Are you getting the most out of your outplacement services program? Below are the key ingredients to an Outplacement Services program that will deliver results.
#1: Unlimited Access to Career Coaching
The average length of career coaching time in an outplacement services program 3 hours. Few firms offer more time, many offer considerably less. Why is ample career coaching time such a critical aspect of the career transition process? Research shows the outcomes that participants most often attribute to their career coaching are a higher level of self-awareness and self-confidence, a more balanced life, smarter goal-setting and lower stress levels.
Providing unlimited career coaching within an outplacement services program allows the participant to benefit from an ongoing dialogue with his or her career consultant. Seasoned career coaches thrive on being exceptional listeners, facilitators, and editors.
If your organization uses outplacement services, now is the time to look at your outplacement vendor and see just how many hours of career coaching your former employees receive. If you’re considering outplacement services for the first time, when you conduct your due diligence of several providers, be sure to zero-in on how many hours each displaced worker is going to receive.
#2: Convenience for Participants in the
Outplacement Services Program
In a 2006 study conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the demand for more affordably priced outplacement services is on the rise. At some point, you may have asked why traditional outplacement services are so expensive. Let’s face it: laying out $3,000 to as much as $10,000 per displaced employee is steep. Yet, that’s the average cost range in today’s outplacement marketplace.
So what does this have to do with convenience for participants? Everything! There’s an outdated notion that meeting face-to-face with career consultant and attending classroom-based training is more effective for the participant. The reality is that it’s not.
There’s a considerable research that not only makes a case for virtual, web based outplacement access to experts and educational resources, but demonstrates the convenience it affords the participant without sacrificing quality or desirable outcomes. The time it takes for a sponsored outplacement recipient to travel to a physical site to receive outplacement services can be very inconvenient, especially during a time of unemployment.
Convenience may be the most important factor in determining an effective participant’s outcome. It’s also the way outplacement services can be made more affordable for companies. In an on-demand, web-based outplacement program, where the content is accessible via a web portal and the coaching is done over the phone, the outplacement services provider has drastically reduced overhead. The bottom line is you ending up paying less per participant and can feel confident that the service will be as effective, if not more so than a traditional onsite services.
#3: State of the Art Job Search Technology
Leads to Effective Placement Results
Here’s an eye-opener that traditional outplacement providers won’t talk about. Do you know what type of job search technology your vendor is using? If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to either of those questions, you might want to take a closer look. Why? Because the name of the game in outplacement services is to help people find jobs. To be sure, the entire career transition process encompasses much more, but in the end the participant needs to have access to robust job-search technology.
Most outplacement companies do little more than maintain a job search database that is similar to Monster.com and Careerbuilder. There may be a few extra bells and whistles; yet, when the individual performs a search, they’re likely seeing the same opportunities everyone else in the world can see.
Your organization invests in outplacement services in order to preserve your image in the business community, help employees feel more secure in the event of a layoff, and, put displaced individuals back to work quickly and effectively. Your return on investment may be lacking with a traditional vendor. Simply put, why spend all that money on outplacement services if the provider lacks the technology to re-employ participants in a manner that goes beyond what is already widely available to out-of-work individuals everywhere?
#4: Scientific Basis for the Career
Most outplacement services companies have some form of a personality or behavior assessment that is either standard or available as an option. If your provider doesn’t use one, now’s the time to give this some thought.
Basic questionnaires like Myers Briggs are well respected but only tell half the story. They’re designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. What they don’t do is provide a scientific basis that gets to the core of what a career transition process is designed to achieve; that is, what a job seeker’s work style and motivations and values are. Most assessments used by outplacement firms do not measure the above traits. Yes, taken together, these behavioral attributes serve as the North Star in guiding the participant to a successful outplacement services experience. They are concrete, actionable insights that speak directly to the career transition process. Because very few vendors perform assessments that reveal these traits, they thereby limit participants from a complete view of what their actionable work strengths and weaknesses are.
Working with an outplacement services provider means knowing how much emphasis it places on the scientific basis of its program, particularly with respect to personality and behavioral testing. If your current or future provider is using an instrument that doesn’t reveal insights to the above mentioned dimensions, then your investment in outplacement may be at risk. If your organization’s aim is to give your former employees an empowering outplacement program that puts them back to work, the vendor’s choice of assessments can make all the difference.
#5: Access to Leading Experts
Let’s be clear: any vendor worth its price has very talented career coaches and support staff. Sadly, relatively few outplacement firms take advantage of expertise outside the walls of their organizations. Most providers retain a coaching staff with backgrounds in human resources and/or training. However, a vital component of career transition is having access to outside experts. Why? Because, insights provided by well-regarded professionals adds depth to the overall experience. The exchange and dialogue helps to keep participants motivated, focused, and aware of leading-edge knowledge on various career transition topics.
Beyond the career consultant and in-house trainers, what does your outplacement services provider offer in the way of outside experts? If you don’t know, now’s the time to find out because it’s directly linked to the experience and final outcome for the participant.
Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.