The World is changing very quickly and so is the labourmarket. In this blog, Tony de Bree explains why traditional outplacement programs and activities do not work anymore, based on his own experiences and of the senior managers and executives he works with as an advisor, trainer and personal and business coach.
What is traditional outplacement?
The original definition (from Wikipedia) of ‘outplacement’ is:
‘the provision of assistance to redundant employees in finding new employment, either as a benefit provided by the employer directly, or through a specialist service.’
I assisted many employees and managers when I was working at ABN Amro (see here) during different types or reorganization and restruturing programs as global change manager to find another position inside and outside the company. And in the old days, that often worked fine.It was in a number of industries including in Banking and in Financial Services in general relatively easy to find the same position on the same level in your own industry or in another industry. Independent of age, level of education or experience.
From labourmarket to workmarket.
However, that situation has drastically changed, especially for people over 45 with a lot of experience and higher education in for instance Banking & Finance, as I experienced myself when I left ABN Amro Bank (see here) 7 years ago. Because of IT, sourcing can be done worldwide and because of a number of trends, the labourmarket has turned into ‘a workmarket’. Including with short projects, short assignments, flexible contracts and ‘gigs’ in the gig-economy. Finding work, projects and gigs in that new (international) workmarket requires completely different soft and hard skills than that most highly educated executives, senior managers and middle managers currently have.
What has changed in many countries and especially in The Netherlands is that large financial institutions including large banks and insurance companies have been laying off thousands of experienced and highly educated people since a number of years. In the past, employees with often a low level of education were made redundant, but now that also applies to executives, senior managers and highly experienced and educated middle management.
Is traditional outplacement completely dead?
Does that mean that nobody finds a new similar position anymore and that traditional outplacement activities are completely useless? Of course not,that still happens as we also see in the different ‘digital leadership’ programs I have co-designed and propose with a number of partners including Holtrop Ravesloot. But then these activities become and integral part of what I call ‘outplacement 2.0’ next to a wide range of possible other activities. What that is, ‘outplacement 2.0’. Read the next blog here.
Tony de Bree