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I’m Microsoft’s former VP of HR. Here are the 3 types of employees most at risk during layoffs — and the 2 that are safest.


  • Chris Williams is a former VP of HR at Microsoft and podcaster, consultant, and TikTok creator.
  • Microsoft, like many other tech companies, recently announced plans to lay off 5% of staff.

I’m a former VP of HR at Microsoft and have been on both sides of a layoff.

Many are seeing layoffs in the news and wondering about their own risk of being laid off. Every industry, company, even department has a different risk, but some areas are more vulnerable than others.

Here are some general guidelines roughly in order of lowest risk to highest.

No. 1 most safe: Profit-making employees

The basic rule is the closer your job is to the most profitable activities of the company, the lower your risk of layoff.

If you’re an essential part of building the most profitable product for your company, your layoff risk is low. When retreating to the core business, companies turn to the quality products that make money.

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