Whether it’s fine cuisine or unique, amazing outdoor installations that keep the evenings alive (even in the middle of a pandemic), Montréal is a wonderful place to visit or live. Despite the challenges of 2020, the city adapted and found ways for people to still enjoy the versatility of this beautiful city by being socially distant and safe, or doing virtual activities. One such place is the Pointe-à-Callière museum, which not only has in-person exhibits (all sanitary social distancing measures are in place to ensure that it’s a safe and enjoyable experience), but also virtual ones as well.
Despite adapting to the new normal that the global community has had to adopt, the pandemic hit hard and the impact of it will likely be felt for years to come.
In Montréal, COVID-19 had a huge impact on the tourism industry. With travel being more or less nonexistent as the pandemic hit the globe in the summer of 2020, the tourism industry in Montréal saw a fall in spending of over 90 per cent while hotels were mostly vacant. As evidence of this, September 2020 saw all bars and dining rooms closed for a month due to the pandemic.
The pandemic hit the tourism industry hard in 2020, but a global disaster that forces downsizing doesn’t have to be the end for those impacted by it. Outplacement can help.
Outplacement Services in Montréal: A Refresher
Outplacement services in Montréal are offered by companies when they are holding a layoff or RIF event. Employees who will be impacted by the layoff—that is, those who are losing their jobs—can use outplacement to help secure their next employment. It sounds pretty simple, and it is, but outplacement does a lot to make sure that impacted employees land on their feet after the layoff event. Careerminds is the perfect example of an outplacement provider that adapts and updates the services they offer in order to do this.
At Careerminds, we utilize a 100 per cent virtual platform, allowing us to work with anyone, anywhere. When looking for an outplacement provider, it’s important to look for one that uses a variety of tools to reach their objective. That’s why we have such a high success rate and have led the way in the industry for adapting to a virtual world. We didn’t have to adapt, we were virtual and versatile from day one.
Another factor to consider when shopping for an outplacement provider is their level of involvement with you as a client in addition to the impacted employees that will be participating in the services offered. After all, outplacement isn’t just about finding them jobs, it benefits your company too.
How Outplacement Helps Montréal Based Companies
Why is it important to take care of outbound employees? One of the biggest reasons is because of branding. Public opinion is everything and for many businesses, it can be hard to recover from bad public opinion. After all, how many companies have you avoided because that company treated a loved one, a friend, or even a stranger you read about on social media badly?
On a more broad scale, how many times have you seen public opinion have a huge impact on an organization in response to a poorly handled event?
While a Montréal layoff event likely won’t spark national or international outrage, it can still have a serious impact on the wellbeing of the company. By offering outplacement services in Montréal, you can assure Montréalers that you want to see them be successful after they’ve moved on from your company. People like knowing that the places they get products or services from actually care about the people who have helped to build the company.
Part of the public that notices this is potential employees, too.
As one generation of workers began to retire and millennials entered the workforce, a slow shift began that has only gained momentum over recent years. Companies can no longer expect competitive pay and benefits alone to win over a potential new employee. Millennials want more, and understanding that is the key to longevity-- after all, it’s estimated that 75 per cent of the workforce will be millennials by 2030.
For the majority of millennials, working for a company that is aligned with their own values is just as important as ensuring their financial security with a fair paycheque. In fact, it isn’t uncommon to hear millennials say that they’d take a lower pay rate if it meant they could work for a company with purpose and whose culture was positive.
Millennials also place a lot of importance on development, continuous feedback, and moving up (or out, if need be) in the company. Because the rising workforce has a company culture expectation, it’s essential that companies work to prioritize methods that will nurture that new culture. Creating transparency will allow the company culture to be seen not only by potential employees but the public as well and will play a major role in the company’s brand.
Outplacement is a part of that because millennials will feel more secure about their future, and it also displays a sense of responsibility and compassion towards society.
Branding aside, outplacement is very simply the ethical thing to do for impacted employees. These employees have sold weeks and years of their lives to your company in order to contribute to the success of it. And, as difficult as a layoff event is for a company to conduct, it is often a stressful and anxiety-ridden moment in someone’s life. Outplacement can provide reassurances and resources to minimize the impact of a layoff.
Montréal is one of Canada’s biggest cities and in Quebec, the population is over five times larger than the city of Quebec. There are many employment opportunities in a city that’s thriving, but it can be challenging to take advantage of those opportunities if a participant hasn’t been in the job search world for a number of years. That’s where outplacement—specifically a company that’s constantly adapting to the virtual world—becomes an asset.
Plus, ultimately outplacement saves money as it ensures that former employees do not need to rely on government programs designed to help Canadians when they need it. Fewer people who need these services mean lower taxes, so outplacement really is an investment. And, it’s not just as far as taxes go too—outplacement can reduce the risk of a lawsuit.
Minimal Risk of Lawsuits
Layoffs are tricky.
Careerminds can’t provide any kind of legal advice—it’s important to consult with your legal department before, during and after the layoff process. But, we’ve been around for over a decade now and we know that unfortunately, sometimes companies can inadvertently violate federal and province law.
Federal law applies to all 10 provinces in Canada but, here in Quebec, there are some provincial laws that go beyond the federal laws designed to protect workers. The Civil Code of Quebec requires that the notice of layoff period be reasonable to the situation. Factors such as the type of job, how long the employee has been doing it, and the specific circumstances surrounding the layoff all impact how much notice needs to be given in a layoff. Other legislation, such as the Canadian Human Rights Act, protects vulnerable groups from discrimination and may play a part in who is laid off during a reduction-in-force (RIF) event.
Special concerns for HR, First Nations, Minorities and Outplacement
As more and more visible minorities choose Quebec as their home, Montréal has grown more diverse. And, while a significant number of Canada’s aboriginal population call Quebec home, those of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit groups still often experience racism. Diversity is wonderful; however, diversity increases the risk of violating federal law as far as discrimination goes.
Whether it is a subconscious move in HR during a layoff or an employer who refuses to hire someone because of their skin color or their heritage, minorities involved in a layoff event need to be considered in any city, but especially one with so many minorities as part of the workforce.
Like any place where people are, there are problems. But, the people of Montréal care about one another. It’s essential that companies remember this when making the choice to hold a reduction-in-force (RIF) event. Tossing part of the workforce out into the figurative cold without a plan doesn’t sit well with the public or people who might want to work with your company in the future, and if done carelessly can cost the company in much more direct ways.