Traditional Outplacement focuses on satisfying the company’s or market’s expectation to provide the outplacee with assistance in their next (involuntary) career move. As the word itself suggests, it’s to get them “out” the current firm and not so much “in”to another one. At the same time, Managerial Placement focuses on the latter.
Career Angels has been supporting top managers and executives in their career moves internationally with a focus on Europe since 2010. Inspired by inquiries from our clients and Executive Search firms that do not offer outplacement services, we’ve decided to step into this market segment. Why keep our clients’ successes to the B2C market?
Allow us to be instrumental to your managers’ successful transition!
Outplacement: controlled redundancy
There are various reasons why organizations decide to make their employees redundant:
- change in business strategy and resulting reduction of positions that are no longer necessary
- closing a branch office / offices
- merger or acquisition
- employees’ underperformance
According to the “Right Management” report (Manpower Group)1, 81% of European organizations who took part in the research said that one of the many criteria of a decision to offer employees outplacement services was the will to help them find new professional opportunities. It might seem that the only situation when outplacement services are not offered is when employees are made redundant because of their underperformance. However, sometimes even then support is offered, provided that the employee worked at the company for a long time.
Challenges for the Board and HR Department:
- how to communicate layoffs to employees
- how to explain the reasons behind the company’s decision
- how to take care of the atmosphere and work planning and most of all, how to keep morale high among those employees who are staying in the organization
One outplacement definition says that these are “planned, comprehensive actions aimed at effectively handling the redundancy process and supporting dismissed employees in managing their new life situation2“. Three keywords are especially worth noting:
- “planned, comprehensive actions”
- “handling the redundancy process”
- and last but not least – “supporting employees”
Outplacement is not only about “ad hoc” help to the fired. It is also a complex program involving:
- the internal communication strategy
- carrying out the redundancy process
- supporting the Board, HR Department and the functional managers in above mentioned areas
The origins of outplacement date back to World War II when American soldiers coming back from the war front had to reintegrate into the job market. Bernard Haldane was the first person to address the need to help them. He developed a method called “System to Identify Motivated Skills” aimed at identifying people’s interests, achievements and strengths in order to help them find a satisfying job. Haldane is considered the “founding father of outplacement”. He commercialized his method and implemented it into the corporate environment.
Outplacement and employer branding
Many employers who face the challenge of personnel reduction ask themselves: what should I do to carry out the whole process with the least negative outcome?
According to a survey conducted by Reed Consulting3:
- 78% of respondents claimed that outplacement can contribute to improving a company’s image
- 55% said that offering outplacement services can help a company to be perceived by their potential new employees as an attractive employer
Despite the will to help their employees, organizations which decide to provide outplacement services also want to:
- maintain a positive image as an employer that says, “We respect our employees and care about their future”
- avoid spreading a bad reputation in their industry
- maintain good relations with former employees (networking)
- reduce the risk of potential lawsuits
- prevent a drop in the motivation of the employees that are staying
Types of outplacement:
group or individual, online or traditional?
In principle, there are 2 types of outplacement:
- group outplacement for homogeneous groups of employees, e.g.: working in the same department or on similar positions; consists of group workshops on e.g.: navigating the job market, preparing professional application documents, interview preparation
- individual outplacement which consists of individual consultations in above mentioned areas
There is also a “mixed” version: after group workshops, employees would have access to individual consultations. There is a variety of options.
“Executive Outplacement” is worth mentioning as a variant of individual outplacement – aimed at managers and executives. Issues raised at individual consultations for executives are the same, however consultants working with management staff should be more experienced to be able to effectively support, for example, a board member.
Thanks to technology firms can also decide whether their group or individual workshops are carried out in a “traditional way” (i.e. face to face) or “online” (e.g. via Skype). There are also some mixed forms, e.g. when a participant takes part in a workshop in person, followed by a consultation over Skype. Some companies use online platforms to support the job hunting process.
Insala and Ab Integro are popular platforms that offer online outplacement services.
Companies can be assisted by a specialized freelancer, a boutique, a local or international company. There are also companies for which outplacement services are only a small portion of their turnover, as they normally focus on recruitment or HR consulting.
The price and quality of outplacement services depend on many different factors, not only on the company type. To choose a service provider that fulfils all requirements of the firm, it is best to answer the following questions that will then constitute criteria of evaluation:
From the participant’s point of view
According to the very definition of outplacement, despite the undeniable advantages for companies, the service is essentially about helping employees.
What do they expect from outplacement?
In 2016 a survey was conducted among companies in Poland4 which started or were about to start an outplacement program. The companies were asked about what their employees value / valued most in the offered services. According to Izabela Michaliszyn who summarized the results:
- 86% considered support in job interview preparation crucial
- 72% appreciated determining a job hunting strategy
- 66% stated that the assessment of their professional potential and emotional support were the key elements
Topics that can be discussed during the whole process are i.a.:
- job hunting strategy
- next professional steps
- paths of professional development
- emotions connected with (upcoming) unemployment (and help in rebuilding undermined self-esteem which is often a result of being made redundant)
- the participant’s value on the job market
- market trends
- application documents (in various languages)
- presence on portals like LinkedIn, Xing, Goldenline
- content of application e-mails
- job interview simulation
- Assessment / Development Center
- negotiating job offer / salary
- list of potential employers and relevant decision makers
- list of headhunters
Challenger, Gray & Christmas is the oldest executive outplacement company in the USA. It was founded in 1962.
Based on our own observations of the last 12 months, we see that:
- mid-level managers are also offered individual outplacement
- more and more modern / online tools are being used due to technology advancement
- the employees’ awareness is greater: instead of being ashamed of being laid-off, they actively ask for support in navigating the job market
- there’s an increase in the number of employers who tell their employees: “We have a budget of XX, you can choose the service provider yourself”. Sometimes the employer imposes a number of, for example, 3 companies which fulfil certain requirements. In such a situation it is the employee who contacts different companies, has “casting” meetings and then returns with their own choice.
Would you like to learn even more about Outplacement Services? Feel free to read about our program.
Would you like to discuss your outplacement strategy with us?
Contact Bichl.Sandra@CareerAngels.eu to schedule a non-obligatory call.
1. Why Organizations Rely on Outplacement: A Global Perspective, Right Management (Manpower Group), 2014, http://bit.ly/2qTiYi9
2. Zwolnienia monitorowane (outplacement) jako przejaw społecznej odpowiedzialności przedsiębiorstwa, dr Beata Pituła, mgr Ewa Kaczmarek, mgr Halina Maruszczyk, 2008
3. The Value of Outplacement, Reed Global, 2006, http://bit.ly/2rCTjHJ
We believe in:
- educating the managers
- involving them fully
- transferring the project’s ownership to them
- empowering the placee
- finding the right motivation
- we don’t act as the placee’s agent
- we don’t add them to emailings or newsletters that are sent out to HR Departments and recruitment companies
- we don’t do telemarketing
- 90% of the time we don’t do online job ads
The basic program (1250 EUR – 3000 EUR / USD)
The basic, individual program assumes the ideal minimum of support during up to 3 months and includes:
- perfect application documents: CV, business case portfolio, emails and letters
- flawless online presence
- sourcing & research of potential employers
- recommendation of Executive Search Consultants
- monitoring of online job ads
- screening audit and interview preparations
- support via email, Skype or in-person where applicable
The extended, executive program (5000 EUR – 25 000 EUR)
This option is a continuation of the basic program. We adequately increase activities to target a positive outcome. It is highly recommended for board members, especially those who are looking regionally or outside their own country.
Almost all experienced managers have their own secretaries or personal assistants. No need to do without during the job hunting process. We will take care of:
- the whole correspondence with Executive Search Consultants and potential employers
- scheduling of interviews, incl. handling the travelling agenda
- answering messages on online profiles
About all programs:
managers differ in educational background, their work experience, competencies, as well as their personalities. Additionally, they find themselves in their unique personal and professional situation when faced with being laid off. We understand that. Therefore no two managers will receive exactly the same piece of advice or the same list of Executive Search Consultants. We know that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution.
despite the fact that we prepare the final schedule and scope of work with the placee based on our initial meetings with them and thorough analysis, things happen. It might turn out in week 3 that the placee requires more interview preparations and less support researching potential employers. Instead of re-negotiating the number of hours spent on pre-defined modules, we flexibly transfer or extend hours within services without incurring any penalties or monetary drawbacks. The moment we realize a strategy is not working, we prepare and implement a Plan B or C.
we are on a first name basis with all our clients. When matching placees to Career Angels, we not only look at the consultants’ areas of expertise, but also at the personal chemistry they might have. Even if we get it wrong, switching Career Angels is possible and even encouraged. Why? When liking and trusting their Career Angel, the process gets faster results – meaning, the placee finds a job more quickly.
we statistically and over time track the results certain methods bring. We constantly talk to the market by involving them in our studies, our interviews or blog posts. We ask for feedback from decision makers. We form strategic alliances with Executive Search Consultants. We focus on doing. Not that much on talking. Though we do address the emotions involved when being laid off – but: what’s more effective fighting frustration than getting job interviews and offers?
we’ve fully embraced the 21st century by going paperless, wireless and borderless. We support managers:
- in different time zones and locations, as we know how to effectively work over the Internet only
- in English, Spanish, German, Polish; we can prepare documents in all European languages
- with up-to-date advice that is in line with current business best practices and HR trends
aside from the above mentioned language skills, we work internationally: we’ve supported our clients in CEE, CIS, Scandinavia, DACH, Latin America, Western Europe, UK, Middle East and even Australia. Additionally, our Career Angels only work in jurisdictions they have experience in.
we all have relevant, extensive Executive Search experience. Almost all of us have additional studies or training in psychology and/or coaching. Most of us have also worked on other positions in a business environment: Sales / Marketing Managers, Human Resources Manager, etc. We all have worked and work with executives on a daily basis. Who wouldn’t want to work with a competent team of Career Angels who speak your (business) language?
If you are interested in an offer or have questions,
feel free to contact Sandra.Bichl@CareerAngels.eu by email directly.
About Sandra Bichl.
Do you have questions? Would you like to request an offer? Discuss the scope of potential cooperation? Email Bichl.Sandra@CareerAngels.eu who will get shortly in touch with you. Alternatively, click “Contact us” to fill out the form.