Career Transition and Outplacement has changed ….. or has it?

John Myers – CPI Partner – Kensington International – Chicago

Career Partners International (CPI) is one of the largest career transition and outplacement firms in the world and for over 30 years we have remained a best-kept secret. With more than 200 offices and 1000 coaches located in every imaginable global location. We support clients when they separate a single employee or are faced with a large scale layoff. The average tenure of our coaches and most of our employees is well over 10 years, so we know what it takes for a person to effectively move through a transition, conduct a job search and onboard themselves into a new role. Coaching is at the very center of our service.

For years we have sat back in amusement as other firms have maligned the need for “bricks and mortar,” and in a very traditional sense they are correct. Generally your exiting employees don’t require a computer or access to technology that requires an office location. As we all know, technology can be accessed from just about everywhere. But what they do need to do is to get out of the house, interface with people who are faced with a similar challenge, network with others and practice networking and interviewing in a real-life setting, all of which requires some place to do that. And, not every person is alike. Some people are more extroverted and comfortable getting themselves out into the world and having conversations with others as it relates to their personal and professional situation. Others are more introverted or less comfortable with the process of connecting with people and networking. And still others have a home situation that makes it very difficult to work from home and using technology from a McDonald’s or Starbucks is not always an ideal location to have the personal and professional conversations required during a transition. Unfortunately, not everything that can be accomplished through technology. And although Career Partners International has one of the most advanced and robust technologies to support a job search, our belief is that coaching and getting people out of the house is the most important part of our service. For this reason, our coaches encourage people to come to the offices, not to use a computer or sit at home and surf the Internet, but rather to energize them to do what they must do to find a new job most quickly.

The statistics are very clear in support of the Career Partners International career transition/outplacement beliefs and business proposition. Over 90% of people who were surveyed say that coaching is the most important part of the service. They want a personal relationship with a Coach who gets to know them and understand their situation. And sometimes they simply need a “hug,” which is not an emoji on an impersonal text message or email. This basic human need to have somebody who truly cares has not changed and will never change. And the other thing that has not changed in 25 years is the fact that networking represents the best way to access the hidden marketplace which is the primary way most hire the majority of their employees. Sitting back and simply using technology and responding to related job leads accesses a very small portion of the marketplace. And even though the CPI technology “pushes job leads” to our participants, it is unlikely that this service will result in the best possible next career opportunity for someone.

So …… it may sound appealing to provide your employees with a technology centered career transition/outplacement solution and it may seem logical that “brick and mortar” offices are a relic, but those claims are simply code for “we don’t want the expense of a lot of coaching or offices.” And when you hear the term “on-demand, unlimited coaching,” be aware that this means your people need to initiate contact with a Coach and the Coach does not proactively out-reach to see how a person is doing or what they need from their career transition/outplacement service. And many times, people are connecting with a different Coach every time they call. This is how our major competitors can assign their Coaches over 150 people to support in their transition ….. ludicrous!

At Career Partners International, we are a proud “bricks and mortar” company that provides proactive services to your employees we serve. So while others are wanting the market to believe that “bricks and mortar” is an old and outdated concept, we do not buy into that thinking and until the marketplace no longer requires personal interface, that will continue to be a core part of how Career Partners International delivers our services. Granted, it is not the least expensive way to help your people transition effectively and find new jobs quickly, but it continues to be the best and most effective way. This is not just our opinion, it is supported by facts and data.

Fortunately, many, many companies who are frustrated by our outplacement competitors are turning to Career Partners International as the best solution and as their best partner. Your company brand is important and the more your exiting employees feel positive about their career transition experience, the more they will be available for re-hire and will encourage others to join your organization. Personal coaching, not technology delivers this outcome.

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