The impact of COVID-19 on Asia's outplacement market

The impact of COVID-19 on Asia's outplacement market

In May Gemini Development was invited by ACF International, a global career transition provider association, to host their monthly webinar. Topic of the webinar was “How Covid-19 impacted Asia’s outplacement market”.

The webinar was intended to give professionals from all over the world more insight to Asia's outplacement market in general, and the impact of Covid-19 on the market.

What do impacted employees expect from an outplacement programme

The fundamental difference in expectations of outplacement support programmes is that impacted employees from the US and Europe seem to be more proactive when it comes to career transition than employees in Asia. Western employees have more defined career goals that they want to achieve in mind, and therefore they tend to be more proactive and focused while searching for jobs, resulting in the career coach often taking up a more supportive role. Whereas in Asia, career objectives or self-development plans generally speaking aren't as clear or well-defined in people's minds, leading to impacted employees tending to be more reactive when it comes to job searching. As a career coach, the main focus tends to be more on defining goals and objectives for the employee, setting realistic targets and make sure they follow up on their plans, ie. a much more leading role altogether.

How Covid-19 impacted the outplacement market

Covid-19 resulted in a number of changes to Asia's outplacement market last year:

  • A surge in outplacement support requests for Senior Executives due to cost-saving measures.
  • The average number of impacted employees per project rose significantly. This was mainly due to office closures/relocations, or companies outsourcing some business functions to other countries leading to Team/Department redundancies (IT, Finance and Admin functions especially).
  • Requests for relocation support were at a record high due to poor economic performance in HK and other social instabilities.
  • Preference of the impacted employees shifted from landing the perfect job before Covid-19 to accepting less preferred offers/job role due to financial stability concerns.
  • And finally, not specifically related to outplacement support programmes, but still largely affecting the set up and conduct of these programmes: the development of virtual meetings and trainings.

4 Key takeaways from Covid-19

Resilience: To have the ability and the drive to get through the low tide and bounce back. Flexibility: To adapt to the ever changing world.

Innovation: Not just adapt but also be able to create.

Diversification: Do not over-rely on one product or one source of income to achieve sustainable growth.

For more information on outplacement support programmes or other employee development solutions, please contact us.