Innovation and noise in outplacement: know the difference

JC Townend

Chief Executive Officer

Innovation;A word used by virtually all organisations in their sales and marketing materials. It’s almost a cliché to say you’re innovative or are offering innovative or cutting-edge solutions. And the outplacement industry is no different. So why are we joining the throngs and promoting our innovative credentials?

Because not all innovation is created equal

We’ve all seen innovation for the sake of innovation. My personal favourite is the Nissin Ramen Fork, a fork fitted with noise-cancelling technology that, when connected to a mobile app, emits a sound at a certain wavelength to drown out the socially-unacceptable sound of noodle slurping. Thankfully most of these innovation for innovation sake “developments” rarely gain traction. Sadly, the Ramen Fork is no longer being made to the sadness of noodle slurpers everywhere.

Just because something can be digitalised, doesn’t mean it should be. Outplacement is no different

The decreasing cost of technology means that it’s now feasible to introduce some form of it into most processes. But just because something can be automated, digitised or connected to the internet, doesn’t mean it should be or that people want it to be. Only innovation that solves a problem or a need, enhances an experience or adds extra value can truly be described as innovative; the rest, like the Ramen Fork risk becoming just gimmicky noise.

In our experience, technological-based innovation alone often isn’t enough to meet the innovation criteria in the outplacement world. Yes, technology innovations are important. They can help organisations offer outplacement to more of their employees. They can help employees find roles faster and quicker in their now rapidly digitised job search. And they can help employers track the effectiveness of the outplacement programmes they’ve invested in. It’s why we’ve invested heavily in R and D in recent years and introduced new technologies into our delivery models such as digital career agents, virtual careers fairs, search and match technologies, digital talent portals and virtual learning centres.

Technology doesn’t deal with emotions. Humans do

But technology alone isn’t enough. Not when it comes to outplacement. Employees that are accessing outplacement support are often in a challenging situation. Regardless of whether the redundancy news is anticipated or not, people experience a range of feelings. Whilst some may view it as an opportunity to rethink their career options, most in the very early stages of their transition experience feelings of shock, anger, confusion and worry. No piece of technology will be as effective as an expert consultant in career transition in helping someone understand, process and manage their emotions and eventually harness these in a positive way to launch their next career move.

It’s why more than 75% of people say their
face-to-face time with a career coach is the
most important part of a programme

Humans + technology = innovation that makes a difference

The best innovations, the innovations that make the most difference, come when technology is seamlessly woven into a process to make the user experience better. We know from our clients that the best element of the outplacement experience, the component that they value the most, is the human interaction and connection. It stands to reason therefore that the best innovations in outplacement are those that seamlessly combine this human touch with the latest technology.

It’s why in the last year, we’ve introduced a Digital Talent Exchange AND dedicated Talent Connectors. Our Digital Talent Exchange gives hiring managers the first look at profiles of talented employees leaving the world’s leading companies. Notifications are sent to talent acquisition professionals when transitioning talent matches their job profiles. The Digital Talent Exchange is updated daily with skilled talent across all levels and industries. Data and insights from our career coaches make our candidate profiles more comprehensive than a typical CV. You can post job openings and easily search for candidates that match your exact requirements in terms of skills, experience and fit. At the same time our Talent Promoters market your alumni directly to thousands of employers and recruiters.

It’s why we’ve invested in new offices AND technology that allows us to run virtual careers fairs. It’s why we’ve launched Ella, our AI-powered Digital Career Agent AND hired dedicated branding specialists.

The two components combined, the technology and the people, provide more value to employees and employers than the sum of their parts ever could.

Fit4Next. Innovation fit for the future of outplacement

It’s why we’re excited about launching our next innovation, Fit4next in the next couple of months. Fit4Next leverages LHH data at scale (300k+ candidates/year) to predict the likelihood of successful outcomes. This proprietary digital tool uses data science and machine learning to put a visual dashboard into the hands of every LHH Career Coach, enabling them to quickly see, between regular 1:1 coach meetings, whether the activities of each individual candidate are keeping them on pace for success or if they need to intervene.

It’s the powerful combination of the latest technology with the best career consultants in the industry that will make Fit4Next such a powerful innovation for our clients. No gimmicks. No fads. No tech just to keep the delivery costs down. Just powerful innovation that combines the best tech with the best people to deliver innovation that makes a difference to our clients.

To find out more contact us on 0207 933 8333  or visit us at