C-level departures happen for a variety of reasons, ranging from M&A to performance shortfalls to a board-driven strategy shift to a new CEO opting to bring in a whole new team. When C-level executives leave the company they’ve helped to lead, sometimes for many years, the strategy for their outplacement is vastly different than for less senior employees.
Whereas when mid-career or even entry-level employees are in the midst of a job search, it’s about finding the right new job quickly. Senior execs have less time pressure from an income standpoint than less senior employees, but the opportunity set is narrower and the hiring process far more intricate than a more mainstream job search. Executive outplacement is about helping departing C-level execs uncover, pursue, and weigh options to make the best decision for themselves.
What departing C-level executives are thinking is, “What’s next? What do I really want to do? How can I best get there?”
As a result, the tactics and strategies for executive career coaching and outplacement have to build those unique needs and wants into the equation. Competition for the most attractive C-level positions is stiff. Execs need to put forth a compelling story of results as well as a constructive exit narrative. They need expert advice on navigating relationships with elite search firms. They need a reliable sounding board to support them through an arduous hiring process, which starts with the search firm, but then runs through the management team and board of directors.
In executive career coaching, emphasis should be on research, and how senior execs source meetings and find their next role. They need a robust strategy to pursue each of these avenues. The fact that networking and working with search firms play dominant roles is not a surprise to anyone. But, what may surprise people is that direct contact has been a successful strategy as well for many of our clients.
Bottom line, executives require high-impact career coaching from true C-level qualified coaches. They value strategic, high-quality advice from a trusted, confidential adviser. They appreciate the artisanship of elite-level resume writers and the professionalism and accountability of an elite-level coaching team.