As the world of work becomes more flexible and dynamic, so must the tools that support workers.
The workplace today is a far more complicated and flexible space than it was 60 years ago when outplacement first emerged. A virtual outplacement platform is a standard part of the outplacement offering, with employees able to log on remotely to access a plethora of information at any time. This is vastly different from when outplacement first became an employee benefit. Exiting employees had access to physical office space and support. This space for used to fill out applications for job vacancies. The aim was to help someone transition into a role with ease and support. Today, the aim remains the same, however the delivery mechanism, and what is included has vastly evolved.
Employers are becoming more aware of the advantages of offering outplacement support as a benefit to their employees. Outplacement not only supports exiting employees and is the right thing to do, but also strengthens their brand, re-engages employees, provides dedicated support to HR teams and improves loyalty and talent retention levels.
The advancement of technology, and thus, the ability to provide outplacement services virtually, has made outplacement more accessible. Previously, outplacement was a benefit for C-level executive employees. Now, however, outplacement can be made available to anyone within an organisation regardless of their experience level, and location. Virtual delivery has enabled those even in remote locations to access support – as long as they have internet access.
What features should you expect your employees to have access to via an outplacement platform?
Often when individuals hear their role is becoming redundant, it is extremely difficult not to take the news personally. Experiencing redundancy is an emotional rollercoaster. The feelings one experiences are often said to be similar to a breakup or divorce. Employees dedicate a large amount of their time working for an employer. When the news comes that they are no longer necessary for the progress of the business, it can take a toll of someone’s emotions. It is therefore imperative that the outplacement services you are providing not only provide the more traditional job search services, but also the ability to help an individual understand their achievements, worth and next steps. Empowering individuals to realise their potential, and show them how to take control of their career, both now and in the future, will be key to the success of the programme.
Job Search Tools
Naturally, an outplacement platform must include services such as CV writing – reviews, templates and builder and analysis. Additionally, interview practice and LinkedIn profile evaluation. These core features will help employees understand their achievements and feel more confident talking about themselves to potential future employers. This will help them to secure their next role.
Access to Coaching
It is important that your outplacement provider not only offers you a virtual platform but coaching as well. Moreover, it is important that coaches deliver high-quality services. They should be experienced specifically in outplacement coaching as this is a completely different skill and mindset to other forms of coaching. Preferably, they should be certified. Our coaches have a minimum of 10 years of coaching experience and are trained in virtual delivery. Again, this requires different skills for delivering face-to-face. Coaches must also be internationally or globally connected to provide the best opportunities.
Soft Skill Testing, Analysis and Coaching
The trend that employers are looking for both soft and hard skills is heightening. In September 2020, we revealed the top 5 skills recruiters were looking for. The skills listed were all soft skills: self-motivation, resilience, leadership, listening skills and adaptability. To be adaptable, resilient, to question and have a voice, is now just as important as experience and qualifications. 2020 solidified this mindset, as employees were tested to the limit adapting their entire lives as COVID-19 rapidly spread across the globe. Managers had to adapt their management styles utilising their soft skills.
Individuals looking for a new job role, change in career, or a different way of working entirely, need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their soft skills. This will help them to determine how they would fit in to a new environment and role. From this information, coaches can help develop certain areas to make them the best possible candidate.
Skills Gap Analysis
Equally important to soft skills are the hard skills employers will always require. If someone wants to change careers, they will need to reskill to a certain level. If they are looking for a step up, a professional qualification might be necessary. The outplacement platform should include skills analysis determining which training one must undertake, or have the ability to provide training.
Access to Job Boards/Vacancies
The internet has connected the world and increased opportunities globally. Your virtual outplacement platform must have job board feeds with the accessibility for its users to save, view and apply for roles immediately. With the world becoming smaller as technology opens it up, job seekers are able to relocate or work remotely, more easily.
We started 2021 on tiptoes, with large proportions of the world in some sort of lockdown, more and more people working from home and balancing work and personal lives in new ways. The opportunity to network face-to-face has not been an option for many people for a long time now. However, there are ways around this, and the world will not be controlled by coronavirus forever. There is a light at the end of tunnel and job seekers need to be prepared for this. Networking online is vital for the individuals going through outplacement, but also the coaches.
Virtual Outplacement Platform Results
The results from using a virtual outplacement platform can vary, of course, depending on the number of features, the flexibility of the platform and the addition of coaches. Our platform, Latitude, helps candidates land their next role X2.5 faster. This fact is impressive in itself, it means your exiting employee will secure their next role much faster than other job seekers will and, due to the service you organised for them.
However, facts such as this one should not be the main determining factor in your decision when choosing an outplacement provider. The support provided to, and alignment in vision, between your outplacement provider and your HR team, are just as important. The driving force behind the platform is what matters. There must be an understanding that outplacement is not transactional. It is a personable, emotional service developing individuals. Outplacement empowers people to achieve and believe. A virtual platform will only ever be as good as the people creating it. They should be empathetic, see the wider picture and be knowledgeable in their markets. In short, is your outplacement provider inspirational? Next time you speak to your outplacement provider, perhaps it is worthwhile to think about these questions.