I recently bought the most amazing brand new knock off Prada handbag at my local Buy Swap and Sell. It looked so awesome that I couldn’t tell the difference from the real thing. I figure there’s a large mark up for the genuine item; even though the materials used and the factory they were made in may well be the same. I felt quite clever getting the bargain.
Sometimes I see HR and Finance Managers securing Outplacement Services with the same mentality. They go with the cheapest quote, assuming ‘it’s all the same’, and feeling quite pleased that they’ve saved their employer some money in difficult and tight times.
Unfortunately, outplacement services aren’t like knock off Prada handbags. They aren’t all the same and you do get what you pay for.
Here are three reasons why costs vary so much for outplacement services.
1/. Outplacement career coaches come with significantly different levels of skills and experience.
I’ve seen 20 something year old recruiters with 12 months experience undertaking outplacement career coaching. While they may be experienced in the churn of a recruitment campaign, that is only one small part of the skills needed for outplacement. Despite their best intentions, they don’t have the life experience, emotional maturity, breadth of knowledge or work experience to do the process justice for their clients.
I’ve also seen professionals from other industries decide to undertake a short coaching course and then brand themselves as outplacement specialists, even though they have:
- never worked with individuals who are in distress or who are experiencing significant change
- never undertaken an interview for anything but their own technical speciality
- no idea of the workings of internal recruitment departments in organisations.
I’ve seen a lot but I’m not writing this to sound negative or like I’m preaching. My aim is to point out that the experience and skills of the coach are critical to the outplacement experience.
2/. Outplacement career coaches come with significantly different levels of passion, and energy.
Some people do it for a job while others are outplacement career coaches because it’s their passion. And sadly, some start with the passion, but then after working for an outplacement organisation that requires them to see eight clients a day, every day, they become burnt out, worn out and tired. As we all would after working under those circumstances.
3/. The level of personalised care and attention can differ dramatically across outplacement providers.
Some providers focus on templates, checklists and tick boxes as a way to ensure conformity and consistency. When their coaches are inexperienced this approach works better for the outplacement provider. It doesn’t, however, always work better for the client, who is an individual with individual needs.
At Lets Talk Career we sit in the middle of the pricing range for outplacement services in Australia.
We know we’re not the cheapest, and we know we’re not the most expensive. What we also know is that in terms of value for money our outplacement service offering is exceptional, particularly because we include one-on-one sessions where people are treated as individuals, which have a higher cost base than group sessions.
- experienced and passionate coaches who have worked in corporate HR and recruitment departments for at least 10 years
- quality content relevant to the Australian market place
- tailored solutions for both the employers and the individuals participating in our program.
Plus, we pay our coaches well so they can offer the time and energy needed to treat each of their clients with the respect and attention that they deserve.
We are there when participants in the outplacement program need us, not when it suits us.
Some other outplacement providers aim to not have people attend the sessions once they have been paid by the organisation, so their profit margin is higher. And they put a timeframe on when the clients can come back. At Let’s Talk Career, we follow up over a period of months to ensure that we give people the support they need if they are struggling. Recently we had a client come back to us who wanted to recommence his program after eight months away doing his own thing. We were happy to welcome him back.
Looking for an outplacement services provider?
Find out more about Let’s Talk Career’s outplacement services.
We have over 30 specialist career coaches located throughout Australia. Call us on 1800 284 255 or email us to learn more.
We would be delighted for you to reproduce our articles, as long as they remain intact and contain the author’s details as follows: Kris Reynolds is Managing Partner at Let’s Talk Career (www.letstalkcareer.com) in Australia. Kris can be contacted on 1800 284 255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.