Does this scenario sound familiar?
You’re a HR manager for an Australian organisation.
You’ve returned to your desk following a meeting during which the management team identified that staff numbers need to be reduced.
You’ve been delegated the role of organising the staff downsizing program.
But where do you start?
As well as the industrial relations and legal considerations, you need to organise the paperwork for each person being terminated and implement the communication and consultation processes with line management.
And then there is outplacement!
How do you choose the right outplacement services provider for your business’ needs?
Our advice is to use an outplacement organisation that meets following criteria.
1. Tailors a solution for your business
A good outplacement provider will take the time to understand your budget, your timeframes and the needs of your departing employees. They will partner with you to create a solution for your business that will work.
2. Is an Australian company
This ensures that they will use materials that are relevant to the labour market your exiting employees are entering into.
I’ve seen large organisations supply their clients with resume templates that include US zip codes. If they can’t be bothered to even tailor a resume template to the Australian context what else are they missing!?
3. Uses experienced and skilled career coaches
Career coaching is an unregulated industry. This means, unfortunately, that the quality of career coaches can vary widely. It’s not uncommon to come across outplacement coaches who have never hired a person in their lives!
Undertaking a short course in careers management does not equip them to guide your employees in the right direction at a time when they’re at their most vulnerable.
All our coaches at Let’s Talk Career come from significant and senior corporate HR and recruitment backgrounds.
- They’ve all sat the other side of the table, making hiring and selection decisions for organisations.
- They know how interviews work.
- They understand what reference checking involves and how psychometrics are used in organisations.
- They know how best to align an application to the recruiting organisations values and mission and so much more.
This real life practical experience is invaluable in assisting your exiting employees to get maximum value from the outplacement services that you’re providing for them.
4. Is not affiliated with, or owned by, a recruitment agency
I often have HR Managers ask me if this is important. The answer is: absolutely!
While many recruiters have started doing outplacement in response to their inability to maintain viable as recruiters, it is not the same thing. Outplacement is so much more than showing a client how to update their resume! The psychology of job search, and the emotional wellbeing of employees who have recently been made redundant is too important for you to place them with people who only know how to sell their own services, write a job ad and conduct interviews and reference checks!
We see it as comparable to the person who goes to the dentist to get braces, rather than an orthodontist. They both say they can fix the problem, but in reality only one is skilled across all the areas needed to actually do so.
5. Builds a long-term relationship with you and your team
We take pride in our relationships with the HR teams of our clients. We love it when they ring us to ‘talk through an idea/concern/problem’. As experienced HR professionals (by trade) we:
- can share our insights about outplacement and change management best practice, plus our experiences of what worked and didn’t work for us when we worked in HR and downsized.
- understand the legal and ER implications because we’ve been there ourselves in our past lives.
Let’s Talk Career also offers coaching for line managers and less experienced HR managers who are involved with redundancies. We cover everything from provision scripts, to private one-on-one coaching sessions.
6. Gives you feedback
While there is a fine line between maintaining client confidentiality and sharing updates with the employer, your outplacement provider should be available to provide you with updates on how your exited employees are going and information about their level of client satisfaction at the end of the program.
As an organisation you are investing a significant amount of money in outplacement support, so make sure you are receiving valuable services. Ask for a report of feedback from the redundant employees at the end of the outplacement program and use it to inform your decision on providers moving forward.
Looking for an Australian based 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.