It’s a new year, and for many it is often a time for change.  Or a time for re-evaluation. This is true for us as individuals, but also as professionals.

The holidays are over and it’s time to get back to business. Back to developing plans and solutions to make our companies and departments as versatile and as well-run as they can be.

As HR professionals, this can sometimes mean change to personnel.  If it does for you, and you are using the start of a new year (new decade!) to re-evaluate your outplacement partner, here are some ideas to consider.

1. Cookie Cutters Don’t Work. 

Likewise, to be truly effective, your outplacement provider must provide personalized services to the employees that you must reluctantly let go.  In this competitive job search environment, there is no point in providing a service that does not bend or sway to the personal needs of your former employees.  Looking for new work is a fluid challenge and using the same process for all is not realistic, or effective and only results in frustration for the job seeker and a waste of your HR department’s budget.  

Select a provider that works like a chameleon’s skin does.  One that can easily change to meet your unique HR support requirements, budgets and timelines.  One that can quickly develop customized programs to support you and your employee base the way you need to be supported at the time.  

Outplacement programs that are flexible and based on human needs get the best results because they take into consideration family circumstances, finances, education requirement upgrades and specific industry challenges, among others.  A program that can move and change with individual situations ‘on the fly’, can make a very stressful circumstance, less so for job seekers affected by unexpected downsizing.

2.  Specialists Make Every Difference.

Select a provider that lives and breathes outplacement, because these are the providers that truly have a vested interest in ensuring their resources and methods are the most effective, and most up to date for successful job searches.  These are the providers who are not distracted by providing services outside of employee support.

It is also important to know that the outplacement company personnel who your former employees are working with are experienced professionals who understand the job market and how best to access it.  Ensure that your former employees are working with certified coaches that work with your employees from a holistic perspective – taking into consideration all of life’s fragments when planning a career change or transition. Ensure that formal assessment tools by certified practitioners are utilized to confirm that career direction changes are going to be right, long term, for the job seeker.  Ensure that there is access to qualified counsellors when psychological issues need to be addressed hastily. Ensure that the résumé writers and résumé marketing teams are experienced in creating professional documents and marketing plans for the best results possible. Ensure that those providing financial counselling assistance are certified professionals who will plan and advise in the best interest of the job seeker and his or her particular time in life.

3. Modern Mindsets.

One cannot get stuck in thinking about job searching in one particular mode.  As mentioned above, job searching is a fluid process which must be acclimated to as needed.  There is a fine line between having a focused plan and keeping an eye on the big picture. The big picture can often change without us even seeing it if we are lasered focused on our preconceived plan.  Effective outplacement coaches will help to keep an eye on the changing landscape of the big picture and create solutions to meet those changes so that résumé marketing efforts are fully capitalized on. In addition, effective outplacement coaches will ensure that their clients are well versed in using online resources and preparing an online presence that will serve them well during a search.  They will be able to share, modern, online and interactive program materials to help guide their clients through each stage of the process.

Likewise, outplacement consultants cannot be stuck in the mindset that every job seeker wants/needs to meet in an office environment.  Some will. But with the cost and inconvenience of commuting, working face to face in an office is not typically ideal for most people – especially for those that live in more remote locations.  Technology has allowed for easy access to program coaches through VOIP and video conferencing. It means that program coaches can be available more often for their job seeking clients, substantially increasing program values. In the same light, the use of technology and remote coaching reduces the need for expensive office space – which in turn, should reduce your overall outplacement costs.

4.  ROI

Providing outplacement services is not a legal requirement in Canada.  However, there are many benefits to providing it including reducing the discomfort for both your managers and the outgoing employees during the time of termination and throughout the subsequent job search; maintaining your company’s reputation in the community and within the employee base, as a progressive and compassionate employer; and helping to defend your company should your former employee engage with legal counsel.  Not to mention, helping your former employee to mitigate his or her own financial damages due to job loss by assisting them to replace their incomes.

However, you as an HR Manager, deserve to know that the money you have spent on outplacement services is in fact being well utilized.  Look for a provider that gives you feedback on individual job search programs (without jeopardizing the privacy of the former employee).  Be sure that your outplacement provider remains accountable and that you are not being billed for services that are never even accessed!

If you are in the process of re-evaluating your current outplacement provider for 2020, and are interested in what CMS can offer, please connect with our President, Louise Hack at 416.960.9845 ext. 2977.

Here is a snapshot of what to expect:

OUR BUSINESS STRUCTURE allows for fair, cost-effective pricing, and is built on the belief that everyone deserves job search help. By keeping our overhead low, our programs are affordable enough to be offered to everyone, regardless of their level.

OUR APPROACH utilizes practical resources including world renowned assessment tools, proven career marketing methods, and useful lists of prospective employers for résumé marketing purposes.  We make use of on-line program materials that are continually updated and available to match the fast-paced technological advancements of today’s job market. As required, we implement psychological and financial planning support, in addition to meaningful career transition and practical job search assistance, making for a complete program experience.

OUR COMMITMENT TO ACCOUNTABILITY ensures that our HR clients receive a ‘snap-shot report’ of participation so that they are assured that every effort is made to give their former employees the best service possible including tools, personal coaching, and program management, etc.

OUR PROGRAM COACHES are qualified in life, strategic intervention, high performance, or career coaching and human resources.  They provide a one-on-one, personal, holistic approach to program management for long term success. CMS Coaches are strategic partners to their clients in job searches that can often be a stressful and unpredictable time for their families.  They provide acceptance and change management coaching to help candidates develop the optimism and confidence to move forward.