he also said he will forgo his salary for the remaining of 2020.

Shortly after the layoffs which made up approximately 25% of its workforce, Agoda has launched a talent directory to aid those laid off to find a new job opportunity. In a website and spreadsheet created by the travel booking platform, those who have had to leave the company have included their profiles. According to Agoda, former Agoda employees are encouraged to provide their details for potential employers to access on the site. While, potential employers were asked to reach the individuals directly or submit job opportunities in the live document.

An Agoda spokesperson told Marketing in addition to the talent directory support, the company has engaged an Outplacement Service provider to assist affected staff with transiting to their next role. According to Agoda, support programs have been curated based on individual’s specific needs and impacted employees will also be a part of its alumni program and stay in touch with the company, connect with each other and learn about future job opportunities. The employees will also be able to access Agoda's global network of third-party professional counselling vendors to assist with dealing with the transitions.

“Due to the impact of COVID-19 on our business and the travel industry, we've had to say goodbye to great people at Agoda recently; talented individuals who we believe other companies would be lucky to have. In support of our teammates departing Agoda, we've launched the Agoda Talent Directory to help connect these talented individuals with new opportunities,” Agoda said on LinkedIn. Agoda did not respond to Marketing's queries on number of affected staff in Asia. 

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Airbnb too recently unveiled a talent portal to aid retrenched staff find new opportunities. Airbnb had to lay off about 1,900 out if its 7,500 employees, comprising approximately 25% of the company as the company was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said the headcount reduction process started with creating a more focused business strategy built on a sustainable cost model. “These decisions are not a reflection of the work from people on these teams, and it does not mean everyone on these teams will be leaving us," Chesky said.

The company then aimed to help affected employees with job opportunities via its alumni talent directory, alumni placement team, career services RiseSmart, employee offered alumni support, and laptops. It is also covering the insurance of non-US employees until the end of 2020. 

It is no doubt the global travel industry has been impacted heavily by the pandemic. Several have lost their jobs as companies resort to staff reductions. Separately, shortly after news broke that travel activities and services booking platform Klook is streamlining its workforce, a Google spreadsheet containing the names of employees who have been laid off recently surfaced online. Created by Audrey Mah, Klook's former community team lead, marketing who was also recently laid off, the spreadsheet had 42 names at the time of writing, including names of former Klook employees in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong, among other countries.

Meanwhile, another spreadsheet with a list of marketing jobs and candidates in Southeast Asia is also circulating online, with more than 1,000 names at the time of writing. While those listed are mainly from Singapore (34.7%), Indonesia (46.9%) and Malaysia (5.9%), there are also individuals from the US, United Arab Emirates, India and Australia.

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