Labor forecasts indicate that as many as 2 million workers could be laid off in 2023. The root cause is the COVID-fueled economic whiplash as Corporations jettisoned workers in the early days of COVID and then over-hired when the demand returned.Now with nagging inflation and slow growth, companies are rethinking payrolls and planning corporate layoffs.
What Are Outplacement Services?
For decades, companies executing a Reduction In Force (RIF) have relied on traditional outplacement services to support laid-off workers through this employment transition.
Although traditional outplacement services provide helpful services for laid-off professionals, their effectiveness continues to wane. Succeed On Purpose CEO Terri Maxwell, who co-authored The New World of Work (2013 and 2023 Editions), noted, "Traditional outplacement services are no longer effective. First, over 50% of the available jobs are freelance, and most outplacement services don't know how to train workers to find these jobs."
Maxwell's point is supported by the fact that 41% of freelancers find work through past clients. If someone doesn't have an established network, they'll need specific training on how to build and grow a freelance business.
Maxwell added, "Second, professionals want to transition to roles that give them location-flexibility and meaningful work. Most professionals will use this layoff to springboard to meaningful work. Outplacement Firms don't have programs suited to helping workers transition from "what they know how to do" to " work they WANT to do."
The Future of Outplacement Services
With almost 15 years of experience training professionals to transition from Corporate work to purposeful entrepreneurship, Succeed On Purpose was approached by one of our clients to customize an Outplacement Program for a Reduction In Force.
"We approached the project from a new perspective," Maxwell said. Rather than focusing on how to help laid-off workers replace the job they had, we helped them define the kind of work they really preferred. We asked probing questions about their passions, work location, and the type of company culture they were seeking. Once they had a definition of a NEW role, we showed them our 5-step process for getting hired for the role they want. The results were amazing."
The most notable part of the project was helping many workers migrate from traditional W2 work to freelance roles.
Maxwell explained, "We designed a Career Persona Tool that helps professionals define their preferred work style. Many were surprised to find that they were naturally suited for entrepreneurship. Once they opened up to that path, they quickly learned how to find freelance work opportunities and quickly replaced their income."
Maybe the future of work is freelance, and we strongly believe it can also be work based on who someone is and what they are passionate about.
Ease Employees' Transition with Purposeful Outplacement Services
Leadership decisions that require displacement of employees is never an easy choice. In today’s world, laid-off employees are entering an entirely different workforce and may need vastly different skills to be competitive. Leaders should ease the transition by offering employees an outplacement service that is far more effective than what's found in a traditional severance package.
Succeed On Purpose's Outplacement Program trains laid-off workers to rethink their careers based on their strengths, passions, gifts, purpose, and Career Persona. Our programs include options to help workers start a freelance business or find meaningful work as they refine their skills.