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Meeting the Moment: Why Outplacement Requires a New Perspective

Centerstone Executive Search & Consulting leads transformation of traditional outplacement to meet the needs of a changing COVID-19 world.

Centerstone Executive Search and Consulting (Centerstone), a national, retained executive search firm, shares a modern approach to outplacement. As a trusted advisor at all stages if the talent process, the firm offers key suggestions for organizations that find themselves in the midst of change due to COVID-19. Developed by Kim Villeneuve, Ed.D, CEO of Centerstone, these principles are informed by the successful outplacement programs Centerstone has completed with its clients.

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“Over the past several years, we have seen a shift in outplacement, but COVID-19 is accelerating the need for more contemporary solutions,” explains Villeneuve, who holds a doctorate in human and organizational learning. “Outplacement today is more than arbitrarily ‘checking a box.’ Instead, it’s about providing dynamic solutions with a focus on building resilience through a coaching-first focus.”

An unfortunate reality of the pandemic, many organizations are faced with unprecedented decisions about organization structure. “Savvy employers know that the most effective outplacement solutions provide value to the transitioning executives and executives who remain – and back to the organization overall,” Villeneuve says. She advises all organizations to consider the following best practices:

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  • Provide a ‘soft-landing’ for everyone impacted.
  • Choose an outplacement partner who understands the theory of change management.
  • Create ‘feedback loops’ to gauge what is really going on.
  • Focus on the whole person, not just on job hunting skills.
  • Believe that ‘Workplace Survivor Syndrome’ is real.

With a thoughtful approach to outplacement, organizations can create meaningful pathways for their transitioning talent.

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