Scorching. On fire. Hot.

You may have recently heard these “buzz words” about Canada’s labour market.

According to Statistics Canada, Canada’s labour market added 337,000 jobs in February, more than balancing the loss of 200,000 jobs in January. Canada’s jobless rate has fallen to below pre-pandemic levels.

A candidate-driven market where job postings are bountiful, but workers are hard to find has created an environment squarely in job seekers’ favour.

With a booming job market, people will land quickly, so they don’t need help, right?

This is not always the case and in fact, the opposite is often true.

Although all signs point toward the market being job-seeker friendly, each person’s situation and reaction to job loss are uniquely their own. Some individuals in transition are motivated and ready to work on their resume, LinkedIn profile and networking strategy. However, sometimes individuals are tired, scared, and having trouble envisioning a positive outcome to their current situation, regardless of how much recruitment activity is taking place in their market.  If you are evaluating whether to provide career transition services for an exiting employee, it’s helpful to consider the two parts – “career” and “transition.”

Individuals Who Need Career or Job Search Support

The ‘career’ part of the career transition equation is managing steps toward landing new employment. That’s the work of updating a resume, creating a job search strategy, and preparing for interviews. This enables the individual to get back on their feet faster and re-enter the workforce sooner, both critical advantages for any organization considering whether to provide career transition support.

Long service employees have not had to look for work for an extended period, and the job search process has changed significantly, especially over the last five years. While nothing can replace the value gained from good old-fashioned networking, there has been an unprecedented increase in LinkedIn usage, applicant tracking systems, video interviewing, and other technology platforms that can leave new job seekers baffled and overwhelmed. Having access to a dedicated Career Transition Coach who understands how jobs are found in today’s market and can provide feedback, advice, and coaching for navigating these systems can reduce frustration and help the individual land new work sooner.

Individuals with specialized or niche skill sets may not have as many opportunities available in the market. This can extend the time it takes to land new work and often makes the process more difficult. Working with a Career Transition Coach can help remove job search obstacles, support creating a targeted and strategic job search plan, and assist with maintaining the energy and motivation necessary to execute a successful search.

Individuals Who Need Transition Support

‘Transition’ is an important and often underestimated component of career transition support. Job loss is a loss, and an associated grieving process accompanies it. As with the loss of any other meaningful relationship, individuals will react differently. For some, the emotions that arise at this time – shock, denial, fear, or anger – undermine confidence in moving forward.

Compounding this, it is not unusual for job loss to be just one of several personal issues and transitions someone is managing at any given time. Often, career transitions overlap with other significant and emotionally stirring life transitions such as supporting aging parents, potential financial stress, personal health concerns, raising and preparing children for adulthood, and/or buying and selling a home. This combination of experience and overlapping transitions can feel emotionally overwhelming and make it difficult to move forward with the clarity, energy and enthusiasm needed for a successful job search.

These issues must be addressed before job search activities can begin. Providing services to individuals who need support with navigating the transition of job loss, regardless of their tenure with the organization or their role, is a practical first step in minimizing shock and engaging the individual in actions and measures that orient them toward a new future. With the support of a dedicated Career Transition Coach, the individual will move past negative emotions more quickly than if left to struggle through these challenges on their own and enables them to move back into the workforce faster.

No matter the state of the job market, most organizations need to make staffing changes at some point in their evolution. Investing in career transition support can sometimes feel at odds with an organizational objective like streamlining budgets or thought of as unnecessary when the narrative says that people will have no trouble finding a job.

However, whether the market is hot or cold, the proper support delivers benefits to the organization as well.  Two areas of particular importance for employers right now are:

Talent Acquisition

While it might feel counterintuitive, there are documented links between providing career transition support and talent acquisition. Negative perceptions about how exiting employees are treated can damage recruitment campaigns. On the other hand, potential employees who are top performers will be attracted to organizations that have great reputations. Helping people leave the organization well can have just as much impact on your brand as how your organization onboards new hires. Providing career transition support develops and enhances your organizational reputation and is part of a promising talent acquisition strategy both now and in the future.

Talent Retention

Retained employees will go through varying emotions when a layoff occurs, including guilt, anger and denial, and may be concerned about further downsizings and additional workloads. They are also likely to communicate with exited employees. If they know that departed employees have access to career transition support, the organization will likely see less impact on morale, productivity and unplanned exits of top performers.

Providing career transition support to exiting employees demonstrates to continuing employees that you value them and are committed to their wellbeing at all stages of the employment cycle. They know that they will be taken care of should the need arise.

All in all, our experience is that an organization’s hiring and exiting processes have a crucial impact on an employee’s experience with and opinion of an organization. The exit process is their last experience with you; it is also the most lasting experience and the most critical.

Cenera’s customizable career transition services help corporations navigate employee terminations with care, integrity and respect. To learn more contact us today.

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