3 thoughts on “outplacement

  1. Elle

    Yep, there’s nothing that can express how isolated and vulnerable I was made feel thanks to outplacement’s incompetence. Unfortunately 95+% of the public don’t have a clue about the difference between “getting a job” and changing career and therefore 95+% of people I know took their insecurities and problems out on me when outplacement failed to deliver and I was 7 months out of work therefore in their eyes “must have been” an idiot, even though that time period is average for someone in the career I was in, particularly when it was after a career ending job.

    Until people get it straight these dubious services will continue to ruin people’s lives.

    In most people’s minds these outplacement counsellors get treated as saints because someone that went through them gets a job => they must be brilliant, even though it’s probably nothing to do with their rubbish services, while recruiters never get credit for what they do.

    Reality is it’s other way around. One bad experience with something doesn’t make all versions of it bad. Usually people’s views of agents are based on people’s blinkered and often stupid opinions combined with bad experience (usually because they don’t know how to find good ones). Also reality is that, while most agents I met were idiots that can only help if you’re doing the same job again, the most useful contacts I met were top of the range agents who helped with networking and advised on how people were actually doing career changes. True they get paid shocking commissions but there’s no need to twist it as much as people do. I mean when I left college I was smugly and bellittingly informed that my job wouldn’t be through a recruiter, yet not only did I get my first gig thru one but they helped me understand how the market works – I started getting callbacks thanks to that and also reading material that helped with technical interviews in my area.

    1/2 hr with top agents and you’ve got a sharper view of the market, while I discovered over time that the majority of the counsellors in my outplacement firm were failed practitioners from their last job.

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  2. Elle

    I agree.

    I used one as my career came to a shuddering halt a while back. They were sleazy and idiotic – clearly out to make money and beyond a campaign of cold calling employers and bullshitting me had no real advice. Total “yes man” of a counsellor that never critiqued anything I did properly. CV advice was pathetic on one application I sent through. “Yep looks good” with no reason given for it looking good followed by an approving comment how the word “curves” was in my CV and the job spec, even though the 2 entries were unrelated. Ffs! What a douchebag.

    When I asked for advice on explaining why I’d left last role to interviewers I was stonewalled and he pigeonholed the problem into confidence issues which I don’t have, and told “forget it” repeatedly. It wasn’t about that – problem was I’d been let go from a firm that was the only one hiring in my field, a small market, and eventually one of my LinkedIn contacts had the heart to tell me his boss saw right through any bullshit answers I gave when I interviewed with him.

    I’d also asked these bozos to help me identify and enter a new career that better suited my skill set. They did their best to make it sound like they could help me do that, but once they got my money turned out to be useless. They had nothing much beyond cold calling employers, my area of expertise is very technical and where it’s about knowledge and business expertise, stuff you can’t bluff.

    I complained and the account manager tears into me claiming they’d overdelivered. One example where he thought they’d “overdelivered” being that my advisor would check how I was doing when he saw me on the stairs. Pathetic.

    What kills me is them claiming they had covered all the bases in terms of careers options and within 2 months of sacking them I find a viable option these idiots hadn’t considered.

    What worked instead of outplacement – going to conferences and volunteering events related to my field. There I met people in different careers and got better advice and found a new up and coming area. I was also advised to post a portfolio of my work online by a leading recruiter – I then got a job through a blogger who was very active in my field.

    A recruiter I’ve used summed it up pretty well – outplacement usually have no contacts in any firms to fix you up (other than hr) and usually don’t understand your sector. It was always about them slapping fairy tales about people doing a career change or getting a job through Twitter – usually the person in question was a PA, where candidly a career change is not an issue. Utterly useless.

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