When it comes to fully understanding how the outplacement process works, one of the first things to consider is outplacement engagement rates - what they are and why they're important.
Put simply, outplacement engagement rates show how successful the provider is at connecting with participants sent over by client in order for those participants to start receiving outplacement support.
This means that clients and outplacement providers want to have the highest engagement rates possible because that means more displaced workers are getting the support they need to transition to a new role.
While this seems simple enough, there is a lot that goes into engagement rates that you may not have considered, such as participants declining service, participants not knowing what outplacement is, and much more.
To help us understand the nuances of outplacement engagement, we sat down with Lou Ann Kummerer, Careerminds’ SVP Global Services, to talk about how Careerminds holds an 80 percent or above engagement rate, what goes into that figure, and what it takes for participants to be successful.
Do Some Participants Decline Using Careerminds’ Services? Why?
Some participants do decline, yes. There are a lot of different reasons, including taking early retirement, going back to school, and if a client takes a while to get their outbound employees to us, sometimes it’s because they’ve already found a job. One reason that participants are sometimes hesitant to use our services is because they don’t really understand what outplacement is.
We’ve found that when an HR department takes more time to educate department managers and explain to outbound employees what outplacement is, they are more receptive to using our services. Another reason that our services are sometimes declined is because they’ve already found a job. Most people don’t already have a job lined up when they are laid off, so it’s important to get them started with outplacement as soon as possible.
How Many Participants Begin Their Relationship With Careerminds Knowing What Outplacement Is?
There’s really no way to put a number on that. A lot of people have never even heard of outplacement unless they work in HR, but for some people (such as those who have been around the auto industry) are already pretty familiar with the process. Aside from how common it may be in the industry, other factors come into it, like their level within the company they are leaving or if it’s an industry that is pretty stable without a lot of change.
How Does Careerminds Do So Well With Creating Effective Programs for Participants?
One of the things our clients learn in our demo is that we aren’t your typical outplacement provider. All of our participants have a program tailored to their professional needs.
We also look at their personal needs as well and what’s important when it comes to finding a new job. Because of our unique, tailored approach, participants typically have a great experience with us—which reflects well on their former employers.
What Do Some of Careerminds’ Most Successful Participants Have in Common?
Our most successful participants come into it with a positive mindset or develop one by attending our webinars and exploring our content. Being resilient and having a growth mindset is essential to success with outplacement. Participants and coaches also set milestones to work towards so that participants can see how their hard work is paying off.
It’s Estimated That Millennials Take Up 50 Percent of the Global Workforce. What Trends Have You Noticed With Millennials That Use Outplacement?
For many millennials, the job they are leaving was their first job after college, so in many cases their resume could use a little brushing up. And, we also find that developing a career path is often something that’s needed for the same reason.
What’s really interesting is that for almost all millennials, finding the right culture is a priority. Millennials are looking for a work-life balance and prioritize that above many other factors when they use our services.
Note: It’s important to consider company brand even outside of layoff events. Sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn, or even a simple Google search can impact how attractive a company is to job seekers. Potential employees want to see how the culture is when things are going well as well as when hard decisions are being made.
No One Was Prepared for the Impact of COVID-19. What Unique Things Have You Noticed About Outplacement This Year?
Even though we’re a virtual company and better equipped for remote work, we still had weekly meetings to try and figure out how to accommodate the changes brought about by COVID-19. Now we’re doing bi-weekly meetings, but we’re still constantly adapting so that we can place our participants in new jobs and ensure that our clients are able to feel good about our services.
Another thing that came up with COVID-19 related RIF events was that it hit entire industries. Prior to 2020, participants could move within the industry to find a job similar to the one they were losing, but now transferable skills are more important as participants aren’t always able to find work in the same industry.
What Do You See in the Future of Outplacement After COVID-19?
Because of COVID-19, companies are beginning to realize that working remotely is just as effective as sitting in a brick and mortar office.
I think we will see a lot more flexibility in remote work options in the coming year for those companies that are able to do it. For employees who are being laid off, this is great news because it means that they can consider companies that hadn’t been a possibility before.
As you can see, the relationship between the outplacement provider and the participant is extremely important. At Careerminds, we're constantly adapting to the ever-changing job market to help our participants excel.
One of the first steps in engagement. From there, our experts continue this relationship by tailoring programs, writing resumes, and providing support all the way up until the participant lands a new role.
Thanks to Lou Ann for taking the time to speak with us about engagement and how outplacement has adapted to meet the needs of the modern participant in 2020.