How has Covid-19 affected outplacement support?

Covid-19 has had an unprecedented impact on businesses across all industries. With 23% of surveyed organisations reporting a 50% reduction in financial turnover shortly after the start of the pandemic, this changed world of work calls for an updated style of outplacement support in order to overcome a new and challenging job market.

Thanks to months of furlough or home-working, many employees will have developed an increased self-awareness of what they offer the market, and what they want from their careers. Coupled with rapid transformation in many sectors, it’s clear that candidate needs are changing as rapidly as the world of work they’re approaching.

What do employees want in a post-Covid world?

Support to identify transferable skills:

Covid-19 has changed both the way organisations operate and how employees work. Seeking employment in the same sector may no longer be a viable option for many, as Totaljobs’ research found that 70% of people are now more likely to consider a career in a different industry. Whatever the situation, it’s vital for employees to be able to identify their transferable skills and understand how they can contribute towards success in the future.

Consequently, career coaching as part of an outplacement programme has never been more important; providing independent and objective career conversations with an experienced coach that focus on helping candidates identify their strengths and articulate them in a persuasive and impactful way. Career coaching also provides a safe atmosphere for positive challenge, where individuals can share their concerns and express their emotions.

Through doing so, employees develop the confidence to talk about their qualities and gain clarity on how their skills and experiences align with alternative career paths. This helps them to forget about the past, focus on the present and look towards the future – easing the transition from their current role to the next.

Reassurance in re-entering a new world of work:

With remote working and furlough schemes leaving employees with more time for self-reflection, individuals are likely to have become increasingly aware of what they want from a job, and which industries they need to focus on in order to find one – but many are still unclear on how to get there.

A lack of experience or contacts in other sectors may leave individuals wondering where to start with their transition, which is why providing market connections as part of any outplacement programme is key. As part of ManpowerGroup, Right Management’s outplacement support enables candidates to access a wide network of jobs through Manpower, Experis and Brook Street, as well as facilitating connections to head-hunters and other external recruiters.

Providing employees with these connections helps to educate them on what jobs are actually available to them, and helps them make smart career decision. This in turn will help outplaced individuals secure new roles far quicker, and guarantee that the organisation outplacing their employees can protect their brand and maintain a good reputation for taking care of their workforce.

Support focused on delivering in a virtual world:

Many organisations survived the pandemic simply because of their ability to adapt to working remotely, and as time has gone by it’s become increasingly clear that remote working is here to stay. This reliance on virtual technology looks set to become the ‘new normal’ for businesses and their operations, especially recruitment – and this can present a challenge for candidates.

Video CVs and virtual meetings have become more popular with both employers and recruiters, so developing virtual communication and networking skills is crucial for those undergoing a career transition. Having access to online resources via our online career development platform RightEverywhere, empowers candidates to learn new skills and become more familiar with the technology central to the new virtual world.

Through doing so, candidates can feel more confident during virtual interviews and other online meetings, and showcase their adaptability and potential value to prospective employers more effectively. This will provide individuals with a sense of control they might have felt they’d lost when beginning their career transition, and so removing the feelings of vulnerability that often come hand-in-hand with a career transition.

The importance of outplacement support

Whilst financial compensation is important, it’s no longer enough to simply provide a redundancy package and send your exiting employees on their way. Responsible employers are now investing in outplacement to ensure their people leave in a positive way, with enhanced employability that helps them land a new position as quickly and easily as possible.

The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need to update and adapt programmes to suit a very new job market, and it’s vital that the support provided reflects the changing needs of candidates as they plan for their next steps in a virtual world.

For more information on Right Management’s outplacement support, watch our free webinar here.