As part of my leaving deal I’ve negotiated to get support by a an outplacement company so now I’m running around Paris meeting with possible service providers. It is more a personal connection than identifying services which are pretty much standardised. But I have my reserves about this, is it a good thing to network with other job hunters?
I can see that it might be a valuable exercise to evaluate where I stand and where to go, but still. True, much of my reserve comes from the fact that I recently had a very odd experience with one of the bigger agencies, Right Management France. They’re a part of the Manpower Group. I would get access to their international network which I saw as a distinct added value.
For those never having worked with an outplacement agency they ask a rather hefty fee, approximately €12 000 for a year. OK, correctly used you get a lot, but in any case it is a sum of a magnitude which makes me ask questions in order to make certain that I choose the correct partner to work with. Two questions I ask is if I might choose consultant myself or will I get one assigned to my “case”? I’d prefer working with someone having experience from my industry, corporate communication and media. The second question is if I might speak with two former “outplacees” for references. For the majority of the agencies these questions are no problems, they readily explain their way of working and offers references – to be contacted with discretion, of course.
But not Right Management, oh no. Their representative became extremely upset, I got the impression they felt a personal affront, that I even dared to ask questions like those. No, I was certainly not choosing “my” consultant and no, either of the consultants had any specialisations and to even dream of asking of references! Who did I think I was? What if it was me having worked with them, would I want people to call me asking questions like those? Maybe even 40 people per day??? She expressed her deep disbelief and how utterly chocking she found my questions. Needless to say we won’t be working together.
OK, maybe I have misunderstood how outplacement agencies work. I am open for that. Still, have anyone else had the same experience with this particular agency? It might only be their French subsidiary though…