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article imageTechnological training solution for small businesses: Interview Special

By Tim Sandle     Mar 4, 2018 in Business
85 million workers in the U.S. are employed by small-to-medium sized businesses. In the event of a workforce restructuring, employees are rarely offered outplacement services because packages are too expensive. A new solution is RiseSmart Express.
A recent study showed that 69 percent of laid-off employees would have utilized career transition services, had they been offered to them. For small-to-medium sized businesses, who do not have the financial resources to provide this help, employees are left without the tools needed to get back on their feet.
Since layoffs do not just affect big corporations, career transition services provider RiseSmart is assisting` businesses in taking care of employees through the launch of a new tool called RiseSmart Express. To understand how this works, Digital Journal spoke with Dan Davenport, who is the President and General Manager of RiseSmart.
Digital Journal: What is the job market like in the U.S. right now?
Dan Davenport: The job market is about as good as it gets with national unemployment rates hovering around 4 percent.. Although there has been a decrease in layoffs and discharges since the recession of 2007, the market has appeared to have stabilized in the last four years. When adjusted seasonally, layoffs for the last four years have remained around 1.2 percent of the labor force, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.
DJ: How hard is it for laid off employees to get back into employment?
Davenport: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest statistics published at the end of the year, it takes an average of 174 days to land.
DJ: Are career transition facilities useful?
Davenport: When outplacement was first introduced post-World War II in the U.S., there was a stigma attached to being laid off. At that time, it was important for job seekers to have an office to report to every day where they could go about the business of looking for a job with access to a telephone and a typewriter. Today, the landscape of how people look for jobs has changed dramatically.
Now, most job search activity is conducted online, and people want to get the personalized support when they need it. That’s why we developed our high touch model of coaching where transitioning employees can have access to a personalized career coach that has been matched to them based on experience and industry knowledge—not geography. Through telephone or computer interfaces, our program participants can communicate with their career coach from the comfort of their own home, or anywhere they happen to be, without the need to drive to a remote location at a pre-designated time.
DJ: How is technology changing the way career services work?
Davenport: Like most industries, technology is putting tools into the hands of those who need them. RiseSmart has taken a two-pronged approach to introducing technology into career transitions. On one hand, we’ve developed a system of record for real-time outplacement performance tracking and analysis for HR teams: RiseSmart Insight. For the first time, HR departments can securely transmit and manage their impacted employee lists while tracking engagement and landing rates.
Additionally, the platform delivers a proprietary Alumni Sentiment Rating and employee feedback about the restructuring event and their personal experiences and opinions, allowing employers to protect and maintain a positive employer brand.
To make sure employees get the support they need and have access to the latest tools and most relevant job opportunities, we developed RiseSmart Spotlight, our participant technology platform that includes the SmartMatch Engine job discovery tool, Contact Discovery Engine, career transition management tools and content library, and personal brand builder tools. We recently received a U.S. patent for our SmartMatch engine that employs semantic search to discover and deliver only the most relevant job openings based on the job seeker’s intent and personal preferences.
DJ: How does the RiseSmart Express tool work?
RiseSmart express allows small and medium size businesses to do the right thing for employees during a workforce restructuring. Our e-commerce platform allows companies to provide outplacement services for transitioning employees at the click of a button. To get started, business leaders can select from four packages, each designed to meet the specific needs of the employee and the business and are tailored for specific roles.
Our packages include:
Spark – recommended for hourly employees
Boost – for entry-level positions
Ignite – for managers and individual contributors
Empower – for directors and above
Customers can follow our recommendations, or purchase packages for employees based on price and unique needs. Once the packages are selected, we provide notification brochures and connect with eligible employees within 24 hours of payment. Once purchased, organizations have up to 1 year to distribute packages to employees who engage in the programs offered.
DJ: How did you go about developing it?
Davenport: RiseSmart Express delivers the same level of service through our strategic “high tech and high touch” model that has proved to help transitioning employees find new jobs faster. The e-commerce version of the product was developed when we noticed a need for high-level, proven career transition services that could be delivered simply and easily to small and medium businesses without the need to enter into long-term contracts.
DJ: What are your plans for future developments?
Davenport: By being based in Silicon Valley, innovation comes naturally to us. It allows our teams to be hyper-agile and anticipate the needs of our customers. It also allows us to quickly respond to changes in the global market, technologies and how people transition in their careers. At the core of our future development plans are mechanisms to continue to deliver industry-leading results around the world in terms of service delivery, technology/analytics, and connection to jobs.
More about Careers, Small business, outplacement, Restructuring
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