Is Outplacement dead? - Secrets of the Job Hunt Career Podcast

Outplacement is the service which consists in helping people to achieve a career transition (looking for a job or changing of job).

I must say that this title is obviously provocative...but at the same time, the industry is facing new challenges that really question its foundations.

Is Outplacement working for career changers?

Outplacement has been questioned for a long time about its efficiency in helping true career changers.

Herminia Ibarra explains in "Working Identity" that career changers change in a lengthy process where they meet with people on their target market, where they re craft their personal story...And it is not by doing a career assessment that you achieve a proper career change. It is more a trial and error process where you constantly try out your ideas.

The outplacement system is not really suited for career changers!

Traditional model:

Assessment (skills, personality...) → Career Plan → Implementation

Herminia Ibarra Model:

Test (networking, meetings, outside work...) → correction → Test

In a career change, you don't know what is going to come up, you test all the time, and the model (assessment→Plan→Implementation) is not useful.

In other words, you learn by doing and then thinking not the other way around.

Outplacement does not seem to be that effective for true career changers, and time and experience seem to prove it.

An outplacement can last 6 month till 1 year, and a career change takes a minimum of 1 to 3 years...

What about people who look for a (normal) job?

In outplacement, these are the easiest cases. The person who is a marketing manager in the pharmaceutical industry looks for a job of marketing manager in the pharmaceutical industry.

Same job working for the competitor, the case that recruiters prefer.

In that case, outplacement helps you to reduce your search time by enhancing your efficiency...your CV is reviewed, you are coached properly. But even that is questioned today as companies paying for outplacement are paying less and less for that service.

In France and UK the prices for outplacement services have suffered, now in the UK, I have heard people offering outplacement service with a do-it-all 1 day workshop (which does nothing probably). So you review your CV in 1 day with other candidates who probably have more problems than you do have.

So even the case of the "easy" outplacement is put in danger...with the level of service provided.

So what does that mean for outplacement firms? Is it the end of the road?

I would suggest first to change the name...outplacement is a name which is totally unknown, it does not say anything.

But the obvious move is to go up in the chain of value and work with companies on their talent management issues instead of delivering pure outplacement services. All the big outplacement firms have done this move but their lack of reputation and insufficient track record in comparison to big consultancies (Accenture, Cap Gemini, PwC, and so on) are holding them back.

And for Career changers or people in career transition...

Yes outplacement can help you but you need to adapt your expectations to the market situation.

Outplacement professionals are not going to find you a job and due to the market conditions and the fees they receive, it is less and less likely.

In that case, Networking (and social networking as a tool) is everything...efficient outplacement consultancies should only focus on developing networking skills for their clients...all the personality tests can be useful but at the end of the day, we learn much more about ourselves by doing.

A last word

Outplacement services need to evolve towards providing career services during the whole career cycle not only when people lose their job, so companies must understand that happy employees are employees who are highly employable.

So they should not only create processes to manage their talent but they should create in-placement structures to help people move across departments or even companies.

Now is In-placement is going to replace Out-placement? Not sure about that, but developing Personal Branding and Networking for employees will be more and more important as competition is getting tougher.

And outplacement consultancies should ride the wave...

Posted via web from AndyWergedal