Career Services Case Studies
A CEO’S CAREER “COMEBACK”
Challenge: A large health insurance company terminated the CEO of one of their divisions, due to a significant financial loss incurred while launching a new service line that did not meet initial revenue or market share goals during an economic turndown. He was labeled as the responsible executive for the losses and was replaced by another CEO.
Solution: The challenge facing this executive was the reaction by potential employers and recruiters to what appeared to be a dismal failure in his last job. Though he was the CEO and ultimately responsible for the “bottom line”, there were several other issues that complicated the problems with the launching of the service line. The key was to develop a planned explanation that kept his integrity intact, yet allowed him the opportunity to position his expertise as a CEO and better explain what happened to prospective employers.
Result: The CEO landed a job doing exactly what he wanted to do – without taking a step backwards. The next critical step was to continue providing support as he integrated into the new organization, to ensure his “On-boarding” strategies were carefully planned and implemented.
Challenge: A large health system made the decision to divest two hospitals in Florida. The leadership team was needed to remain until ownership change was completed and the company was concerned about retaining the “C-Level” leaders until the sale was complete. The leadership team was concerned about their careers and needed immediate support during the initial stage of the sale.
Solution: CPI/New Options and our Florida office customized a senior executive outplacement program to resolve the immediate job search needs and concerns of the executive team while they completed the transaction and then extend their outplacement support after the hospital had formally changed ownership.
Result: All “C-level” executives were retained and all have landed jobs within the geographic region of choice.
‘BEEN THERE DONE THAT’
Challenge: A “C-level” executive was displaced from his former position and though he had excellent credentials, he was not having the kind of results from his job search efforts that he deserved. He had a tremendously successful career, especially in high growth environments, but was not turning interviews into offers.
Solution: His coach quickly realized his resume was not capturing the full impact of his experience and his interview skills needed a significant improvement. CPI/New Options also facilitated an executive leadership assessment to provide validation of his leadership effectiveness and how to further strengthen his profile, as well as working extensively on his interview skills and resume and to use this information to identify the kind of business environment that was best for him.
Result: Once this preparation was completed, the executive quickly landed a job with a larger company with a broader scope of responsibility and a huge increase to his total compensation. He told us he felt our ability to identify what was needed to make him more effective in interviews and his resume, made the difference and was what really got him the job.
‘I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO’
Challenge: A principal from a global consulting firm wanted to leave the company, as he found his work no longer fulfilling. He had a tremendous track record of success, driving a major service line for his organization, and was able to negotiate a transition plan from his firm. The problem was he didn’t know what he wanted to do next. He was clear about what he didn’t want, so the challenge for CPI/New Options was to help bring clarity to this vision and to build a strategic career plan, before he jumped into the job market.
Solution: His coach completed a full series of assessments to identify his interests, leadership profile and “career drivers” and their impact on his career decision making process. This led to a job search strategy that targeted multiple type companies, but to seek a CEO role, which was quite different from his job experience.
Result: Though he had multiple job opportunities and offers, he just couldn’t find the one that would be truly centered on his passion and interests. CPI/New Options consistently referred back to his assessments and decision criteria and kept him focused. He landed a job as a President of an international company, which “fits him like a glove.”
“HELPING TRANSITIONING LEADERS WITH A SMALL BUDGET.”
Challenge: A non-profit health services organization had multiple leadership positions across the U.S. that had to be eliminated. The problem was driven by a significant shortfall of donations and thus limited ability to provide meaningful career transition support to help those leaders whose were leaving.
Solution: Job search strategies have changed dramatically over the past few years, as technology has become increasingly an essential component of a job search. CPI/New Options designed a technology driven outplacement program, Career Partner at Home, that provides job search support via our career portal, webinars and follow up telephonic coaching support.
Results: Outplacement support was provided at a much lower cost that was within their budget and allowed for a meaningful level of support for the impacted employee group.
Challenge: An employee of a major international airline was hoping to transfer to a position within his company that would have afforded him a different type of career path than he had in the past. His former boss retired and his new boss felt the employee was unqualified for the position he currently held and was going to terminate him. The employee interviewed for the new position and was turned down. The company allowed him to interview for other positions within the company on a global level and gave him several months to find something. If he didn’t find a job within his company at the end of the ‘grace period’, he would be terminated. The employee didn’t want to leave his current company as he had spent many years there already. CPI New Options was called in to provide Outplacement services for the employee.
Solution: A consultant from CPI New Options interviewed the displaced employee to ascertain what type of career he wanted going forward. The focus of the discussions was on what transferrable skills the employee had as they related to his future goals within the company. The consultant also spoke with the company’s Human Resources department to gain clarity as to why the employee was turned down for the position for which he had initially applied and to find out the reasons for his impending dismissal. It was concluded that although the employee had the necessary skills for the position he was turned down for, they felt he didn’t interview well and was unable to gain the confidence of the hiring manager.
Result: CPI New Options spent time developing the employee’s resume so as to reflect the skills needed for the position he wanted. We were able to list his achievements and tangible skills in such a way that hiring managers throughout the organization took note. We spent time teaching him how to interview and coached him on his manner of speaking as well as his body language. The employee had always wanted a position in Asia and found the exact job he was looking for in China. He interviewed for the open position and beat out several other internal and external candidates. He landed the position and was hired well within the timeframes allotted by his company.
ACHIEVING A BETTER FIT FOR AN EXECUTIVE’S TALENTS
Challenge: The chief executive officer of a community-based hospital had helped turn around the hospital’s financial position and greatly expanded its facilities. Nevertheless, he was released from his position when the parent company experienced financial problems. The company engaged CPI/New Options Group to guide his transition. We carefully assessed how to best determine and measure “job fit” to help him evaluate the multiple opportunities that surfaced during his transition.
Solution: Our client had been frustrated, working in a nonprofit and politically centered environment. During a career counseling and assessment process, CPI/New Options Group helped him identify and accept that he would be a good fit in either a for-profit health care system or a competitive business environment where a health system understood the business end of gaining market share and running a hospital. His understanding of the business side of health care enabled him to evaluate the right kind of an organization that would yield a higher income potential and rid him of some of the political trappings that often interfere with strategic decisions in nonprofit, community-based health care systems.
Results: The executive landed a senior role at a for-profit hospital with a significant increase in salary and benefits. With his experience in rebuilding market share, he was able to turn around deteriorating market share within 18 months. He has since become CEO of another health care system that fits his leadership style and the growth objectives of the system.
“LEAVING TOWN AND CLOSING DOWN”
Challenge: A company that manufactured medical components for pace makers and hearing aids determined that it could cut costs by relocating its manufacturing facility to Tijuana, Mexico. They needed to completely shut down their local facility in the United States, which would mean all of their employees would be let go. The downsizing had to be synchronized with the Tijuana, Mexico plant becoming operational, so the layoffs were to be staggered over the course of 1 ½ years. CPI/New Options was called in to develop an Outplacement Plan and then execute it to correlate with the downsizing approach the company had decided on.
Solution: We met numerous times with the Human Resources Executive to get a complete understanding of the outplacement need, the numbers of employees involved, and the timing of the downsizing. About 85% of the staff consisted of technicians and the remaining 15% were considered management. We jointly decided that a workshop approach would be best for all employees and that individual coaching would additionally be given for the management staff. Because of the volume of employees, it was necessary to break the workshops into four distinct sections and facilitate each workshop eight times to cover all the employees. Human Resources determined who was going to be in what workshop based upon anticipated termination date.
This was the first time many of the employees had ever lost a job and many were older and scared of what job opportunities lay ahead. In every workshop we emphasized the importance of working hard with the job search and trying to maintain a positive attitude. We spent considerable time listening to the employees as they discussed their fears and anxieties with losing their jobs. Throughout the series of workshops, we were able to create good solid resumes for each individual, develop job search strategies, teach interviewing techniques, and discuss job offers and how to negotiate.
Results: The downsizing continued and we were able to complete all the workshops within the company’s schedule. Individual coaching occurred for the management staff over the course of several months and everyone had found employment within a couple of months. The local manufacturing facility has now been closed and the Tijuana, Mexico plant is fully operational.
RESTRUCTURING OF A GLOBAL INSURANCE COMPANY
Challenge: Two well regarded and long-standing financial services companies in a major metropolitan area had been owned by the same parent that had decided to combine and centralize all operations, as well as restructure the national servicing operation. This change resulted in significant job eliminations nationwide, affecting more than 1,500 people in 28 locations.
The company needed to find a firm that could successfully manage a national program, create multiple off-site career centers, as well as manage the entire outplacement initiative that would affect so many employees across many different levels within the organization in multiple locations. The company retained CPI/New Options Group to organize and manage this national initiative.
Solution: Within 30 days CPI/New Options Group had multiple off-site career centers up and running and coordinated all service delivery throughout all 28 locations. We managed all details, including nationwide training to ensure consistency throughout our system of offices and the development of custom programs to be delivered nationally.
Results: The project, which lasted more than 18 months, was successful on two fronts. It helped the client achieve the reputation of a company that cared about its employees through a difficult time period, and it assisted all of the employees through their successful transition to new employment. A win-win for everybody!
For more information about our outplacement and other career transition services, contact a New Options Group consultant from one of our locations in northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.