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Pandemic is causing big spike in outplacements and job changes

Ian Symes, Global Brand Leader - Right Management

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a structural impact on the world of work. As businesses adapt to the post-pandemic economy, many are looking to make efficiencies and ensure that the skills of their employees are used as effectively as possible. This has already led to a rise in unemployment, which is set to continue once the furlough scheme ends. New data from talent and career management experts, Right Management, finds that outplacement programmes (services that help a terminated employee with the transition to a new job) are playing a significant part in helping organisations and employees transition and recalibrate.

The data, from over 300,000 outplacements, shows that 79% of employees that used outplacement in 2020 moved to a new role with the same or higher position and 57% of candidates found a position with the same or a higher salary, offering workers real opportunity to continue their career despite having to leave a company. The data also shows how employees need to be agile to find a new position, with 48% of candidates changing job roles as they transitioned through outplacement in 2020.

Candidates who are going through outplacement programmes need skills relevant to a new set of roles, as workers transitioning between jobs are increasingly changing the sectors they work in, with nearly half (49%) of outplacement candidates moving to a different industry. This is the highest proportion of people changing industries in the last eight years. The workers that most utilised outplacement programmes in 2020 came from functions including IT (21%), sales (12%) and finance (9%).

Commenting on the findings, Ian Symes, Global Brand Leader at Right Management, said: “The pandemic has happened at a time when the jobs market was experiencing transformation as a result of digitization and shifting skills needs. The skills employees need today are very different to those that were needed just a few years ago and COVID-19 has accelerated this change. The pandemic has led many employers to review the skills and roles they really need: those that have been let go will need tailored support to transition to new roles in this fast changing market, and ensuring workers are supported throughout their careers, including transition, is vital.

Our data shows that employees are increasingly changing job role and function, highlighting the importance of agility and transferable soft skills such as communication and learnability. With remote working here to stay, employers now have access to a global talent pool: career mobility will be key not only for workers but also for employers seeking in-demand talent.”

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