Outplacement Approaches: Blending People and Technology

November 05, 2020 by Josh Hrala

There are many different types of outplacement approaches that firms can take to get participants back to work in a new, meaningful role. However, one of the best ways of doing so is to take a blended approach, which combines people and technology to give the participant the best of both worlds.

The history of outplacement is riddled with numerous outplacement approaches. Long ago, for example, outplacement depended on people to meet face-to-face – typically in group sessions – with coaches who would address their questions.

Next came the virtual approach, which saw many participants using self-guided tools online instead of coaching to meet their needs.

Both of these have their flaws. The best outplacement approach is one that combines the power of face-to-face coaching (even over video calling) and harnesses the power of the internet to not make the outplacement process less human, but to give more control to the participant, cut their commute times, and – in today’s world – keep them safe.

In this blog, we’ll go over these outplacement approaches in more detail and explain how a blended approach is the best solution for participants. Let’s dive right in.

Outplacement Approaches: The Group Session

The first outplacement approach we’ll cover is the group session approach. This approach was often taken back when outplacement was in its infancy and the internet was still something new.

Basically, group outplacement is when a firm holds a seminar for participants, usually located at their offices. These offices are generally located in larger cities, meaning that participants would more often than not have to travel to and from these sessions to get support.

While the commute definitely creates a barrier for participants, the real downside to this outplacement approach is that it’s impersonal. When participants are grouped together and basically treated like cattle, they never get the one-on-one support they need. After all, all job searches are different and all take varying amounts of time and planning to succeed.

Outplacement approaches like this one have fallen out of favor mainly for this reason. The commute, like mentioned above, is also a huge issue if a participant lives far away, is interviewing and cannot make the designated time slot, or even has a second job that is filling the financial hole left by their previous job loss.

In short, the group outplacement approach is too rigid, especially in today’s world where most job searching – and jobs themselves – happens solely online.

Outplacement Approaches: The Self-Guided Virtual Approach

The second outplacement approach is the self-guided virtual approach. This approach is the sole opposite of the group setting approach.

Instead of going into a city to receive support, this approach allows participants to basically ‘choose their own adventure’ by providing them with tools via an online platform. While this does have it’s benefits, such as flexibility when it comes to timing and no commuting requirements, it’s also impersonal.

Outplacement Approaches

In fact, this could be one of the most impersonal outplacement approaches because at least with the group-setting the participants get to be face-to-face with an expert and also meet their peers going through the program.

The self-guided outplacement approach is also often cheaper, which makes it more alluring for procurement experts when shopping for an outplacement provider. However, that doesn’t mean it is the best solution for those actually going through the process.

Outplacement Approaches: The Blended Approach

The third outplacement approach is a blended one. As you can see in the examples above, the one thing outplacement truly has to be is personal.

The blended approach to outplacement provides dedicated, one-on-one coaching that allows participants to get the support they need no matter what type, level, or seniority level they may have.

This type of outplacement forgoes the group setting for a more personalized approach that aims to understand the exact needs of each individual, tailoring the process to meet their needs and not the needs of the outplacement provider.

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For example, some participants may need help networking more than they need help interviewing. In a group setting, participants are likely getting the same info regardless of whether or not they can make use of it.

The blended approach to outplacement also uses the internet to connect people instead of divide them. The internet cancels out the need to commute to meet with a coach face-to-face, while also enabling participants to gain access to eLearning tools, social networks, webinars hosted by job search experts, and much more.

Basically, the blended approach takes all of the good things from the other two approaches and cuts out the bad things. What you’re left with is an outplacement approach that is impersonal, connected, and robust for all participants.

Careerminds Blended Outplacement Approach: People + Technology

At Careerminds, we offer a holistic, virtual outplacement solution that is completely personalized to the participant. Our expert coaches work with participants one-on-one to understand their needs, a professional resume writer helps highlight skillsets, and our LinkedIn experts help optimize profiles.

Once these steps are complete, the participant works with their coach to establish goals and processes that will help them land their next meaningful role or career move. During this process, the participant will continue meeting with their coach but will also have access to a digital platform that allows them to learn all about the modern-day job search.

These tools include online classes, eLearning tools, a built-in social network that connects fellow job seekers, access to webinars, and much more.

Careerminds also works with participants until they land a new role. Gone are the days of term limits where participants were expected to land in a new role based on an arbitrary time frame. Different people have different needs and outplacement should be flexible to allow any and all participants to succeed.

In summary, our approach is a blended one that puts people first and uses technology to aid the process by making support easier to receive whenever the participant needs it. Learn more about our approach to outplacement here:

Download the pricing information for our outplacement programs here.

Outplacement Approaches: The Final Say

In the end, there are many outplacement approaches for you to consider when shopping for a provider.

The best approach is the one that will take into account the differences job seekers may have. Outplacement approaches need to be personal and easy to access. If they are impersonal, the participant may not receive the correct level of support or receive support in the wrong areas, which is a waste of precious time. If the program isn’t easily accessible, participants may not use the program, which is a waste of time and money.

The blended approach is the best bet for the modern-day job seeker. It enables a people-first approach that is backed up by modern technology that helps eliminate barriers that have long plagued the outplacement space.

Josh Hrala

Josh Hrala

Josh is an HR journalist and ghostwriter who's been covering outplacement and offboarding for over six years. Before pivoting to the HR world, he was a science journalist whose work can be found in Popular Science, ScienceAlert, The Huffington Post, Cracked, Modern Notion, and more.

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