Thursday, April 05, 2012

Right Management

Does anyone have any experience with Right Management?  As part of my severance package, I get 1 month of career management services from Right Management and am interested to hear if anyone has any testimonials.  I'm pretty skeptical at this point that it's worth my time to contact them, but I'm open to the possibility.

Let me start out with what I know about their services.  One of their representatives came out to my office and sat down with everyone for a 1 on 1 chat.  The first thing she said to me was, "how are you doing?"  "Fine" I replied, to which she responded, "I don't believe that, I would be pretty upset if I were in your situation."  So starting out with her more or less calling me a liar was a little off putting.  From that point, she handed me a packet of written material and then pretty much looked at me waiting for me to ask questions.  All I was able to get out of her was a broad overview of their services: they offer resume writing assistance, interviewing tips, and access to their job board.  All things that are available for free on Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, as well as other sources.  The one thing she mentioned that interested me is counseling for transitioning into other industries, although I was unable to determine how they go about it.  Do they look over my resume and recommend what other industries my skill set might apply to?  Do they interview me to determine my skills and interests?  Do they give me aptitude tests like a high school guidance counselor?  All of the above?  None of the above?  Long story short: I walked out of the meeting without a lot of confidence that Right Management provides any value that isn't readily available elsewhere.

My next issue is that they will only let me sign up by phoning them.  I find the phone to be a very inconvenient and inefficient means of communication.  I could fire off an email in less time than it would take me to dial the number and wait for someone to answer.  If some information is needed that's not readily available, one of us is going to have to sit in silence while the other looks it up.  In addition, the phone does not allow me to forward my resume or send links, nor does it give me a written record of the exchange for future reference.  I thought there was hope when the sent me a letter including an email address along with the ubiquitous phone number, however when I emailed said address for further information, the reply I received was, "please call our toll free number."  And maybe it's just that I was already experiencing a heightened state of irritability that day, but frankly it pissed me off.  It just gives me the impression that any contact with them will be either via phone or physically going to their office, which will be so time consuming and tedious as to not be worthwhile.

Despite my reservations, I'm happy to receive assistance if they are effective, so I spent some time googling them.  Unfortunately I've been unable to find much information.  It has been limited to a few reviews from employees and one Wall Street Journal article about outplacement services.  The employee reviews, like this one from Glass Door (which is an outstanding resource, by the way) are mostly negative, which gives me pause.  If the people with daily access to the resources to find me a new job are unhappy, but unable to find a job they are happy with, then what does that say about the effectiveness of the company?

The Wall Street Journal article covers outplacement services in general, with some specific mentions of Right Management, but is no more encouraging.  Some of the pertinent information is quoted below:

Skeptical employees are voting with their feet: Executives estimate about 40% of workers offered outplacement services don't show up; some ask for cash instead. Some industry participants, too, are troubled by reports of mass-produced resumes, canned job advice and slipshod counseling.

Mr. Shubert says he got access to job-posting sites and group workshops on topics like preparing a resume or closing a deal; equivalent material can be found online, he says. He says his coach didn't offer useful advice. Mr. Shubert's verdict: "truly boilerplate" and "lacking for middle and upper management."

Eighteen months later, Ms. Service says outplacement was a waste of time. She says the job-search training was rushed. During a practice lunch interview, a coach chided her for ordering cranberry juice, saying it could be interpreted as a sign of a urinary-tract infection, she recalls.  Her resume was sent to a prospective employer with a cover letter that included a typo and bore her signature -- which she says she never saw.

Documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal showed the materials resemble those of another ex-Pepsi job seeker sent to the same firm -- including the same typo and quirky date style. The firm's president says he eliminated both women from consideration as his executive assistant. "We didn't take the letters seriously because they did not reflect an understanding of our company -- and they looked alike,'' he says.

So there it is.  I'm very skeptical of the efficacy of Right Management and outplacement services in general at this point.  My time is valuable to me and I'd rather not waste it.  I'm hopeful that I'm wrong, though.  So if anyone has had some experience with them, good or bad, I would appreciate hearing more about what I can expect should I contact them.
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