The Money I Wasted on Outplacement Services – The View from an Older and Wiser HR Director.

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I firmly believe in moral responsibility and even though I have let thousands of colleagues go, I have always believed in doing the ‘right thing’ by them.  But have I always succeeded?

I have often reflected on the disparity between giving middle managers a limited menu of outplacement services from a mediocre provider, and the senior executive who demands to be shown how to tie their shoe laces by an expensive London based career strategy advisory service. But was any of it worth it?

Go back 15 years and the benefit of a traditional outplacement service was access to vacant jobs in the market. Now, thanks to Google, LinkedIn and a variety of Job sites we can all do this from our armchairs at home. What you now need is advice and support in forming your career strategy and plan. It is expert advice you need, not from a 20 something history graduate recently appointed as a consultant, but from someone who really understands your emotional, technical, and information needs, in a global and highly competitive job market.

When I started career coaching over ten years ago, I decided to learn from my mistakes as an HR Director and not just see career advice as a commodity, but as a way to help both the organisation and individual build a bright future, untainted by the past.

So when you next update your supplier list, think about what you really need from your Career Advisory provider. As a starter for ten, here are five things your Career Strategy Advisors must be, if you really want success.

  1. You’re Fired! – If they haven’t been fired, they have never taken a career risk, that’s not what you want from a Career Advisor.
  2. A Headhunter or senior recruiter – If they don’t understand the senior search market, how can they advise you about it?
  3. Grey haired but relevant. – Expertise and experience is great, but someone who was yesterday’s man (and all too often it is a man) is not so great. Pick someone who is still actively involved in business.
  4. An experienced and qualified Coach – Someone who will coach and support you, not just tell and preach at you. A capable and qualified coach can make a huge difference to the effectiveness of the sessions you have with them.
  5. A deliverer – Someone who delivers results quickly. Whilst it may take months to find the right role, it doesn’t have to. Choose a coach who will help you find quick practical answers and solutions.

If you need some tips in selecting a new Career Advisor for your organisation, call our Career Advisory Partner, James Kneller on 0345 055 1000 or email him at jamesk@baxter-neumann.com or click here for more information.