Career coaches help people with all backgrounds and experiences through layoffs and seeking new employment. When executives are among those let go, they require an extra set of skills and additional benefits, and are best served by executive career transition coaches. How are these individuals’ outplacement needs different from those more junior? And in what ways can coaches with specialized knowledge support executives? We spoke with INTOO’s Career Transition Practice Leader, Caroline Vernon, to learn why it’s important to offer executives these specific services.
How does the executive job search differ from that of more junior job seekers?
Since executives tend to set the tone for the entire company, oftentimes it takes longer for a company to select the right-fit candidate. This is because if the hire is not suitable for the role, it can impact the organization as a whole, from retention to engagement.
Also, the job search process is different for an executive than it is for a more junior-level employee. For an executive to scour the job boards and apply to open requisitions is not the best use of their time, as it seldom equates to landing an executive position. To find those roles requires a specific strategy that’s more easily navigated with the help of an expert in executive career transition.
Another difference in the executive job search process is the number of interviews an individual will have, which is typically higher for leadership roles. In addition, the wait time to receive an offer is often longer for an executive role than for a more junior role, as the company has to jump through more hoops to get the salary approved.
Why is it important for an executive to get assistance from a career coach who specializes in executive career transition?
An executive likely will have had previous experience job hunting, although it’s possible that if the individual has been with a single organization for many years, the job search process may be quite different as they re-enter the job market. Either way, an executive career transition coach will have an awareness of the types of skills required of leadership, the conditions someone in a senior executive role would require for employment, and the specifics around negotiating for the benefits for an executive.
What materials should an executive expect to get help with from a career coach?
A senior-level job seeker should be availed of full-service resume writing by an expert, certified resume writer, who should also offer writing multiple versions of the resume. A writer of executive resumes will know how to frame the lengthier experience of someone at that job level to attract the attention of hiring managers.
Another item used specifically by executives while job seeking is an executive bio. This piece is used to provide a narrative about your accomplishments while communicating your personal brand. By working closely with an executive career transition coach, an individual can ensure that their leadership style, career milestones, and greatest assets for a future employer are combined into a flowing narrative that tells a succinct but compelling story.
These coaches can also provide cover letter writing, an executive job search action plan targeting companies of interest, and other materials that are helpful to an executive in a job search.
How can an executive career transition coach help a job seeker with networking?
Connections within an executive’s personal and professional circles and beyond—extending through an industry and/or field—are an essential aspect of a successful executive job search. While some executives are natural networkers, others need expert guidance provided by an executive career transition coach.
Beginning with building or finessing the perfect LinkedIn profile and resumes, and expanding to the above-mentioned executive bio, this coach will help an executive discover and target the right people for the desired position.
Such a coach can also facilitate roundtable discussions with other executives, make introductions with recruiters or other executives in the coach’s extensive network, and organize live and virtual groups for sharing tips, job leads, and more.
What additional support might an executive job seeker need?
Executives need more than traditional outplacement—they require highly tailored services focused on both career and leadership development to succeed in their next step. An executive career transition coaching program combines leadership development with career coaching, connections, and market intelligence. Relevance is at the heart of this level of service, focusing on practical career guidance while also ensuring executives have a proper understanding of changing market dynamics in order to navigate their career transition effectively and fruitfully.
Once the executive finds a new role, they often need additional support with the transition. Many organizations forego formal onboarding, and an executive career transition coach can help make that process smoother.
One of the main reasons for failure in the hiring process of an executive is the executive’s inability to adapt to the new role and culture of the organization. Because of this, it is essential to provide onboarding coaching that focuses on the support that an executive needs to accelerate and succeed in this process. This level of coaching does a deep dive into self-awareness exercises; understanding the business, function, and culture of the organization; and building relationships in the new role.
When you’re exploring outplacement providers, it’s important to consider the needs of every job seeker in your workforce, from entry-level to C-Suite, recognizing the differences among their needs. A top outplacement provider will offer exemplary coaching to each of them, with the ability to tailor their services and guidance to each candidate for a personalized experience. Such a provider will employ executive coaches with a minimum of ten years of experience in career development.
Offering such services to your workforce will create a lasting impression on your impacted employees and protect your employer brand.
About Caroline Vernon
Caroline Vernon is the Career Transition Practice Leader at INTOO. Her proven and progressive experience leading organizational growth and change, talent management initiatives, leadership development training and recruiting initiatives has led her to become a valuable partner and thought leader in the Outplacement and Career Development industries. Caroline served as Co-Founder of DisruptHR Omaha and is a frequent presenter at HR events around the U.S. She also currently serves on Forbes’ Coaches Council.
Caroline specializes in working with organizations experiencing rapid growth and/or transition. She provides strong thought leadership, innovation, partnership and guidance. She is a frequent keynote speaker, webinar host and has delivered many workshops to thousands of professionals across North America.
INTOO’s outplacement program helps employees transition to new jobs through one-on-one, on-demand coaching from premier career coaches, resume reviews, and other career development and job search services. Learn more about how our outplacement program can benefit your company when you’re transitioning employees.