I am very much thankful to HRShapers who gave me opportunity to present Outplacement as a topic and it was definitely a great learning experience apart from sharing. I am picking the questions and answers of the session in some relevant answers in this blog. There are more than 50 questions were answered and this this part I am covering 15 questions. Look forward to share more later.
1. What should be criteria while selecting employees for outplacement.
GR: There should be a policy for outplacement as an organization. In many cases organization would have a policy and process pre-defined as part of the Business Process. In case that’s not available, usually the impacting part of the organization when people have to be made redundant to be reviewed. One of the important part in deciding is to see if they can be repositioned elsewhere before outplacement decision.
2. Normally companies and individuals never think about outplacement when any situation arising.... why is that so? what's future of outplacement? Does outplacement provide give options to chose quality vs quantity to select the best
GR: Since outplacement is not a regular practice and not as a key function of HR so far hence the quick reaction in many times. I see the future more and more people experience the positive outcomes on outplacement in building their careers, it would have a positive impact and adapted by HR and People in companies. The service definitely help the candidate an opportunity to choose what is good for them and pickup based with the support of coach.
3. What are the conditions of outplacement and benefits, if a company goes for outplacement.
GR: For most of the organizations its a best practice to provide an assistance to the employees. Since it significantly impacts individual and their dependents. Every organization goes through the tough times and have to take redundancy decisions to stay fit as organization in the interest of the larger employees who are not effected. The employer branding is retained even though if they have to let go of people for business reasons. That would help people to join back if required and also refer more people for such company.
4. How is HR looking at outplacement in India.??
GR: In India the exposure and also the knowledge for HR professionals is limited unless someone would have handled in their previous assignments. But there is an awareness that it is not just placing but a whole lot of process for effective implementation and building employer brand. Yes, we are moving ahead and would catchup as a key function of people management. Efforts of Husys is to ensure that the HR professionals are updated on the process and expertise.
5. Please let us know under what circumstances the organisation decides to take the outplacement route! What are the key triggers?
GR: As explained the organization as part of the business decisions would take the route of Outplacement. Due to market, internal changes and also based on some mergers and acquisitions these situations may force organization to re-look at the people deployment and identify redundancies if any.
6. Internal Deployment : Would like your view and experience on : During outplacement activity have you come across a request from the org management to develop a career transition ( redeploying them to other line of business ) for employees. If yes can u share your exp and any challenges u would have faced.
GR: Yes, there were some requests but in India we have not handled yet. However, some part of UK our partners handled such needs and world over its one of the key function. That would be more like a consulting engagement in identification and coupled with re-deployment.
As a key function of HR it is always the first choice to choose using the skills in other functions/departnements or Units. This will help to balance the aspirations and also the need of organization.
7. How many ways the Outplacement can be provided ?
GR : Two ways : 1st When few people of the organization is chosen to transition - in such cases assign the individual coach and give transition plan. This is applicable for few handful number of people to be outplaced.
2nd : Group transition situation : one can create an Outplacement Centre can be created inside the organization and help the individuals effected (possible when a unit is getting closed etc.,)
8. Do you see any conflict in same person or agency doing out placement and regular placements for competitors ?
GR: That's the reason Outplacement Agencies can not be Recruitment Agencies. Also usual thinking that Recruitment Agencies to Outplacement which is wrong and can lead to such confusions. An outplacement agency identify and work with Recruitment agencies based on the specific need of the individual or a group if required, which all the due diligence is taken care
9. How what are generally the time period, clauses of outplacement policy.
GR: The time lines are purely dependent on the level of the employee to be outplaced. In Lower the position less the time like 1-3 months. Senior the position higher the time lines anywhere between 3-18 months.
10. Didn't know about outplacement provider...is it a consultant who will chalk out the entire plan? In my organisation, we in HR managed it ourselves with the help of line and top management
GR: Usually that's the case... But the bandwidth to do a good job may suffer. So its a one stop support a provider can create. As they would have setup earlier in terms of coaches from various fields etc., An outplacement agency can bring the expertise of building the entire plan, communication which is very important and also the execution skills to improve the efficiency of the process. It also works well for employer branding.
11. What shud be basis do org select persons for outplacement...N after impact on existing employees and how can as HR justify the right selection
GR: The parameters may be business impact and the positions are made redundant, Also that they cannot be relocated into other function and department. Also you may consider how to re-skill if required. After all these you may find the final list for outplace and declare redundant. This exercise would help you to show that you have done a good job of all options. Hence existing employees would appreciate the same including the affected employees.
12. In one of the medium size IT co, during 2000-01 recession, HR did this this activity...
By keeping employee on roll post their notice period, till they got job or upto max 6 months.
HR using their personal contacts to place people. It was quite successful. Employees appreciated this.Mgt had spoken openly what lead to this situation and explored all situations.
GR: Its called as Garden Leave. The person may not attend the office but on roles till such a point, during that time he/she can find a job. This need to be supplemented with support outplacement so that its effective. In 2001 yes that was the best thing that they could do and definitely we must appreciate them.
13. GR: Ho do you Choose a Vendor ?
Most critical task. Some of the Key parameters to review :
- Expertise of the Agency/Institution proposed to be a Outplacement Group ( Most common mistake is to handover to Recruitment agency - which may not be right fit. As they would have only limited requirements to make revenue at any point. Org. should have as many options to reach job market for the Candidates/coachees.)
- Most important is the Network of Professionals that they have in the specific Industry.
- Ability to support incubating the business for people who are effected or atleast have right connections to help (Startup India & Standup India).
- Ability to have or to reach the right coaches from specific Industry/Function with market understanding.
- Do they have experience in handling the outplacement in formalway
- Ability to integrate external agencies to support various stages of transition support.
- Ability to provide a TECHNOLOGY for career transition supportReach and the ability of the Coaches
- Ability to find alternative mechanisms for employee during the transition
14. As HR how do you think this area can be implemented in our business HR portfolio and how will the outcome of outplacement be measured.. Also what are the skills required in all of us to implement in our organization
GR: Thank you for the question. I have mentioned earlier on the various parameters of measurement of success. however, some of the skills of the vendors be useful for HR professionals to be effective or bring those synergies togather.
15. How different would outplacement be from the routine HR function, I mean HR is responsible for this within the organisation for change management.
GR: Your question related to regular HR function. Outplacement is the key job role for HR function and is useful during the transition of organizational growth/decline. Like any other function its important to know, prepare and execute when needed.