Not all Outplacement and Career Transition Service Providers are the same. To ensure a proper fit for both your company and transitioning employees, consider the following questions:
1. What services are provided?
Having a specialized career coach and outplacement professional to partner with and to help guide your employee through unfamiliar territory can greatly reduce his or her job search time. Ask about experience writing engineering and architectural resumes that are keyword optimized. Ask if the agency offers LinkedIn optimization, as well as creating a professional brand that gives a large audience exposure to other engineers and architects. Ask the potential firm if there will be coaching sessions, classes, webinars and trainings on how to prepare for the rigors of a successful interview.
2. Are the provider’s services generalized or specialized?
Many outplacement and career transition firms are generalists. They work across all industries from retail, to pharmaceutical to manufacturing. Other outplacement providers are highly specialized, focusing only on a handful of specialties. Lower skilled, or entry level workers can benefit from a generalist whereas an engineer or architect may want to seek out the services of a career transition specialist dedicated to that field.
3. What are the career coaches’ backgrounds and location?
Your transitioning employees all have unique and diverse backgrounds. You’ll want to choose a service that offers a diverse and relatable coaching professional. Ask about the firm’s coaching and career transition specialists’ background. Are they familiar with your company’s specialty? Do they understand your industry? Are they based in the United States or in your country and in a way that allows them to have knowledge about your employees’ target markets?
4. Does the firm have deep industry connections?
A firm’s industry connections are critical when it comes to the job search process. Ask questions to determine if the firm can offer connections to hiring managers and decision makers within your industry. If you are an engineering or architectural firm, does this outplacement provider have deep contacts and experience catering to the unique needs of engineers and architects? Ask what tools and technology the outplacement firm offers to ensure that you are putting your exiting employees in the best possible position to secure their next roles.
Choosing the right outplacement and career transitioning provider is not a one size fits all approach. Talk to several vendors, probe deep into their background, specialty, capabilities and skills. Look up their Google ratings and do research. And finally, ask for their track record of results. An outplacement firm should be ready to show you that they are capable of getting your laid off employees back to work quickly and make their transition as painless and smooth as possible.