Workplace Flexibility Meets Virtual Outplacement

July 07, 2014 by Raymond Lee

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Employees continue to look for more workplace flexibility over high salaries and bonuses, as reported by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Families and Work Institute.   The 2014 National Study of Employers examined workplace changes since the depths of the recession in 2008 and found that policies offering workers more flexibility on when and where they can work are increasing. For example, two-thirds of survey respondents (67 percent) reported that they offered employees options to work virtually, which is an increase of 17 percentage points when compared to a similar survey conducted six years earlier. 


Workplace Flexibility Meets Virtual Outplacement

Thanks to the steady and exciting boom in technology, everything that can go virtual, is. “Technological advances and demographic shifts in the workforce are changing where, when, and how work gets done,” said Lisa Horn, director of congressional affairs at SHRM.

The shift in workplace flexibility and employee work habits translate well to the virtual outplacement model. Today’s job seeker, who is familiar with workplace flexibility and working virtually, will work comfortably in a virtual outplacement environment when the career coaching is done over the phone versus in-person.

The blending of outplacement services with technology to bring displaced employees virtual outplacement, also makes it more affordable and more convenient than traditional outplacement services, and therefore, an all around attractive option for employers and transitioning employees.

Keeping the Human in Virtual Outplacement

Virtual outplacement doesn’t mean web-based no career coaching outplacement. Because it is called “virtual” outplacement, most people make assumptions about the quality and personalization of these services. Virtual does not mean, no one-on-one. The right virtual outplacement service should offer the assistance of professional career coaches. Furthermore, these coaches should be as industry specific as possible. Someone needing placement in the healthcare industry will have significantly different needs than someone in Retail or Financial Services. Additionally, be sure that whatever outplacement firm you choose, assigns coaches as closely to their participants as possible. Different locations can mean different salaries, expectations, and industry standards.

Interactions with coaches can happen via whichever medium is easiest for the transitioning employee; this can be over the phone, email, web or chat-based coaching. The virtual career coach guides each participant through all steps and services of their tailored program.

When virtual outplacement is done correctly, it combines the best of both worlds. You can have the personalization of a coach, and the convenience and user-friendly aspects of virtual outplacement tools and services.

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee is the President of Careerminds, a global outplacement company based in Wilmington, Delaware. He has over 20 years of human resource, outplacement, and career consulting experience. He has his bachelor’s in psychology and holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech University. He is active in SHRM and ATD. Raymond’s been featured on SiriusXM Business Radio, CareerTalk, and the Wall Street Journal and he’s published a book titled, Clocking Out: A Stress-Free Guide to Career Transitions.

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