Next Generation Outplacement: Redefining Career Transitions

A career is not a predictable path. Along the way, various career shocks occur, a mixture of bad luck, good luck, and chance, but always with an impact on our careers and how we experience them. And not everyone is capable of responding adequately to them.

Sometimes adversity sucks out the last breath, like being laid off. Especially when it comes unexpectedly, it's a negative career shock. But it doesn't have to be the case, quite the opposite.

In Belgium, there is a legal framework for outplacement. However, we encounter the problem that the term "outplacement" is not widely recognized in Belgium. Geert Volders aims to end this issue in the 'Next Generation Outplacement' podcast.

Did you say outsourcing or outplacement?

Geert often refers to the anecdote that people contact him for outsourcing instead of outplacement to illustrate that there usually needs to be more clarity about the various HR terms. To put an end to this once and for all, we're happy to share the definition of outplacement with you.

What is the definition of outplacement?

According to Oxford Dictionaries, the following is the definition of outplacement: 'The provision of assistance to redundant employees in finding new employment, either as a benefit provided by the employer directly, or through a specialist service.'

This definition must be nuanced, especially when discussing Belgium, as outplacement is legally required in certain circumstances, which is not the case in other European countries.

"And that it is mandatory is a good thing, but this often leads employees to perceive it as an obligation. As a result, something negative hangs around outplacement because employees and employers lack knowledge about what it entails. Therefore, they may undergo an outplacement process based on extrinsic rather than intrinsic motivation." - Geert shares.

When is outplacement mandatory?

In Belgium, outplacement is legally mandatory for employees with a notice period of 30 weeks or more. It is also required for employees who are 45 years of age or older and are not dismissed for urgent reasons.

This legal framework ensures that employees receive the necessary support and assistance during their career transition. For more detailed information about the legal requirements and regulations regarding outplacement, we recommend contacting our colleagues, who can provide you with the guidance and support you need.

How do you make from your redundancy an opportunity?

Outplacement is more than just finding a new job after you have been dismissed. We distinguish three key factors that make or break your outplacement trajectory.

1. Back to the basics: discover what YOU want

That's why it's important to go back to the basics and think about what you enjoy doing, what your skills are, and what goals you still want to achieve. This is crucial because your outplacement trajectory is the perfect opportunity to find a job you genuinely enjoy.

2. What is the importance of a career coach in outplacement?

International studies show that 95% of successful outplacement trajectories are attributed to a strong career coach. It's crucial that there is a good rapport and trust between the career coach and the candidate.

For us, it's only beneficial to have you guided throughout the entire trajectory by one of our career coaches if you have a connection with them. It's crucial that there's a sense of trust and that you feel comfortable opening up to your coach.

3. The individual triumphs over the collective

In the past, outplacement programs were often conducted in groups, emphasizing a collective approach. Over the years, we've realized that individual differences within a group outplacement is necessary.

This brings us back to the importance of career coaches and discovering what YOU want. It reinforces our belief that the three factors that turn your redundancy into an opportunity are inherently interconnected.

Is outplacement still necessary in a tight job market?

That's a question we've received a few times lately, and it's a good question that we need to think more about, given the talent scarcity in Belgium and the rest of the world.

In response to the question, Geert Volders says, "Outplacement is still necessary provided that it's about more than just finding a new job. As an outplacement agency, it's up to us to provide more to the candidate than they ask or expect, so they realize they want to follow an outplacement trajectory."

And in this way, Outplacement is always an important matter, whether we're talking about a tight job market or not, because the individual is at the centre of it all.

See outplacement not as an obligation but as an opportunity

Refrain from viewing outplacement as a mandatory process when you're laid off; see it as an opportunity to reassess what you do and don't enjoy. It's the perfect chance to rediscover yourself and seek a job or role that genuinely energizes you.

Always remember: "Make from your redundancy an opportunity!"