June Hogan demystifying outplacement

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This month we have the first in a series of reciprocal guest blog posts from leading experts in the Barron Williams network. 

This is something we’ve wanted to do for a while, and first up we have June Hogan from Wildwood Coaching, someone who is an expert in outplacement support.

With 20 years of experience in HR, and having been involved in many restructuring exercises, along with personal experience of redundancy, June is a qualified coach who is dedicated to making outplacement support more accessible for a wider range of individuals facing job loss.

At Barron Williams, our focus is on helping organisations solve people problems and helping people find great roles and great organisations to work for. However, our clients expect candidates to be sleeves rolled up and ready to get stuck in, which can be tricky if confidence has taken a knock.

If you are affected by redundancy, then outplacement support can provide you with valuable access to resources and a support network that will help you to successfully transition to the next stage of your exec career. 

Outplacement support will not only get you focused on applying for that next role, but it will also provide valuable support to help process the emotion of redundancy and build your confidence back up.

Demystifying Outplacement Support Services

If this is your first experience of planning for redundancies and you’re looking to understand more about what Outplacement Programmes are all about, or maybe you’ve got someone going through a settlement agreement and you want to offer Outplacement Support but don’t know much about it, or maybe you’re just curious to find out more – then this is the blog for you.

In my early career, I was in the dark about Outplacement Support, I worked for a company with a Trade Union agreement for ‘no compulsory redundancies’ so I hadn’t heard of Outplacement Support as I’d not had to deal with redundancies.  There were some senior managers who took voluntary redundancy and I remember they were given a mysterious green folder, when I asked what it was for I was told in hushed tones ‘this is only something offered to senior managers’ and ‘not to be publicly talked about’.  Thankfully times have changed and this is now more widely offered to all levels of an organisation.

However, for many years I had no clue about Outplacement Support, so if this is you then you’re not alone.

What’s Outplacement Support all about?

Outplacement Support is widely regarded as a key part of the employee lifecycle and refers to a range of services provided by responsible organisations to those employees impacted by redundancy, as well as those exiting via a settlement agreement that could be leaving for other reasons. The support helps to give individuals the tools to confidently navigate the job market and transition into new roles quickly and effectively. 

Working with individuals one to one or in groups, the objective of Outplacement Support is to equip employees affected by redundancy with the skills, techniques and awareness they need to figure out what they want to do, where to find those jobs and how to ensure they give themselves the best possible chance of securing a role in a complex job market.

Outplacement Services are not just about the tactical aspects of getting out into the job market, the support is also about helping individuals to process the emotion of redundancy, build confidence and provide support at what can often be a vulnerable time in peoples’ lives.

What’s included in Outplacement Support?

One to one Career Transition Coaching

A Career Coach will help individuals work through the impact of their redundancy both emotionally and practically.  One-to-one time creates a partnership of support.  A Career Coach will seek to first understand the individual, their response to redundancy and explore their thinking about what next.  Coaches can provide a variety of support depending on individual needs, this ranges from building confidence, figuring out a plan for the future, defining personal brand, working out an authentic approach to networking, preparing for and debriefing after interviews as well as helping to prepare to start in a new role.  Redundancy can impact mental health and well-being, where this is the case and is outside the scope of Career Coaching, we work with specialists who can support clients in these areas.  Clients I’ve worked with find the one-to-one support invaluable, as well as working with a specialist in their field it’s someone objective to listen to them and work together to keep them positively moving forward.

CV writing

I’ve not come across a client yet who doesn’t want some help with their CV.  This support can vary from providing advice on an existing CV and leaving the individual to make the changes, through to reviewing, updating and providing a new CV written by a specialist.  The latter is by far the most popular in my experience, writing a CV is a daunting task for most people.  CV writers work with the individual to understand their achievements, experiences, skills and strengths as well as the type of role they’re looking for and will package all of this up in line with the latest thinking to produce a standout CV to help secure interviews.

Interview skills coaching

This can be provided as a stand-alone part of the support or by working with a Career Coach.  These sessions provide space for practising, building confidence and receiving feedback.  The coach will review all the documentation relating to the role beforehand and prepare typical questions to practice.  The coach will also provide hints, tips and techniques to help individuals do all they can to be their best.  Nearly all the clients I’ve worked with have said how much they’ve benefited from this type of support as lots haven’t had an interview in ages.

Job search support 

Knowing where and how to look for jobs isn’t something most people are familiar with, after all, if someone has been in a role for some time why would they keep up to date with the latest thinking on job hunting?  I’ve worked with lots of clients who have never had to look for a job and feel completely lost about how to approach their search.  This support ranges from general guidance, hints and tips, through to focused individual support provided over a number of months.  Looking for a job is more than just being able to use Google, it’s about exploring all the strategies, including the dreaded ‘networking’ and coming up with a plan to ensure all these avenues are maximised.

Using LinkedIn

Lots of people we’ve worked with are apprehensive about how to use LinkedIn, some through a lack of knowledge about how to get the most out of it and others because they don’t want to ‘put themselves out there’ which is entirely understandable.  LinkedIn is a powerful tool as well as the shop window that recruiters will check out as part of the recruitment process, so knowing how to leverage it is a fundamental part of a successful job search strategy.  A LinkedIn specialist will provide a full review of the current profile with step-by-step advice on how to update it and advice on how to use LinkedIn to its full advantage.

Retirement planning

Individuals who are at the end of their career and want to plan their retirement will need access to a specific suite of support.  Some will want to continue with part time work so some of the support options outlined above might work for them.  Others will want to focus on how to use their time, and of course, financial planning is key.  Financial advice is always provided by independent qualified FCA-regulated professionals, some companies will provide this support through their pension provider.  Financial planning can help to inform the other decisions about what retirement means and one-to-one or group support via a specialist Retirement Transition Coach can work through the options: how to achieve balance, understand parameters and limitations, and become clearer on what support and structures will help.

Financial planning

The first thought of most people who are placed at risk of redundancy is how will they meet their financial commitments if they lose their job.  Support with financial planning can range from taking a look at their range of financial commitments, understanding which is fixed, which can be flexed, suspended or stopped altogether and then working on a budgeting plan once redundancy figures are known.  This can be done with the support of an independent professional for a detailed review including advice, or the Career Transition Coach can provide guidance on how to approach the process without giving advice.  

Personality profiling

There is a range of tools that can provide insight into personality, core strengths, values and preferences.  This information can be invaluable when thinking about a career change or gaining insights to help when working on your personal brand, preparing to write a CV and gathering material for interviews.  Clients whose confidence has been impacted by redundancy can often find a personality profile and debrief an enlightening part of their career transition as they realise all the strengths they have to offer are still there despite their redundancy, and it’s wonderful to witness those lightbulb moments.

Who can Outplacement Support Services help?

Outplacement Support Services can help anyone impacted by redundancy.  In my early career, Outplacement Support Services were only offered to those in senior roles, thankfully times move on and now it is widely offered to individuals at all levels regardless of hierarchy.  After all, redundancy impacts everyone regardless of seniority.  We’ve supported people at all levels, from those in entry-level jobs through to those on the C Suite – it’s about tailoring the support to suit the individual and their needs.

Knowing how to look for a job and being up to date with the latest thinking on how to stand out in the job market and present yourself in the best way isn’t something people who are in jobs tend to be particularly skilled at.  This is why Outplacement Support can help anyone who is facing the loss of their job.

What next?

You won’t be surprised to hear that Outplacement Support is my specialist subject! You may not have an immediate need for outplacement support, however, once you find yourself managing a consultation process, knowing you have someone to call on is a weight off your mind. Feel free to drop me an email or pick up the phone and let me know if I can help either now or in the future.  I’d love to hear from you, and I can guarantee there won’t be any of that icky sales pitch stuff, we’ll just have a nice chat.

A bit about June Hogan & Wildwood Coaching

June Hogan, Director of Wildwood Coaching

I’m the owner and Director of Wildwood Coaching. With 20 years of experience in HR, and having been involved in many restructuring exercises, along with personal experience of redundancy, after qualifying as a coach I established Wildwood Coaching in 2019 to make outplacement support more accessible for a wider range of individuals facing job loss.

Over the years my team and I have worked with a variety of businesses from small charities to global organisations supporting individuals at all levels, including C Suite Executives.

With a team of trusted and experienced associates, we have the flexibility to accommodate large-scale projects across the UK either individually or in groups.

Email: june@wildwoodcoaching.co.uk
Phone: +44 (0) 755 291 33 81
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/junehogan
Website: www.wildwoodcoaching.co.uk

If you’re looking to work with a team dedicated to helping you find the right people to fulfil those crucial roles for your organisation, please use our Client Upload Form or call us today.

If you’re looking to find or apply for a new role, then please feel free to Upload Your CV or call us for an exploratory conversation.

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