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New research by specialist recruitment group Hays Plc among almost 300 HR professionals and line managers and over 750 employees across the public, private and voluntary sectors, found that both employers and employees in the UK are calling for outplacement and career transition services, such as career guidance, CV or interview advice, to be a compulsory part of all redundancies.
Almost two thirds of employers go so far as to say that the government should offer funding to help provide this kind of support, rising to 72% of employers in the public sector.
47% of employers believe it should be compulsory for organisations to provide career transition services to staff being made redundant. It also shows that despite signs of recovery, organisations are still experiencing change with 41% of private sector employees and 50% of public sector employees expecting further redundancies in the next twelve months.
The majority of staff who have been made redundant say they used support when it was offered by their employer (80%). However more than half said if they were going to be made redundant the main area they would like support is with finding a new job.
The overwhelming advantage of career transition services for employers is the protection of the employer brand; over 60% reported the greatest benefit is in ensuring staff leave on favourable terms. Career transition services can work by helping employees regain their confidence and find a new job, both of which were cited twice as often as CV or career path advice.
The potential impact of career transition services is clear. Aside from the financial impact, employees identified the feeling of failure (39%) as the biggest impact of redundancy. For those that had received support from their employer, the biggest negative factor was loss of structure to the day (just 28%).
Despite the clear benefits of career transition support, 73% of employees reported no support from employers when being made redundant. Some of the main reasons employers have not used career transitions services in the past has been a lack of internal resource to organise this (44%) and that it is not seen as important by management (40%). What support has been offered has been left to in-house HR teams to carry out.
Mark Staniland, Managing Director of Hays Career Transition Services, said "it's critical that redundancies are handled well, to avoid creating problems further down the line."
"A better use of available funds may be to focus on those employees experiencing redundancy and offering them practical help to find another job quickly, as ultimately this will save the government purse. With a difficult time expected in the public sector this year, a way to help this issue would be for the government to encourage organisations there to use services which make sure that any employees who experience redundancy don't lose confidence and have effective help in finding a new job, thereby keeping them in employment."
"The problem with existing services is they often only go so far and concentrate on the psychological aspects of redundancy. Whilst this is important, the employees we surveyed told us that the one area they really wanted help is finding a job, which is why the most effective transition support is linked to recruitment and the practical aspect of searching for a new role."