No place like home

Jun 29 2007 by Nic Paton Print This Article

The idea that workers who have lost or left their jobs are happy to travel anywhere to find new work is a myth – in fact the vast majority will do their utmost to ensure they don't have to uproot themselves or their family.

Nearly nine out of 10 workers – 86 per cent – will stay in the same community after they have left their organisations, according to a poll by U.S consultancy Right Management.

There has also been a profound shift in how workers and employers use outplacement services to help them find a new job, the survey of 21,000 workers in 19 countries concluded.

Such services have traditionally been brought in as a one-off for workers who have been laid off or for people wanting to move their career up a gear.

Now, though, the focus is much more on the outplacement service providing support throughout a worker's career, even after they have been successful in finding work.

Outplacement services are increasingly turning their hand to helping people set up by themselves or even change career direction completely, it also found.

Similarly, just as commitment to corporate social responsibility has become more important to workers and job-seekers, so it has moved higher up the outplacement agenda, too, said Douglas J. Matthews, Right Management president and chief operating officer.

"Organisations are seeking a new outplacement model that creates a shared partnership between employer and provider and satisfies a growing demand to demonstrate elevated socially responsible and compassionate behaviour," he said.

"Employers are seeking outplacement partners that share a greater sense of social responsibility and moral obligation to support separated employees through to successful outcomes," he added.

In fact, some 85 per cent of organisations now considered CSR to be "a critical component" when it came to choosing an outplacement provider.

Organisations increasingly looked for outplacement services that were aligned socially and ethically with their own core values and that stayed connected with individuals, whether it was helping them to secure a new job, start a business or explore totally different work-life options, said Matthews.

There was also a greater emphasis on providing and delivering services that offered more choice and had a more personalised approached, he added.

The key was to engage separated employees more quickly, so there was a faster connection between their departure and the start of any outplacement service, with the focus very much on results rather than on the outplacement process.

"Helping individuals address change aligns with organisations' own core values about how to treat people," said Matthews.

"Employers want to help their former employees transition to successful career objectives fastest with the least disruption possible," he added.