The appointment of an outplacement provider can be a valuable tool in managing the human impact of change, but it is important to recognise outplacement assistance is not the panacea for a successful career transition. It will certainly assist, but it is the drive and hard work of the individual which is essential for a successful outplacement program.
The role of the consultant during an outplacement program is to be an independent and realistic professional who should assist the employee in developing, and challenging, their thinking. The consultant should assist in developing a framework to approach the transition process, and then assist the individual in developing the skills and confidence to allow them to successfully market themselves to potential employers. Outplacement is not a process where the employee can sit back, tell their story to a consultant, and expect them to do all of the hard work to make the transition successful. That is a recipe for a frustrating and disappointing transition.
The outplacement process will typically be focused on finding new employment and should assist in guiding the individual through what can initially appear to be a daunting process. A good outplacement process should assist with the following:
- Dealing with the redundancy decision
- Identifying potential career paths
- Assessing career opportunities
- Identifying transferable skills
- Assessing their self-marketing capabilities
- Career achievements
- Interview skills
- Networking capabilities
- Understanding the employment market
- Building and implementing a job search plan
- Supporting them as they implement their plan and endure the highs and lows of the search process
Upon completion of the outplacement process the employee should experience, in the words of one I once managed, ‘confidence, confidence and more confidence!’
- Confidence in knowing they have a skill set and list of career achievements which will be of interest to the wider employment market.
- Confidence in knowing they can market those skills to a potential employer and manage the interview situation by demonstrating why they are right person for the job.
- And confidence in knowing they have a good story to tell, and the skills to tell it, allowing them to successfully undertake the transition process and achieve their goals.