Outside contractors brought in to carry out layoffs like in "Up in the Air"

Has anyone here ever worked for a company where an outside group was hired to tell workers they were getting laid off?
At the places I’ve worked where they’ve had layoffs, the people getting let go were informed personally by their superiors. And when my wife was laid off a few years back, a company bigwig called in workers en masse and gave them the news. But they did bring in people from some government labor agency to inform workers on how to sign up for unemployment.

Yeah. Back in the nineties the (Vancouver, B.C.) company I worked for was bought (along with several other companies in the same field) by an American company and there were waves of redundancy layoffs after we were all set up under the same roof.

The guy who gave me the terms of my termination and various CYA spiels was from a 3rd party outfit operating out of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Kind of. I’m getting laid off next week, along with my entire department. The guy who told us about the lay off is my manager, but he’s also a contractor they brought in about six months ago, to fix the department. First thing he did was get rid of my old manager, who was an incompetent ass. He replaced him “temporarily,” which turned out to mean “until we shit-can the rest of them.”

It’s not really clear if the rest of the lay offs were his idea, or came down from above his head. I kinda suspect the latter, but who knows?

Something like that occasionally happens here. Upper management will bring a new department manager to organize and clean up a department. New manager will lay off or transfer out underproducing or ineffective employees and then the upper echelon gets rid of the new manager.

This has happened too often for sheer coincidence. I just wonder if the axe-managers knew their roles when they were hired. That they were temporary and would be let go to take the bad feelings with them.

I know of a case where that sequence of events happened the same day. The manager had to go through the stress of doing the layoffs and then, little known to them, as soon as the last employee was packed up and the paperwork done, the manager got called in and was laid off too. That is some cold upper management.

I was a consultant in the 90s, and on a few occasions my firm was asked to look at who gets cut in a merger. I always refused those projects (I was lucky to have other skills and could get away with it). There were people in my firm who enjoyed being hatchet men, as they saw it as helping companies return to profitability by getting rid of dead wood.