How outplacement has evolved in the digital age to benefit all

Somewhat ironically outplacement was born in the heady days of the “Swinging 1960s”…….Ironic because it was probably the only decade in the 20th century where there was virtually full employment in the UK.

Legend has it that you could walk out of one job in the morning and be in another by the afternoon!! Nevertheless outplacement had its roots in the 1960s but it was a very different creature to the one that exists today.  Early outplacement services were generally office-based with face-to-face job search coaching and training sessions. Information and educational literature were typically provided in the form of binders or bound manuals. Office space, equipment, and administrative support were often included. All these overheads made outplacement an expensive operation and as such was generally limited to high level executive and professional employees.

Like most things, the outplacement industry has changed and evolved for the better in the digital age, with the Internet revolutionising the outplacement delivery model. A variety of outplacement hybrids have sprung up: universal use of the Internet and changing user preferences has created the virtual outplacement model, with 24/7 access not only possible, but demanded. Personalised, bespoke job search coaching continues but the wider content is now delivered via the Internet.

The proliferation of Internet-connected devices like the smartphone and tablet, along with social media networks, job aggregators, new job search tools, are all challenging the traditional, tried and tested methodology of finding a job; creating a more sophisticated, adept, high tech savvy job seeker. Employer and employee minimum expectations for relevant content, sophisticated tools, and a personalised, bespoke service have dramatically changed the world of outplacement. Adaptive outplacement models have emerged in response to those expectations. Adaptive outplacement models give employers more control over plan design, content and cost. They include more choices and opportunities for personalisation.

As digitisation has brought outplacement costs down, it is now possible to offer outplacement services to a broader base of employees. An emerging trend is for outplacement by subscription or outplacement insurance: it works in much the same way of other subscriptions or insurance and lowers cost by spreading risk.  It can lower outplacement costs by 90% or more, yet provides enhanced benefits and services. With subscription-based outplacement, employers no longer have to pay for episodic events: instead they get outplacement coverage that can be used on-demand for any displaced employee. It’s available regardless of reason for separation, and for as long as it is needed. It’s one of those rare scenarios where you get a better return on your investment in terms of finance and flexibility.

These contemporary cost effective outplacement business models are good for the employer and employee alike; both are protected in an unstable, uncertain global economy.

More infomation about our outplacement services can be found on our targetoutplacement site