For nearly half a century, forward-thinking corporations have provided outplacement services to their laid-off workers to help them make the transition to their next job. But today's historic recession -- combined with the rising costs of traditional corporate outplacement services -- have forced some employers to slash the number of laid-off employees receiving this exit benefit, or to eliminate it altogether. Why is this happening? Traditional outplacement services have simply become too expensive in the minds of many companies. Employers are frustrated with these services, because they cost a lot but typically don't demonstrate measurable results for employees. During a time of financial pressures, they've become a target of budget cuts. Outplacement consulting firms have mushroomed to a $3 billion industry by collecting large sums from corporations to provide their transitioned employees with career counseling, the temporary use of office space and supplies, and other support services. However, these firms often come up woefully short in addressing employees' most pressing need: finding a new job. Fortune 500 HR Execs Endorse Outplacement 2.0 RiseSmart recently introduced a smarter solution: RiseSmart Transition Concierge, which provides high-touch, results-oriented outplacement services at a fraction of the cost of traditional firms. RiseSmart's Web-enabled "Outplacement 2.0" approach is a disruptive innovation in a marketplace that has been paying too much for outplacement services for too long. Executives at Fortune 500 companies who have reviewed the service are giving us high praise, as announced in a press release we distributed today:

Lora Villarreal, executive vice president and chief people officer for Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), said RiseSmart Transition Concierge is a good solution for companies concerned about the high costs of traditional outplacement services. "Cutting outplacement services is rarely a good idea," said Villarreal. "Both your departing employees and those who stay with your company pay close attention to how you handle these situations. If you handle them poorly, studies show that it hurts your productivity as well as your ability to attract quality talent." Carol Maxwell, assistant vice president of executive talent for Tenet Healthcare, added that RiseSmart's service is a disruptive innovation in the transition management industry -- promising to make quality outplacement services available to a broader range of employees than currently receive them. "RiseSmart Transition Concierge dispenses with the overhead and focuses on results," Maxwell said. "In today's economy, that's the kind of approach that employers of all sizes are looking for in an outplacement service provider." Kyung Yoon, CEO of Talent Age Associates and former vice chair of Heidrick & Struggles, one of the world's leading executive search and leadership consulting firms, added, "Today more than ever, job candidates are keenly aware of which employers treat their employees well -- and which don't. RiseSmart Transition Concierge is an excellent solution for companies that wish to be on the right side of that line."

How Outplacement 2.0 Works RiseSmart Transition Concierge's Web-enabled service provides all the value of traditional outplacement services, without the overhead. The service provides transitioned employees with help in marketing themselves through a rewrite of their resumes and cover letters; guidance from a transition specialist, including assistance in using online social networks; and -- most importantly -- actionable job leads from across the Web based on their specific criteria, for a period of up to six months. To identify these job leads, a dedicated RiseSmart HR professional is assigned to each transitioned employee. Utilizing state-of-the-art search technology, the HR professional searches more than one million job listings across the Web, returning only the listings that best match the employee's specific criteria. RiseSmart then listens to employee feedback to continually enhance the results it delivers to each transitioned worker. In addition to its standard service package, RiseSmart offers an executive package that incorporates resume distribution services, weekly phone counseling sessions, and other high-touch services. With both service packages, corporate clients receive a custom, company-branded portal where they can access detailed reports showing RiseSmart's results for their transitioned workers. For more information about RiseSmart Transition Concierge, visit or e-mail

28 January 2009

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