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Layoffs bolster outplacement services

Healthcare organizations seek outplacement firms with healthcare industry expertise

David Weldon, Contributor

Despite the regular news that the healthcare industry is adding jobs, the pressures of mergers and acquisitions, declining reimbursements and the fears over national healthcare reform have led to several recent announcements of layoffs, which is putting a greater focus on outplacement services for healthcare workers – a service not traditionally used by doctors, nurses and senior staff.

“Outplacement is different in healthcare,” said career counselor Danielle M. Dayries, president of Louisiana-based career services firm DMD & Associates, Inc. “It’s not that the services are different, it’s the approach we take as career counselors.”

[See also: Healthcare employment growth predicted to skyrocket through 2020]

Dayries counsels job seekers from numerous industries, but she said there are definite traits in those she works with from healthcare. Healthcare workers are especially committed to their field and because of the extensive amount of education and training they receive, they are reluctant to change roles.

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“They are very vested in their career because of the education they have invested in,” Dayries noted. “They have a hard time seeing themselves doing something else.”

“Healthcare is a very specific group of the workforce, and they require equally specific career transition services,” Raymond Lee, CEO, founder and chief product officer at Careerminds Group, whose company released an online outplacement application this year targeted to healthcare professionals. “Demand is strong for this level of specialized outplacement – healthcare HR decision makers are becoming more particular about ensuring a good fit between the service provider and the recipient.”

 Healthcare is a field based on caring, and Lee said that attitude carries over into the outplacement area. Employers really do insist that an outplacement firm is helping their laid-off workers, and are making an effort to hire outplacement professionals that have some background in healthcare.

An understanding of healthcare fields is particularly important because most outplacement services have gone online now, and social media and sites such as LinkedIn are key tools. Outplacement is about networking more than anything else today, and a career counselor must be experienced at how healthcare professionals find and support each other.