Monday, August 10, 2015

What is a Career Transition Service?

In my 20 plus years working with half a dozen companies and organizations, never have I encountered the terms Career Transition Service (CTS) and Outplacement Program. Have I known that there is such a thing, I could have asked about it along with all the countless interviews I went through all those years. Apparently, with all the Human Resource (HRs) Department of companies I worked with, a CTS service has never been a part of the benefits /assistance employees receive in anyone of them. 

Last week, I was invited to attend a very intimate round table discussion with a company called LEE HECHT HARRISON (LHH), which offers an exceptional HR “extension” service to companies that will undergo significant changes in their organization and that will greatly impact their employees. Institutional mergers, downsizing, organizational restructuring, redundancy or anything that will require laying off of employees are just some of the reasons that may cause these changes.

Mr. Vincent Kilayko, Managing Director, LHH

This particular media discussion was quite different from the usual media events I normally go to. The discussion was more of a simulation on what a group of employees can experience in the process of CTS itself. So, to simulate the actual program, we were asked several questions about our previous employment backgrounds. I was so surprised that many of the bloggers present, including myself, underwent less-than ideal experiences during our employment years that led to leaving the life of the corporate world and making career shifts.

Ms. Jo Ann Rosary Asetre, Operations Director, LHH

A normal duration of an outplacement program can range from one month to as long as one year. The services of LHH covers Manager Notification Training (MNT) which helps companies prepare for the “Tell-Day”, by insuring that the message is delivered properly and the affected employee’s self respect is upheld. This involves strategies in how to communicate to employees -- both the impacted ones and even to those who are not affected.

LHH assigns Career/counseling consultants that assist a Company’s HR during the “Tell-Day” on-site (work area). The LHH Consultant also helps in absorbing the initial and emotional reactions of impacted employees. These Consultants are in a much better position to empathize effectively compared to company’s own HR. After which, the consultant will lead these employees to the next steps of the process, including the approach on how to break the news to family members and friends. 

A typical perception that these impacted employees share is thinking that the reason why they were laid-off is because they were not good enough. That is why part of the CTS program is the evaluation of employee’s skills and values where they can have a clear assessment of themselves and the type of career they want to engage into after.

Part of our simulation was the Bridge Mayer Test. This test evaluates one's personality type. Personality varies from being an introvert or an extrovert, from Thinking to a Feeling type, etc. Through the series of table activities and questionnaires, each of us derived our own personality definitions and mine is ENFP. It stands for Extrovert, Intuition, Feeling and Perceiving.   

These simple exercises are just one of the series of activities CTS can help an employee transition to his or her next career. Another part of the program is the Resume Writing Sessions where participants will be taught on how to effectively package themselves specifically fit to the positions they want to apply for.  A chronological resume may not be as effective anymore, now that many of the participants have already gained considerable amount of accomplishments over the years in his or her professional career and flaunting all those achievements, which some may not be as relevant to the post you're applying for, might turn-off a Recruitment Officer. Learning to write a career-specific resume gives a better chance of a good evaluation and, eventually, landing a position that is job-fit for the applicant.

As much as the program of LHH will help people position themselves for their next career, LHH is not a head hunting outfit although it shares to its participants leads to some job vacancies available where they can apply. This program is a good opportunity to assess an individual’s employability in the job market with the help of LHH career consultants. According to their statistics, people who are in the program find their next job 50% much faster. In a nutshell, the outplacement program bridges the gap between careers.

Right after our short CTS session, I’m so convinced that an outplacement program is something that every company should integrate in their institutional policy. Employees getting laid-off because of an industrial downsizing or organizational restructuring are never an employee’s fault, but such changes are inevitable. The least a sound management can do, to show credit to an impacted employee’s years of loyal service, is to break it to them gently and offer them a venue and opportunity to prepare themselves transitioning to their next career. Because behind the careers that these companies will be terminating are employees who have exemplified years of loyal service. And the impact of such changes is not only on the employees themselves but will resonate to families who are dependent on them.


LEE HECHT HARRISON is the global talent mobility leader. We connect people to jobs through innovative career transition services and help individuals improve performance through career and leadership development. The business had its birth in the United States in 1967. It now has more than 300 offices in 63 countries and 90 offices in the US. 

In the Philippines, LHH started in 2001 as DBM. In 2011, LHH and DBM joined together and today is known as LHH Philippines. Locally, LHH and DBM have served more than 5,000 people in transition to over 100 companies. LHH Philippines has supported various types of companies within the industry of FMCG & Consumer Goods, Bank and Financial Institutions, BPO & Shared Services, Telecom, Pharmaceuticals, Oil & Gas, Logistics and Semiconductor. 

Office Address: 12/F Pacific Star Building, Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
Phone number: (+632) 8116884

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