The term outplacement was first used over 50 years ago as a graceful solution to the nasty task of firing people. While Bernard Haldane may have had the first formal practice in helping people find their next job or career, it wasn’t until the ’70s and ’80s companies subscribed to offering the service to most departing employees. It was “the right thing to do” but more accurately it placated departing employees while it was thought to universitycafe help maintain a company’s reputation among current employees and their hiring communities. It also helped mitigate legal action departing employees might be inclined to pursue.
A recent survey of professionals going through the current outplacement process shows the merits of outplacement programs, among users, have plummeted for two reasons. First, outplacement services haven’t adapted to the times and, second outplacement budgets have been cut to the bone by corporations. Specifically:
1. Shrinking Programs The services once provided have been shrunk due to cost-cutting, plain and simple. A manager with mid-range compensation may spend close to a year in a job search, but to give that manager a program valued at a few thousand dollars is incomprehensible. In some cases senior professionals are given little more than resume advice and access to recordings.
2. 30 Year Old PracticesThe combination of services established years ago as outplacement has not changed. Assessments, resume editing, access to databases, use of office space and group sessions are the norm. But people today don’t use office space and have fast Internet service and office resources in their homes. A final factor is most people have gone through the orientation to job searching once or several times.
3. Groups Fail An easy way to cut the costs of customized outplacement has been assemble groups for discussions, venting and sharing job leads. Not only do these appear unproductive, but they tend to take away from the need to have highly tailored job search efforts.
Meanwhile some amazing new sources and approaches have come on the scene delivering results outside outplacement programs:
1. Sophisticated Internet Services: Networking was never the only way to find the next job. The out-of-date cliche of “networking is the only way to find a job” is long gone. Finding and connecting tools are now sophisticated, and they open doors. Sites that link or connect do more than organize immediate current and past contacts, going several levels beyond existing contacts. More than that companies use them to find people. In addition, job site aggregators finding job listings on many sites and research sources are either free or have nominal costs. They produce opportunity areas and knowledge about change factors in industries and companies. They enhance the understanding company cultures.
2. Super Coaching: Talented “job search” coaches not only keep job searchers “in the game,” but also to stay fully focused and motivated. Top managers are now believers and users of coaching as 67 % of the top 1,200 companies employ coaches. When those professionals look for their next position they expect top job coaching for a new job just as they had on the job, and on a weekly basis. The best martial your assets, package them, direct your presence and orchestrate available Internet and other sources.
When super coaching guides the new sophisticated services, more opportunities are created than with the packaged outplacement services. In many instances individuals thrust into looking for a new job, hire their own job coaches once they see that “off the shelf” and “skinny” outplacement is limited and ineffective.
A whole new restructuring of professional outplacement programs may take place in the future, but at this time the combination of new technology services guided by “higher octane” coaching is yielding more results for professionals looking for their next opportunity. Transitioning professionals, at almost any level, must consider taking charge of their job search using super job coaching and sophisticated sources.
Free coaching, additional ideas, and remarkable insights are available at http://www.executivejobcoach . Ask the author, Charles Moldenhauer, via email