Outplacement – Can’t AI do it for me now?

Another week, another news article about the advances in AI and ChatGPT. From being temporarily banned in Italy, to discussions on the place of AI in university assignments, to the ‘godfather’ of AI warning of its dangers, it’s a hot global topic right now and showing no signs of going away quickly or quietly.

We know the Future of Work is going to be heavily influenced by AI and its capabilities, making roles more efficient or automated, freeing up people to work on other things, or in new ways. Personally, as a career coach, I think it’s very important to be aware of the capabilities and potential of AI in the world of recruitment and I am a big fan of ChatGPT and what it has to offer. I even regularly use it with my outplacement and career coaching clients in a variety of ways. So if I’m saying this, as an outplacement expert, you may be thinking: given all that we know AI can do for us, do I still really need to invest in Outplacement for my leavers?

Of course I have an obvious bias in answering yes to this question, but let’s first look at the benefits of what AI can do for a job seeker.

What AI can do for you:

Summarise a role

One of the most important things any job seeker should be doing is submitting tailored CVs and cover letters when responding to advertised roles. To do this, you need to really understand what a role is looking for, and ChatGPT can be beneficial here in summarising the key points in a job description. I have used this with candidates to save them time, to unpick particularly complex or overly wordy profiles, and to help those with neurodiversity understand something from a different perspective.

Research a company / systems / metrics

Research is key before submitting an application and when preparing for an interview, and ChatGPT can be useful in helping uncover particular systems, programmes or applications used in an organisation. You can then either talk about your own experience of that thing, or find out more about it so you can talk with authority on how you would approach it. I have also used ChatGPT with candidates researching metrics or KPIs that they have been asked to present in a new context, to either validate their initial thoughts/approach, or to find out the best way of doing something.

Create a draft response

One of the hardest things in a job search is staring at a blank sheet of paper. Writer’s block when trying to create a killer CV or cover letter, or your elevator pitch, feels incredibly painful and anxiety-inducing. ChatGPT can create a template cover letter or personal profile based on the information you provide, and refine it based on your feedback, getting you past the blank page hurdle.

Edit content

Ever written a great response in an application form only to find it’s too long? Or know you’re waffling in your cover letter? ChatGPT can also be useful to help you edit and refine your own work.

This all sounds great! So what can’t it do?

I’m going to let some of our previous Outplacement candidates answer this for me. The following quotes are taken from feedback people have provided after using our Connor Outplacement support.

Rebuild your confidence

“I was really down when I was made redundant and had lost confidence in myself. Having my outplacement coach there really helped me through it. She was great at listening to me and made me feel much more positive during a very difficult time.”

Help you to navigate change

“After 14 years in the same company, I had no idea where to start or really what I wanted. My coach was the perfect pairing. She listened, gave great advice, encouragement, praise and gave me the tools to make ‘getting a job’ so much easier. It has truly been a great pleasure.”

Show empathy and use humour

“My coach was so friendly and helpful. She couldn’t have done any more to help me. It felt I had someone by my side to guide me through and that was really important.”

“My coach’s relaxed and fun consultative style gently pushed me to expand my thinking and horizons which made a huge difference; combined with obvious depth of knowledge and experience.”

Give you resilience

“My coach played a big role in keeping me positive during my job search, particularly during the weeks when the job market was quiet. I always came away from our meetings feeling motivated.”

Help you stand out from the crowd

“I believe that the coaching that I received led me to be successful in all of my applications for jobs. I ended up receiving three offers which I never believed was possible. My coach also helped me work out which offer was the best match for what I wanted to do. I am so grateful.”

Being made redundant is hard. It can be a huge shock, particularly when living costs are spiralling, and for many of us our identity is wrapped up in our work so to have that taken away can leave a big void and really knock confidence. Whilst AI will undoubtedly help you, taking away some of the legwork and pain of applications, it’s still only one tool to help, not the answer to the whole piece. AI isn’t able to coach, listen, understand, and champion in the way a real-life human will and this is such an important element of effective Outplacement support. It won’t help you stand out in a crowd, let your individuality shine, keep you motivated, or identify and remind you of all the brilliant things you have to offer.

If you’re in the difficult position of having to make some of your team redundant, we would love to talk to you about our completely tailored, personalised, 121 outplacement support delivered by real human beings that makes a lasting difference to peoples’ lives. Give us a call on 01491 414010, or email us at info@connor.co.uk.


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