opinion piece

BLOG – Career Secret Sauce: Outplacement is more than just finding a job

Redundancy is sometimes the only option in difficult business times. But if handled properly with outplacement support, it can offer career transition… and much more, explains Sarah Hernon, Principal Consultant at Right Management.

Published on 2nd December 2022

As the cost of living crisis rages on, businesses and employees alike are feeling the impact. Spiralling energy costs and supply chain pressures mean organisations are facing operational challenges, while a growing number of employees are having to seek extra work through the gig economy in order to manage rising inflation rates. And while redundancy rates fell to a record low between February and April this year, recent data suggests businesses are now beginning to feel the strain and are looking for ways to save costs.

new survey from Acas has found that nearly 1 in 5 employers are likely to make redundancies over the next year – a number that increases to 30% when polling large businesses. Similarly, GQLitter found that high interest rates and borrowing costs have led to a 60% increase in planned redundancies. It’s understandable that businesses are looking at making efficiencies in their workforces in the face of current market challenges, but it’s important that it is handled in the right way – with comprehensive outplacement support made available to all impacted employees.

Three employee benefits of outplacement support

When redundancy becomes the only option, outplacement provides impacted employees with the tools and knowledge needed to secure a new role, alternative career path or a lifestyle change. It is arguably the most effective enabler of career transition available to an organisation and its workforce – and yet it is so much more than that.

Here are just three of the ways outplacement support benefits employees beyond simply finding their next job:

Confidence boost:

“I just wanted to take a moment to pass on my gratitude for the support I have received from my coach in the past few weeks. Without her intervention, coaching and guidance I would have been so far behind and still lacking confidence. Atha has been flexible, committed and an absolute star in keeping me on track and feeling confident about the future.”

– Outplacement candidate, 2022

Many employees facing redundancy are understandably experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions, and will often be suffering from feelings of self-doubt. Having an experienced career coach available to them throughout the process provides employees with the opportunity to reflect on their career to date, understand their values, drivers and strengths, and build the confidence needed to articulate their value proposition and move forward with their career.

Exploring new opportunities:

“I was offered the marketing job and gladly accepted! Talking to you made me realise that sometimes you have to take a step back in order to move forward and there’s so much career progression in this area! Plus, I’ll learn so many new skills that’ll boost my CV.”

– Outplacement candidate, 2022

When an employee has been in role or with one business for an extended period of time, they can often begin to feel like pursuing a similar job in the same industry is the only option. Outplacement support provides individuals with the opportunity to identify their transferable skills, to step back and explore all the options available to them. Employees can then view their redundancy as a positive opportunity to pursue a new challenge and enhance their employability with different skills and experiences.

Developing career management skills:

“I considered myself to be a pretty savvy job seeker and didn’t think I needed help, but the market has changed so much! Right Management taught me new techniques that were key in helping me land a great job. I can’t believe how much I have learned.”

– Outplacement candidate, 2021

Long-serving employees may feel that the job market is somewhat alien to them. LinkedIn has in many ways, taken the mantle from in-person networking events, while recruiters and employers are increasingly using online assessments and interviews in place of their face-to-face predecessors. Therefore, having support in updating and refining their social media profiles, developing and practicing interview techniques and building a market-ready CV will help employees enhance their professional profile and manage their career beyond just their next role. A successful career requires ongoing management and a growth mindset. Understanding their strengths, development areas, and the transferability of their skills helps individuals to adopt a mindset of continuous learning which will stand them in good stead for their entire working life.

Whilst redundancy is never easy, offering a robust programme of support to employees ensures those exiting the business are equipped to take the next step in their career with confidence. And it’s not only those leaving the business who benefit from outplacement support. Investing in a support programme makes business sense too, maintaining engagement and productivity amongst the remaining workforce whilst also protecting employer brand, demonstrating a business that cares about its people, and will take sufficient steps in order to support employees when tough decisions have to be made.

First published on Right Management’s website.

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