outplacement and career transition

When organizations release people, they often want to help their valued employees experience as little distress as possible in the transition process that by definition accompanies losing a job. This help can take many and various forms, but some common examples are help with finding suitable alternative employment, engaging in a (re)training programme, considering starting their own business or retirement.

Essentially, our outplacement ethos is built on our values of empathy, objectivity, innovation and positivity, which shapes our outplacement mission:

  • To enable the people we work with to make informed choices about their future in cost-effective and flexible ways.

Thus, our outplacement programmes are tailored to the requirements of the individuals and organisations concerned, but usually contain some core components:

  • Working with the people concerned to boost their confidence in order to identify and pursue their own individual goals.
  • Identifying the type of work to which they might be suited and which they will enjoy.
  • Thinking about how and where to find suitable job vacancies.
  • Putting together a high-quality CV, which is a succinct and powerful marketing tool.
  • Filling in application forms effectively.
  • How to prepare for and perform well at interview.
  • Developing expertise with other selection methods, e.g. role-play exercises, group exercises and psychometric assessment.

Outplacement programmes usually start with a confidential one-to one discussion with the person(s) concerned to begin to establish their ideas, opinions and feelings about the transition process that they are about to embark upon. This is often a difficult time, as there may be feelings of despondency, anger, betrayal etc. There may also be some very real practical concerns about how to pay the bills! Thus, it is always important to pay attention to the affective and emotional side of things, before becoming too task-focused. However, it is usually a good idea to get into task mode as soon as possible. A good way of doing this is to start to compile the first draft of a CV, as this helps the person to focus on practical ways of moving forward:

  • Identifying their major skills, personal qualities and attributes (PQAs), motivations, values and strengths.
  • Being clear about their aspirations and ambitions for both work and their life in general.
  • The type of work that they would like to do.
  • Clarifying the type of work which they are/might be good at.
  • Their most significant achievements in their most recent role.
  • Their career “stellar moments” - the work they are most proud of in their career to date.
  • All the training they have undertaken, what they have learned from it, how they applied it and the success that accrued.
  • How their hobbies and interests might be used to demonstrate key personal qualities and attributes which could be of interest to a potential employer.

In order to help people clarify their thinking on these issues, they may sometimes undertake some psychometric assessments. They may also spend time reflecting on what they want from work and seeking feedback about their skills and personal qualities and attributes from informed sources, such as previous work mates and managers, colleagues and even friends, partners and other family members.

From the organisation’s perspective, there is always the resources issue - no organization has unlimited time and money to allocate to outplacement activities. Thus, processes can be organized in different ways, utilizing group-based approaches wherever possible and appropriate. Formal modules can be delivered to groups of people on topics such as:

  • How to compile a CV.
  • Where to look for suitable job opportunities.
  • How to fill in application forms effectively.
  • How to perform well at interview.

What are the potential benefits that can accrue to organizations that take outplacement seriously?

  • It helps to ameliorate the difficult emotions that abound when the organization has to release people, both for those being released and also for those remaining.
  • It is one way of demonstrating that the organization really does care about its people.
  • Ethically, it is an honourable thing to do.
  • It can have tangible benefit to local communities, especially if large numbers of people are to be affected.
  • It can enhance the organisation’s reputation.

Please contact us to discuss your specific outplacement needs in more detail.

Take up of the Outplacement Service David offered was good, with feedback from the staff concerned being very favourable...
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