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When is Outplacement used?

An employer enlists the services of an external Outplacement firm to provide career support to outgoing employees (usually as a result of restructuring, downsizing or retrenchment etc.)

The Outplacement firm works with the employees to assist them in transitioning on to a new career. This usually includes providing practical career advice and job-market knowledge, assessment of skills, revamping of CVs and LinkedIn profiles, interview training and job search guidance.

How long has Outplacement been around?

Internationally, for over 30 years.

Does Outplacement find new jobs for people?
Not directly.

The CHANGE Initiative empowers people to embrace change and enhance their capabilities through effective awareness and training. Individuals need to take responsibility for their journey, but TCI actively supports and provides professional guidance on the most effective ways/route.

“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.
Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime”

Are there differences between South African hiring preferences and overseas?

Yes and no.

CV content and presentation differ somewhat, with South African recruiters being influenced by increasing governance around qualifications and experience verification, due to high levels of fraud and misrepresentation.

In both South Africa and internationally, there are increasing demands for intellectually disciplined skills, such as critical and analytical thinking, mathematical and numerical ability, conceptualisation, innovation, reasoning, and problem solving.

South Africa is aligning itself towards international trends, where multinationals tend to demand a broader range of skills from their executive teams. An example would be a demand for softer skills, such as EQ (emotional intelligence and self-awareness), leadership qualities, the ability to collaborate, as well as influence, strategic thinking, and a global markets mindset.

What are the benefits of providing Outplacement support to an experienced executive?

Emotional and psychological impact

Losing your job is one of the most stressful experiences a person can face, regardless of age, status, or depth of experience. It is ranked third behind death and divorce.

Change affects each of us on a very personal level, and most people have a strong resonance with their careers, particularly when it comes to personal self-esteem.

“Self-esteem and self-worth are closely aligned with work,” says psychotherapist Charles Allen. When you have a job, you have a continuous source of feedback that you are a contributing member of society, he says.

Being employed helps you feel wanted and that you’re contributing to your finances, says psychotherapist Elizabeth Lombardo. It gives you social support – “and is a buffer against depression”.

Market conditions have changed

Executives, who have enjoyed the luxury of steady employment and a familiar culture for many years, are often ill prepared to compete with the new and more challenging market conditions.

  • Competing with Generations X & Y1, who are critical to the future of any country, is often an exasperating process as the characteristics and perspectives between the generations is vast.
  • The criteria for candidate selection have changed. Education and experience are no longer enough to secure a role; employers are insisting on a broader range of soft and hard competencies to complement their management teams.
  • The way new roles are found and secured has changed. Personal networks and handshake agreements are less frequent. The onset of stricter corporate governance, BEE, cultural and gender diversity requirements, have resulted in increasingly rigorous recruiting methods.

Interviewers don’t necessarily make good interviewees

Being on the other side of the table is a very different emotional experience, and perspective. It shouldn’t be underestimated.

  • As market and employment criteria have changed, so have interview techniques. Bringing yourself up-to-speed on the most effective practices will give you an immediate advantage.
  • Role-playing. Nobody likes it, but it works. You don’t know what you don’t know – until someone shows you.

Practice makes perfect.