In today’s rapidly changing job market and the quick manner word spreads via social media and online communication, now more than ever, organizations are recognizing the importance of offering outplacement to support their exiting employees.
At ICC, we believe that the exit of an employee is the most overlooked element in an integrated talent strategy, and how you treat someone as they leave is just as important as when they onboard into your organization. As we embrace the digital age and the growing prominence of remote work, virtual outplacement services are shifting how we can support individuals and organizations in a job search.
What exactly are virtual outplacement services?
One may make several assumptions when pairing the words “virtual” and “outplacement.” The first assumption is that the entire career transition program is solely technology-based, with no human interaction or involvement with a career coach. Another inference is that it is less personalized compared to traditional, in-person coaching. Unfortunately, these inferences couldn’t be further from the truth of what virtual outplacement means in 2023.
Technology has shifted where and how work gets done, and video platform services have transformed how professional relationships are built. Virtual outplacement offers a dynamic blend of technology and personalized support that genuinely caters to individuals’ career transition needs. Let’s talk about virtual outplacement works for today’s job seekers:
- It’s flexible and convenient. Virtual outplacement services allow people to access coaching from anywhere. This format is especially beneficial for geographically dispersed individuals or those who prefer to work remotely. Virtual outplacement also opens opportunities for individuals to receive support and guidance at their convenience, which allows them to balance their job search with personal commitments. Just as with working remotely, there is increased productivity in the job search when there aren’t competing demands of home and other priorities. And all of these factors lead to less stress and anxiety in what can be a very unsettling time.
- Expanded Resources. Virtual outplacement providers offer technology platforms that grant access to a suite of career resources. This user-friendly technology can be accessed by phone, tablet, or computer. Most people are just a few clicks away from e-learning platforms, resume and cover letter templates, career assessments, interview simulators, and job search databases. In addition, screen sharing on video platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams facilitates remote coaching sessions, allowing for immediate feedback on LinkedIn profile updates and resume formatting. Virtual coaching sessions are particularly useful for preparing for phone and virtual interviews, which are common today. This combination of technology and personalized, one-on-one coaching provides a comprehensive tool kit for a job seeker.
- Personalized Support. Personalized, one-on-one career support is critical in meeting an individual job transition needs. Technological advances allow career coaching to be virtually while maintaining the human factor. Today’s job seekers are familiar with workplace flexibility and virtual meetings which offer the same level of expert attention as traditional, in-office meetings. Providing compassionate support through the preferred medium (i.e., phone, video calls, email, or chat-based coaching) works exceptionally well after establishing a trusting coaching relationship. Some people are more comfortable talking and sharing their needs from the comfort of their own homes. Finally, ICC career coaches know that people enter a job transition in different places emotionally and distinct goals. Tailoring the coaching program and delivery mode to individual needs is easily supported with remote coaching options.
- Unique Networking Opportunities. As one of the most essential aspects of a job search, networking is not something to back away from in a virtual environment. Some of the most impactful networking can happen through online communities and forums. LinkedIn is a space that is primed for people to connect professionally and grow their network. Your reach is no longer limited by geography, and virtual outplacement providers can help facilitate introductions that will expand professional networks exponentially in these virtual spaces.
Not only is offering outplacement to your exiting employee advantageous to them but providing virtual outplacement services always benefits the employer.
Here are the top benefits to you, the employer:
- Enhanced employer brand: Offering outplacement services will help maintain the company’s reputation within the community and with your customers. By now, we’ve seen the companies that have gone viral for mishandling layoffs. Offering virtual outplacement can help you stay ahead of that negative publicity. It will also sustain the morale of the remaining employees. Survivors’ guilt is genuine, and it can be hard to stay focused on the future and new work demands when you’re worried about layoffs that just happened. Knowing that colleagues have been cared for goes a long way in easing back into the new normal. It will even increase the pool of prequalified candidates for future hiring because people ALWAYS remember compassion.
- Expanded Reach: By nature of remote coaching, virtual outplacement has a broader geographic reach. Virtual outplacement providers have a global reach, allowing them to work with individuals regardless of location. Employers can feel confident that they are supporting ALL their employees, not just the ones in large markets but remote and branch locations as well.
- Risk mitigation: If there are any concerns about a high-risk separation, offering outplacement services can reduce the potential for lawsuits or EEO actions. Career coaches focus on the future and can redirect negative feelings by creating a positive plan for new employment. An employer will also reduce the unemployment cost from the long-term employed because statistics show that working with a career coach will shorten the time one is in a job search.
- Access to diverse expertise: One of the key advantages of virtual outplacement providers is the ability to tap into a vast network of coaches and industry experts who specialize in different fields and sectors. That means job seekers can benefit from the expertise of professionals with firsthand knowledge of market trends and hiring practices in various locations. Another advantage is gaining insight into different cultural and professional contexts. Today’s world is interconnected, and cross-cultural understanding and adaptability are highly valued skills.
As we embrace the digital age and continue to witness remote/hybrid workspace offerings, the importance of virtual outplacement services cannot be understated. It combines the best of both worlds! Your employees can have that one-on-one relationship, trust with their coach, and the convenience of meeting wherever works best for them.
Contact ICC to learn more about our compassionate outplacement services at 855-865-4400 or email@example.com.