Outplacement Trends: Has Anything Changed?

Outplacement Trends: Has Anything Changed?

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Blog post by Barton Career Advisors Founder and Managing Partner Chris Barton

It was back in 2009, right around the beginning of April that I founded Barton Career Advisors. Just a few months later, the Wall Street Journal published an article about how outplacement firms were struggling amidst the recession to provide services to displaced employees. Specifically, the piece derided the practices of one size fits all outplacement. Former employees were experiencing staggeringly low service levels from their outplacement program. Probably should not have been a surprise, right?

At Barton Career Advisors, we were wondering if anything has really changed in the last six years in our industry. The truth is, that some things have changed. But many things have remained constant. Let’s take a look of a few of the things companies are saying about buying outplacement services for their former team members:

  • Companies still are making purchasing decisions for outplacement to manage risk mitigation, reputation, and to reduce the costs of unemployment insurance.

  • The market is still wary of “technology-only” outplacement offerings.  As a matter of fact, a 2014 report published by outplacement provider RiseSmart indicated that only 3% of the companies that offer outplacement do so with a technology only product.

  • There’s still a challenge in convincing companies that outplacement should be offered to all levels of employees. The same survey showed that while 50% of executives and managers get outplacement services, only around 37% of administrative and non-exempt employees get the same consideration.

  • Nearly 1/3 of companies that are using traditional brick and mortar outplacement are dissatisfied with the performance of their providers.

The survey published by RiseSmart presents an interesting picture and is certainly a valuable contribution to our industry. We are led to conclude at Barton Career Advisors that business leaders are still skeptical about the performance of the outplacement industry and its players. We believe that the only true advantage in corporate outplacement is to build lasting relationships between an expert career transition coach and the client – each and every one of them. Every employee that is affected by career transition deserves expert, tailored outplacement services that meet their individualized needs.  At Barton Career Advisors we are dedicated to a business model characterized by productive one on one coaching relationships that are supported by innovative technologies.

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