Setting the Pace for Virtual Outplacement

The pandemic has only hastened the ways in which individuals look for work after being laid off by their company. By focusing on people and technology, virtual outplacement firm Careerminds prides itself on reducing the stress of off-boarding for its clients and participants around the world. Let’s take a closer look.

March 9, 2021 – The process of looking for a new job after having been laid off has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, which has only been accelerated by the pandemic. Virtual outplacement firm Careerminds, a longtime leader in its field, has met these changing norms by focusing on two key aspects for individuals participating in its programs – the people and the technology.

“On the people side, programs in the past have generally been time bound,” said Careerminds founder and chief executive officer Raymond Lee. “One of the key components about our contemporary model is that we work with participants through the entire process. We provide proactive outreach, proactive coaching, all the way until the participant lands in their new job. As for technology, we’ve incorporated artificial intelligence and machine learning into the process, which really has an impact and provides a dynamic user experience for the participant who’s going through a career transition.” It is a contemporary model that aligns with current job search norms.

A big part of Careerminds’ ability to better serve its clients during the challenges of the past year has been that it’s been a virtual company since its beginnings 13 years ago. “When March 16 of 2020 hit and companies were disrupted by not being able to go into the office and everyone was now virtual and everyone was getting Zoom and subscriptions and all that stuff, as a company we were already operating virtually,” said Mr. Lee. “And, so, we didn’t miss a beat in terms of how we sell and how we deliver our services to our clients as well as to our participants who are going through a career transition. Our business didn’t experience any impact, and at the same time we responded to the economy in terms of providing support to employees who went on furlough as well as ones who were laid off.”

The crisis also helped to strengthen Careerminds’ partnership with its clients beyond just their immediate needs. “Because of the pandemic and how the world of work has changed and become more remote, it created an opportunity for us to have meaningful conversations with our market buyers – HR and procurement buyers of outplacement – that the world of work has changed even more now since 2020,” said Mr. Lee. “We’re finding that our buyers are willing to have a conversation with us about their strategy for outplacement going forward and making sure that is aligned with their overall talent strategy.”

Easing the Stress

Careerminds is a global outplacement provider. With a platform that includes over 50 languages, in major markets around the world, the firm serves the outplacement needs of all levels of salaried professionals, from administrative assistant to CEO. Its clients generally come from 10 to 12 industry sectors, including financial services, banking, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, technology and software, media and entertainment, aerospace and defense, and oil and gas.

Achieving Successful Outplacement & Off-Boarding

In this brand new episode of ‘Talent Talks,’ Hunt Scanlon Media host Rob Adams is joined by Raymond Lee, CEO of Careerminds which provides outplacement services to clients globally. Mr. Lee joins the show to discuss how Careerminds is changing the outplacement game and what HR leaders should consider when off-boarding employees. Listen Now!

Careerminds’ mission is to ease the stress for its clients and participants who are going through a difficult period. “Everyone knows when you’re laid off, it’s one of the biggest stressors and one of the things that we focus on is helping participants get market-ready faster,” said Mr. Lee.

“We do all the heavy lifting,” said Mr. Lee. “We recognize that that stress is a burden on our participants. So, we’re writing the resume. We’re writing the LinkedIn profile in a very short period of time after they start in our program. That allows participants in a very quick timeframe to get them market ready faster so they can get their resume out to job boards, to start their social networking with other people in the market, and also have recruiters finding them on LinkedIn. This heavy lifting approach allows our participants to really focus on getting their dream job.”

Mr. Lee points out that 70 percent of jobs are filled through networking. “And, so, one of the things that we focus on is around social learning, giving participants that opportunity to network with other participants who are also going through the program anywhere in the world,” he said. For the 30 percent that are involved in direct application, Careerminds provides artificial intelligence and machine learning to connect participants to the jobs that they want to apply to.

A Job in Under 12 Weeks

Careerminds’ priority is on helping participants get results, as well as their experience using the platform. “We really focus on the participants’ results where they’re able to land in jobs in under 12 weeks,” said Mr. Lee. “Now, this impact and these results directly relate to the client and their success. So our focus is on things like off-boarding, cost savings, brand protection, all of those things tied to the client’s result.”

“One of the methods that we provide our clients is we give our CHROs and  business leaders full transparency to all of the activities and  successes that we’re having with their employees, so they can literally see job placement, engagement rates, and survey feedback for any employee who’s going through any career transition program,” he added.

Related: HR Leaders Thrust into the Spotlight Once Again in 2021

One key differentiator for Careerminds is that it provides unlimited coaching support to participants until they find their next job. “The industry over the last 30 years has primarily structured programs to be one month, three months, six months and 12 months,” said Mr. Lee. “At the end of that period you no longer have access, your program ends. Early on we said we’re getting rid of all the time-bound programs, and we’re going to provide complete unlimited support. We don’t have real estate; we’re primarily virtual; so, we can bring more value to the participants’ experience.”

Part of the Talent Life Cycle

In today’s work-world environment, off-boarding is an essential ingredient to a company’s brand, said Mr. Lee. By way of an example, he spoke of an insurance company client who recently told him that this summer the business would be instituting a “Work from Anywhere” initiative, in which employees will be able to work remotely, from virtually anywhere on Earth. “Think about the impact that that will have for off-boarding,” said Mr. Lee.

Over the years of running Careerminds, Mr. Lee was successful in recruiting industry experts to his board of directors. Jack Gavin, former president of Right Management, joined Careerminds as an investor and chairman. Ray Bixler, CEO of SkillSurvey, joined the board shortly after. In 2020, Karen O’Boyle, who has significant experience in the human capital management and outplacement industries, joined the Careerminds’ board. This expertise Mr. Lee has assembled well positions the company to be a game changer in the market.

“And what is really interesting in this example is that it’s an insurance company that’s going completely remote. It’s not a tech company like Facebook or Twitter. This is an organization that’s incredibly traditional. And that speaks volumes about how the world of work is changing and how off-boarding needs to be part of the talent strategy in terms of how employees are leaving the company.”

It is that type of change that makes a virtual, global outplacement provider like Careerminds even more attractive to clients. “When you talk about employee experience, off-boarding and outplacement, you want a partner who aligns with your goals, the results,  and your company values,” said Mr. Lee. “Off-boarding must be taken as part of the talent life cycle, as part of that employee experience journey.”

“In closing, many companies spend a lot of energy on talent acquisition, onboarding, talent management but to the extent that you have an effective off-boarding experience, a very human experience, when employees leave the company, that’s really going to have a direct impact on your company’s overall brand and your bottom line.”

Related: Keys to Leading Your Remote Teams

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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