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What If We Rethink Outplacement as Redeployment

Outplacement is one of the hardest decisions that a business has to make. Downsizing one or one hundred people is difficult. Almost always outplacement is thought of as an event where notice is given, career transition services are provided and the event is closed.

What if we rethink how outplacement is done and think of it as a redeployment of assets from Point A (former company) to Point B (new opportunity)?

At The Frontier Group we provide outplacement services to companies in Atlanta, Charlotte and the Southeast USA. We work with companies and individuals who are dealing with some tough real world decisions:

Organizations who need to find cost savings in a challenging business environment where they have to choose from options that will all have negative consequences (do we cut costs by reducing headcount or R&D?).

Individuals who have their lives and careers turned upside down by now being in transition. They are now trying to balance financial, family, career and personal esteem issues faced by being out of work.

This is the environment that an outplacement firm like The Frontier Group operates. We are brought in to help organizations professionally and compassionately manage their downsizing while also being the career transition consultants who will now help the impacted employees get their careers back on track.

I have recently been involved with several projects where we were brought in to deliver career transition services to employees while they were still employed at their current company. We were operating within a three month window where we are targeting to find the employees new positions before they officially leave the organization. This type of assignment is actually both challenging and uplifting because we are trying to deliver a seamless transition for the impacted employees – moving them from Point A to Point B.

This led me to think – how can we create more outplacement programs where the purpose is redeployment? The short answer is that I believe we can in some measures. While some outplacement decisions will need to be confidential I believe that more can be done to create redeployment programs where career transition services can be provided while the candidate is still working. The company will benefit because:

The employee will not be on unemployment – lowering costs.

The stress of the career transition can be minimized because the employee still has positive cash flow and a record of being employed.

The employee can still be a productive contributor.

While the redeployment option will not universally take over the way outplacement is delivered today we can only hope that more organizations will explore it as an option.