At Connor we don’t leave the consultant with whom you work with in your career transition or outplacement support to chance. Getting the fit right between you and your consultant is absolutely critical if you are to get the most out of our exceptional service. Therefore, we place as much time and emphasis on the consultant chemistry matching process as we would if it were a traditional coaching engagement. My name is David Honour, I am the Client Services Manager at Connor Outplacement and it is my role to ensure that I match you with the right consultant for you, based on their experience, but also style and chemistry fit. In this article, I will be talking to you not only about why it is so important to get the chemistry fit right, but also the art and science behind our proven approach consultant matching.
Why is it important to get the chemistry fit right?
No matter how good the service is, you will get so much more value from it if you have a strong working relationship with your consultant, it is a highly personalised and bespoke service after all. We have, for three decades now, provided a market leading outplacement service where we work with you for as long as it takes you to secure the right, next opportunity for you. For us it is not just about getting you any job, it is about the right next opportunity, which might be a similar job but equally could be something completely different e.g. a totally different career, a portfolio career or setting up in business. A key element of my role is to understand what success looks like for you, what you are looking for from your consultant, what sort of style works for you and what doesn’t.
Whilst you might think that people would more frequently opt for consultants who are similar in style or experience profile to themselves, the opposite is actually the case. More commonly, people opt for a consultant who has different but complementary skill sets to their own, so that they can achieve a 1+1=3 outcome. For instance, if the person with whom we are working knows they have trouble selling themselves, they tend to gravitate towards a consultant who is skilled in this area and can help them – you still need to get the chemistry fit right though!
Most other outplacement organisations match consultants in an arbitrary fashion, typically based on location exclusively. Location is actually the least important variable in my experience, especially with all of the technology at our disposal these days. A good example to illustrate this would be where the individual with whom we are working is keen to set up in business. In this instance, I would only match them with a serial entrepreneur, someone who has built and sold their own business and assisted numerous others to successfully make the transition from employment, to the world of self-employment and/or a start-up business. Their experience of what to do and importantly (what they have learnt the hard way) what not to do, is invaluable and far more important than just matching you with someone local to you who has no experience of what to takes to run a business.
Getting the chemistry fit right is especially important for senior executives, as it is rightly important for them to work with someone whom they view as a peer of their own. The reason for this is that at an executive level, the outplacement service we provide naturally becomes slightly more of a hybrid outplacement and executive coaching service, as executives really value the opportunity to work closely with a peer level consultant who can challenge their thinking and hone their approach to the market. In order to do this, the consultant has to have learnt their spurs as a senior executive themselves and be viewed by the person with whom they are working as at least a peer.
As I hope I have demonstrated, getting the right chemistry fit is a critical element of our service and I will now talk a little about our proven matching process.
How do you ensure I work with the right consultant for me?
The first thing I do is have an initial conversation with you to get an understanding of your current role, what success looks like for you, what you want to get out of a service of this nature etc. I will also start to explore the experience, personality and style of consultant that you feel would best suit you.
Based on our conversation I will then review our extensive pool of talented, experienced outplacement consultants with a view to compiling a shortlist of consultants who meet or exceed your criteria, both on an experience and chemistry fit basis.
I then feed back to you for you to review the biographies of the peer-level consultants who most closely match your needs and talk you through each of them. Based on this conversation you can then select who you would like to work with.
Consultant briefing and initial engagement
I will then brief your chosen consultant to give them a comprehensive overview of you and your objectives. The consultant will then phone you to introduce themselves and to arrange a date for the chemistry meeting.
The chemistry meeting
This face to face meeting is crucial. It is an opportunity for you and our consultant to get to know each other and confirm that you are suitably matched. This is a two way process.
Following the chemistry meeting I will then phone you to get your feedback on the consultant and confirm if you want to work together.
The chemistry of outplacement is a little bit like dating – we don’t always get the match right first time. If you want to consider a different consultant following your chemistry meeting, I will immediately put you in contact with an alternative consultant. In 30 years of business, we haven’t got it wrong twice.
You are now set up for success and in partnership with your handpicked consultant and are now ready to find the right next career opportunity.
I hope this article has given you a little insight into our chemistry matching process. We are so passionate about going the extra mile for everyone we work with in our outplacement service, to ensure we do not leave the chemistry fit to chance – it is far too important!