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    The Daily Grind

    Evaluate the Price-Benefits when Considering an Outplacement Program

    In the July 7, 2009, Managing Your Career column, by Joann Lublin
    titled “More Jobless Execs Foot Their Outplace
    ment Bill” she describes
    the characteristics of comprehensive executive outplacement firms and
    believes that “jobless executives need every possible leg up in a
    fiercely co
    mpetitive job market.”

    After interviewing a
    variet
    y of Shields Meneley Partners’ clients she concludes “The firm’s
    strongest selling point? Highly personalized attention. Clients
    initially undergo a lengthy assessment with a staff ps
    ychologist.
    Assigned one of the firm’s three counselors, executives then develop a
    marketing plan, polish their resumes, practice interviewing, update
    wardrobes, enlarge professional net
    works and get “acclimation” coaching
    during their nex
    t job’s early days.”

    Wall Street
    Journal research indicates that “typical executive-level outplacement
    exceeds standard fare such as office space, resume rewrites and
    emotional support:

    • Provider specializes in serving upper management
    • Full-time counselors with small caseloads and broad business experience
    • Extensive psychological assessment
    • Customized research about potential employers
    • Introductions to a wide network of corporate leaders and directors
    • Legal advice about negotiating a new pay package

    (Source: WSJ research)

    If you are a senior
    executive going through a career transition, carefully evaluate what
    resources you will need to secure the best job. At this stage it will be
    important to obtain feedback from a variety of people, those that are
    friends and those that don’t know you well. Interview a few outplacement
    firms and consider the differentiators between the firms. Taking into
    consideration the cost-benefit ratio of the various options should be an
    important consideration. As the WSJ writer concluded, we have found
    that a comprehensive transition firm can be particularly helpful during a
    very difficult market. But, we have also seen that if you don’t know
    what you want to do next, want to change industries, title, or
    functional responsibilities the benefits will outweigh the costs of a
    comprehensive transition firm.

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