Here's a note of 7 things firms can do to meaningfully save on costs without cutting back on full-time headcount.
1. Cut back on engaging consultants
2. Reduce the number of temp or interims workers
3. Delay / cancel non-essential IT or other projects
4. Impose a hiring freeze
5. Sell off non-essential / under utilized office buildings
6. Reduce end-of-year bonus pools
7. Cut salaries
This clearly isn't a very promising list, as (2) could create operational problems, (5) would only result in longer-term cost savings, (6) could impact the retention of key staff, and (7) would be difficult to implement.
When all is said and done, you can see why headcount, being by far the biggest single cost at most firms in any case, is the quickest and the most obvious thing to cut when costs come under the microscope.
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