The world isn’t changing – it has changed. The advancements in technology over the past 20-30 years have revolutionised our world and impacted every part of our lives. Things that would have been science fiction to past generations are now science fact. Most people carry in their pocket a device with more computing power than those used by NASA to get a man on the moon.
Outplacement is not immune to these changes, it originally existed as somewhere for middle-managers to go, a way to keep up appearances, avoid the stigma of redundancy and have access to job seeking tools and advice that they wouldn’t get elsewhere. The first few weeks were spent with a coach writing and honing a CV, before moving on, if time, to learning other important skills for life such as networking and how to interview well. It was very much about putting people together in offices.
While the aim of outplacement hasn’t changed, the world it operates in has changed dramatically. The stigma of redundancy, while not totally gone, is greatly reduced. There is no need to go to central location to search through printed press, you can look for a job from anywhere using the phone in your pocket or the laptop at home. Waiting weeks to have a CV is no longer viable, you’d have missed out on potentially 100s of roles. There is no such thing as skills for life, everything changes too quickly. A set curriculum of CV, interview and networking advice for everyone to follow isn’t practical. People had different learning styles and needs.
So how has outplacement changed, what impact has technology had.
- Convenience – technology has made everything easier and you can do more and more things while sitting on your sofa that previously would have meant travelling into town. The invention and improvements in communication tools means that unless you really want to, there is no need to travel to a city centre location to meet your career coach. You can simply call them via video conferencing. Saving you the time and money needed to travel.
- Immediacy – Technology has made everything quicker, people aren’t willing to wait any more. Online resources and on-demand services mean that delegates can learn between sessions and have instant access to a vast library of information instantly. We’ve embraced this desire for speed, our career concierges are available immediately without an appointment and can answer those quick career questions or offer snippets of advice when delegates need them.
- Do it for me – We increasingly want things done for us. Why spend time doing it yourself when someone else could do it quicker and better. Previously the first few sessions of any programme would focus on writing a CV, this could represent almost half of the programme. We now offer the option to have it professionally written. Making the process of getting job ready fast and pain free. Giving more time to focus on other key job seeking skills.
- Personalisation – Technology has allowed for greater personalisation of outplacement programmes. Online portals can hold vastly more information than any printed manual and are more easily updated. For example, this allows us to offer a wider range of learning options for our delegates, whether they’ve been made redundant from their first role, after 20 years, are looking for a new role, to retire or go it alone. Their learning journey can be tailored to fit these needs. It goes further, video conferencing means delegates can be partnered with experts to suit their specific requirements rather than just the one that lives the closest.
Technology’s impact is far-reaching, and I think we’re just at the cusp of the wave with more exciting and world changing innovations to come. Will all our delegates soon be donning VR headsets and conducting mock interviews? Will AI mean that virtual assistants will soon find suitable jobs, tailor CVs and covering letters before applying? I recently read this interesting article on the potential use of voice search in job hunting, taking the ‘do it for me’ to the next level. 20 years ago what is possible today would have seemed like science fiction, so who knows what the future holds….
‘How has technology changed the world of outplacement……’ was written by Verity Morrish, Marketing Manager, Chiumento Ltd. If you like what you’ve read why not follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter and read all our future careers advice and musings on the world of work.