Out of Work for Longer than a Year?

Out of work for longer than a year?  If so, you are part of the so called “long-term unemployed” folks.  This is obviously not a fun place to be.  While things seem to be improving on the employment scene, we still have a high percentage of long-term unemployed workers; 20.3% of total unemployed people are classified as long-term unemployed.

What to do?  We’ve put together a few tips for people in this position:

  1. Self Assessment: If you’ve been out of work for 12 months, you may be a bit beaten up. You may be emotionally drained, you may be financially strapped, you may have taken on some habits that are not supportive, and/or you may have strained relationships with people you really care about.  The first step is to take a look at your current situation and deal with what you need to deal with.  Job search is much like building a structure; you need a solid foundation.  Seek out the appropriate professional as needed.


  1. Career Transition or Outplacement: Did you have access to these types of services when you left your last organization? If yes, when was the last time you had contact with your consultant?  If it’s been a while, it’s time to reach out to your consultant to reconnect and find out if you still have access to your services.  Reputable organizations may extend support beyond original program timelines.  When you reach out, be clear about how your consultant can help you.  If you did not have access to Career Transition services, then it may be worth hiring a Career Coach to assist with the process.


  1. Value Proposition: What do you bring to employers that will help them drive revenues, increase margins, cut expenses, improve diversity; you get the idea. In this situation, you need to be very clear about how you will benefit the organization.  Write out your key accomplishments.  Sometimes, it helps to think of differentiators.  If we brought the top 10 candidates for a position into one room (of course you are one of them), what do you bring to the table that many of the other candidates wouldn’t bring?


  1. Activity Evaluation: What have you been doing up to this point? How are you spending your time?  It’s time to make a critical evaluation of what you’ve been doing with your days.  Have other activities entered your life and taken up chunks of time?  While this can sometimes be healthy, it’s important to put in the job search time to make things happen.  Have you sent 100’s of resumes and gotten few interviews?  Then it may be time to look at your application packages.  Are you getting interviews, but not getting to the offer stage?  Then it may be time to look at your interviewing skills.  In times of high unemployment, the percentage of people that land in a new position through someone they know increases.  Are you spending time reconnecting with old connections?  How about connecting with people that you don’t know through introductions?


  1. Focus Your Search: At first, this may seem counter-intuitive. Why would it be beneficial to cut down on the number of job applications or eliminate some possibilities?  It turns out that if you focus your search on what you’re really interested in, your network now knows how to help you.  If you’re very clear about what you want to do, you can now ask for introductions to people that do that work and are in organizations that are of interest.  Think back to your “Value Proposition” and find the work and organizations that would benefit most from what you do.


  1. Volunteer: Volunteering is a good way to get back in the game. People who have been out of work for an extended time have likely lost contact with some connections.  Volunteering also introduces you to a whole new set of connections.  Various studies have shown that volunteering shortens job search times by 7% to 27%.  Be sure to pick something that you truly enjoy and that uses skills that you want to use in the workplace rather than thinking about the outcome of getting a job.  You may also want to set a cap on the amount of time you commit to volunteering.  It’s easy to have this component dominate your job search activities without careful planning.  Doing an internet search for “your city” and “volunteer” should bring up websites where you can browse various opportunities or contact your local library.


  1. Career Change: In some cases, it may be advisable to consider a career change. Some people may already have some ideas about what they would like to do, others may be uncertain.  One suggestion if you are not sure is to take an assessment.  Another suggestion is to visit your neighborhood library and wander the books.  Take note of where you are drawn.  There may be something work related that is worth exploring.  Once you have a target, find and talk to people that are doing the work.  Ask questions.  What’s it like to do the work on a daily basis?  Do they recommend education pieces, or can you get into the work with your current skills?  If you can’t do the work right away, are there stepping stones that will get you closer to your target?


  1. Be OK with It: You are basically the same person as when you were working. In fact, you may be more valuable to an employer now.  Reflecting on your current situation may allow you to bring a certain grounding when you do land in a new role.  You bring much to the table.  Don’t allow the fact that you have not been in a paid position for an extended period of time diminish the you that you are.  Be ready to explain what you’ve been doing, which can be going on a sabbatical or spending extended time with your family if that is what you’ve been doing.  Do so with your head held high.

Hopefully, this provides some thoughts and ideas for moving forward.  Remember that everyone needs help in some form or another from time to time.  Job search is a roller coaster of a ride.  If you get stuck in one of the dips, reach out to someone you trust who can listen, provide support, and help you regain your momentum.  And if you’re not inclined to do so because you don’t want to impose, simply think of how you would feel and what you would do if someone in your situation came to you for help.

Written by Steve Cutler, Consultant at Cenera, a CPI Firm

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Turn Recruiting Into Your Competitive Advantage

Simon Parkin, Founder of The Talent Company, A Career Partners International Firm (CPI), has over 20 years of diverse recruitment and talent management experience.  As a CPI Partner, The Talent Company has provided Toronto, Canada with global expertise in talent development and career transition services.  Simon’s team has developed a system to Find, Keep, Reward, and Transition an organization’s employees.  Now Simon has put pen to paper to share his recruiting specialties in his new book Hiring Right, on shelves December 4th.

None of Hiring Right is theory or blue-sky thinking. Throughout the book examples—some inspirational, others cautionary— are drawn from daily life at organizations around the globe that Simon Parkin and his team have worked with. Simon’s hope is that you will find yourself thinking “a-ha!” at various points, nodding in recognition at others, and highlighting, underlining, and scribbling notes in the margin in every chapter.

“Simon Parkin is a true influencer of our time with his common-sense approach towards talent acquisition.  Any HR or business leader who is serious about propelling their business forward by improving candidate quality, new hire experience, and increased bench-strength of existing human capital, needs to read this book.”  Annamaria DiCesare, National HR Leader of a Global Financial Services Organization

As a special pre-order thank-you, CPI Partners and clients have access to 20% pre-order discount on Hiring Right.  Enter code “TalentCo20” at check out.  Hiring Right is available at Thetalent.co.

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Learning Dynamics Joins Career Partners International to Elevate the Talent Development and Career Transition Market in Connecticut

Career Partners International (CPI) is pleased to announce that Learning Dynamics has met the rigorous qualifications to become a CPI firm, bringing their expertise and strong reputation in the Hartford, Connecticut region.  CPI has over thirty years of outplacement and talent development experience, inviting into the global CPI Partnership only those firms who meet our high standards of quality coaching services and client engagement.

“It is our pleasure to welcome Learning Dynamics to Career Partners International.  At CPI we take pride in offering the world’s most effective talent development and career transition services.  Learning Dynamics’ coaches have decades of real-world experience and are proven to meet and exceed our high delivery standards.  They partner with their customers and take the time to understand their unique needs, making them a perfect fit for our organization,” says Doug Matthews, President and CEO of Career Partners International.

Learning Dynamics takes a flexible approach to talent development by offering customized programs in formats that best fit their clients’ workplace.  This high-tech, high-touch approach mirrors CPI’s approach to coaching.  “We are delighted to have been selected as a CPI partner firm.  Our team is very much looking forward to collaborating with the CPI staff and the other firms who are part of the CPI family,” said Jim DeMaio, President of Learning Dynamics.

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Five Questions to Ask When Considering an Outplacement Provider

Leading organizations realize that providing outplacement services shows respect to their former employees, improves retention and engagement with those who remain, and protects their employer brand.  I have yet to meet a decision maker who is not concerned with how business decisions, such as mergers, acquisitions and downsizings, affect their people, making outplacement programs even more valuable.  But, more and more, the conversations about outplacement are centered on the inability to evaluate an appropriate provider.

Outplacement is not a one-size-fits-all service. To ensure a proper fit for both company and vendor, consider the following questions:

What services are provided? Having a knowledgeable professional to partner with and to help guide your employee through unfamiliar territory can greatly reduce his or her search time if the consultant is offering more than talk therapy. Ask about help with resumes, LinkedIn, creating a professional brand, networking scripts, interviewing, job search strategy, career change, starting a business, etc. Ask the potential firm if there will be group sessions, classes, webinars, and trainings as well.

How are services delivered? Many career transition firms are moving to a mainly virtual platform. Virtual coaching can be beneficial for rural workers who don’t have easy access to a coach, and these services are typically are less costly. But, if you are outplacing more seasoned workers or if your exiting employees have not utilized a high-tech platform in their roles, the virtual platform can be intimidating and anxiety provoking. Make sure that the services will be delivered in a way that is familiar and comfortable for your exiting employees.  Most workers find major benefits to direct interaction with their coach.

What are the coaches’ backgrounds? Your exiting employees are diverse. You’ll want to choose a firm that offers a diverse and relatable coaching bench. Ask about the firm’s talent. Are they certified? Do they understand your industry? Are they geographically located in a way that allows them to have knowledge about your employees’ target markets?

Does the firm have connections? Connections are critical to the job search process. Your exiting employees will be encouraged to network. Ask questions to determine if the firm can offer connections to recruiters, hiring managers, and decision makers. Survey the tools, technology, and employees to ensure that you are putting your exiting employees in the best possible position to secure their next roles.

Do you want a vendor or a partner? Choosing an organization to handle your outplacement needs is like deciding on car insurance. Some of us just want the bare minimum, and some of us want comprehensive coverage. If you’re asking what the very least amount of coverage looks like, there are companies that will partner with you in that way. If you are looking for a partner who knows your needs, goals and values and will provide comprehensive care in planning, delivery and reporting of your career transition services, you will find organizations that will provide you that level of service. In evaluating providers, you should consider your end goal.

Choosing an outplacement provider should be done with care. Simply reviewing a proposal may not give you all of the information that you need to enter knowledgeably into a contract. Your potential provider should take time to meet with you, answer the above questions and thoroughly understand your needs. You may find it beneficial to reconnect with your current advisor and reassess the relationship on an annual basis. Remember that the level of service that the provider offers can impact your relationship with your employees and your consumers. Choose wisely!


Written by Andrea Holyfield, Consulting Manager at CPI Partner Warren Averett Workplace

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Civility in the Workplace: Don’t Take it for Granted

With over thirty years of experience in talent development and career transition services, Career Partners International (CPI) has provided clients with the tools to navigate through decades of change in the workplace. Despite the best preparations, new challenges continually emerge for HR and Management teams.

Join us for the CPI Webinar Series on December 11th, to discuss civility in the workplace at a time when it has relevance in relation to the lessons we are absorbing from the #MeToo movement.  In our world today, this complex subject continues to be front of mind for employers and employees, changing the dynamics and cultures of many organizations.  As an expert in this critical subject, Gary Cormier will be presenting “Workplace Civility on a Continuum” to assist professionals in beginning to address this difficult topic.

Gary Cormier joins us from Harvard University as a Senior Human Resources and Organizational Development Consultant.  This foundational session will explore the business case for workplace civility as well as the implications of incivility. It will help identify uncivil, inappropriate, negative, or bullying behaviors in the workplace and what can be done to mitigate them.  Finally, the session concludes with ways to make civility part of your organization’s overall culture.

The CPI webinar is on December 11th at 11:00 AM EST, all Managers and HR Professionals are welcome to join.  Registration is free and open to the entire CPI network.  Gary will deliver a thirty-minute presentation with time after for Q&A.  Registration is now open.

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Avoid Losing More Than You Let Go

With over thirty years of experience, Career Partners International (CPI) has repeatedly demonstrated the value of quality outplacement services.  CPI makes the difficult process of a career transition as smooth as possible for candidates and clients.  Over 80% of participants working with CPI land in equal or better paying positions than they previously held.  On average, candidates land in 2.73 months, twice as fast as the national average.  These results protect the employer brand that clients have worked so hard to develop.  But how can offering outplacement services to separated employees benefit those who remain in the organization after a reduction?

A termination or layoff can leave remaining workers questioning the security of their positions.  Knowing that even in the worst-case scenario their peers are taken care of and treated with respect enables the workplace return to normalcy. Offering separated employees outplacement services keeps remaining employees focused and engaged.  By providing career transition services organizations prove that they care about their employees, even if they are no longer with the company.

Remaining employees have a personal connection with those who have been separated.  Many have spent 8+ hours a day, five days a week, for years building both personal and professional relationships with those who have lost their jobs.  They care about their wellbeing and will likely stay in contact.  CPI facilitates candidates landing great new opportunities.  97% of participants report being highly satisfied with their outplacement experience, easing concerns of their peers.

CPI assists organizations through all phases of the separation process to make outplacement programs as effective as possible.  From planning, to notification support, to change management training, CPI coaches support both the organization and candidates to ensure a seamless transition.  Handled properly, CPI ensures that outplacement services are beneficial to all stakeholders, protects the employer brand, moves candidates into great opportunities, and keeps remaining employees focused and engaged.

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CPI’s Sacramento Partner Wilcox Miller & Nelson’s President and CEO Joins the Advisory Board of Leaderxxchange

Wilcox Miller & Nelson today announced that their President and CEO, Diane D. Miller, has joined the Advisory Board of Leaderxxchange, the New York- based company that produces the Gender Diversity Exchange. Leaderxxchange is a change-drive organization that advises and promotes diversity in governance, leadership and investment. The Gender Diversity Exchange provides a comparison of the gender diversity in the management ranks amongst the world’s leading companies.

“It’s an honor to serve on Leaderxxchange’s Advisory Board, alongside distinguished governance leaders from around the world.  The important data the Exchange provides assists boards, shareholders, and companies in making informed decisions regarding their organization’s gender diversity and its comparison to others.” – Diane D. Miller

Wilcox Miller & Nelson is the Sacramento Partner of Career Partners International and provides board and executive search, governance consulting, and executive career transition services.

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Career Partners International Helps Managers Break Down Barriers to Employee Participation in Learning and Development Opportunities

Over the past few years, a trend has surfaced with power shifting from employers to employees in the talent market.  Unemployment is down, and companies struggle to fill open positions.  The most talented employees are more sought after than ever causing HR leaders to focus on retaining their stars.  Learning and development opportunities have become a major focus with many organizations creating and expanding their offerings in hopes of improving employees’ skills and increasing retention.

According to a recent study conducted by LinkedIn, 94% of employees would stay at an organization longer if it invested in their careers.  So why are employees still leaving if so many organizations offer workplace learning?  A major contributor to this phenomenon centers on the lack of accessibility to these programs.  Even the best designed programs will not yield results if employees are not accessing them.

What are the common barriers to entry for learning and development offerings?  One common problem is the format is not conducive to the employees learning style.  Sometimes employees do not have the time to participate in growth opportunities.  Many organizations have a communication problem; their programs may be an unintentionally well-kept secret.  Tearing down these and other barriers gives development programs the chance to make real change and improve organizations.

With over 30 years of experience, Career Partners International (CPI) has seen all these common barriers and many more.  CPI works with managers to remove these obstacles and encourage their teams to participate in learning opportunities.  According to that same LinkedIn survey, one of the biggest drivers of participation in development programs is encouragement from management, be it a verbal suggestion or freeing up time for participation.  Employees want to learn and grow, organizations want their talent to stay, grow, and remain engaged.  By turning managers into career coaching leaders CPI helps managers align the goals of employers and employees to promote lasting and mutually beneficial relationships.

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Tap into the Hidden Talent Pool with CPI EmployerConnect

As the talent market becomes increasingly competitive it’s getting harder and harder to recruit top level employees.  Career Partners International (CPI) is pleased to announce the launch of our new service, CPI EmployerConnectTM.  CPI now grants employers and recruiters direct access to our pool of national and international talent.  In a labor market facing a talent shortage, this program will align thousands of highly qualified, motivated candidates with employers seeking to fill positions.

CPI EmployerConnectTM allows employers to post open positions, improving visibility to this desirable talent pool.  Many job boards are cluttered with outdated and irrelevant postings, reducing the odds of reaching desired applicants.  By limiting access to trusted CPI clients and partners distracting posts are eliminated.  Candidates can easily apply to posted jobs through links to legacy external systems, reducing duplicated employer effort.

Employers now can search for candidates in CPI’s pool of talent based on title, education, employment history, and other pertinent information.  With the ability to search for and save prospective job seekers, employers will no longer need to hope that great applicants will find them on crowded job boards or pursue passive candidates.  Search criteria can be saved on an individual employer dashboard allowing for quicker identification of new prospects.

For over 30 years CPI has offered world-class outplacement services, helping thousands of participants land new opportunities. CPI specializes in landing participants quickly, twice as fast as the national average, and in high quality roles.  With CPI EmployerConnectTM, employers can partner with CPI to quickly find talent and fill open positions.  Contact your local partner to access CPI EmployerConnectTM.

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5th International HR Conference Barcelona Summary

On the 5th of October 2018, the most disruptive HR Conference ever was held in Barcelona, hosted by CPI firm Advantage Consultores. 200 CEO’s and HR People from 5 continents shared the latest trends in HR.

Video Recap

Photo Highlights

Sylvia Taudien opened the session with her moonshot acquired at Singularity University: to think big and to convert this Conference into the most disruptive one yet. She explained the learnings from Singularity University were exponential and that technology will convert the world’s biggest challenges into opportunities. She assured us that AI is an opportunity to improve our lives and we should see co-working and co-living with robots as a normal co-existence. She mentioned Singularity’s 10th anniversary and created a futuristic frame.

Pablo Rodríguez, CEO of Alpha Telefonica Moonshots explained the first factory of moonshots in Europe, projects which move innovation through technology.

Pere Brugal, CEO of TESLA South Europe highlighted, through an example of the sustainability at Tesla, how fast companies can change in an exponential environment. Tesla’s first objective is to create a more sustainable future for mankind.

Milton Ribeiro from Google USA explained that 85 % of the jobs that will exist in 2030 are not invented yet and many of them will use technology, but more will relate to understanding the problems of humanity. For him understanding problems is more important than solving problems. He is completely sure that the coming generations must be based in technology.

Yusuf Okucu from Vistaprint explained how his company implemented a new agile and collaborative working way. Agile does not mean a new methodology, but a new mindset which achieves better decision making and teamwork with Agile HR Coaches.

Marta De Las Casas from Telefónica pointed out that we are living in the most exciting era ever where everything is in a state of transformation, led by people and their attitudes. AI must be led in companies by HR, the real transformational managers. Marta spoke about the importance of big data to detect skills such as risk management and learning Agility.

The highlight of the day was Sophia’s appearance, the first humanoid robot from Hanson Robotics. She had come from Hong Kong to realize the first job interview in her robot life. “Sophia is the artificial intelligence we will use in a few years in our homes and offices,” said Sylvia Taudien. In fact, Sophia’s first task during her visit was to simulate a job interview.

“Robots and humans will be able to work together by complementing each other. We [robots] can focus on more analytical and tedious tasks that humans prefer to avoid, allowing them to focus on more creative and cognitive tasks,” Sophia told the conference audience.

Sylvia Taudien added that creations like Sophia, which is still in a testing phase, will take over many jobs humans do now, from answering the phone to serving tables. “Jobs that require a lot of repetition and friendly attention, because robots never get tired of working,” said Sylvia Taudien.

Sophia may be a robot but has facial features resembling a human’s, “the feel of the skin, too,” adds Sylvia Taudien. Yet Sophia can do things many humans can’t. As a job interviewer, for example, Sophia can use facial recognition technology to tell if the candidate is lying.

The robot is also programmed to tell whether the candidate fits with the profile that the company demands. As Sophia herself explained, an advantage of not having “human emotions” is that “robots do not judge.”

During the presentation, the audience could ask Sophia questions. The robot said that she liked Barcelona and loved tapas, while also explaining that her objective is to improve the sphere of robotics.

See the full video of Sophia’s interview.

Jordi Torrent, International Ambassador from Barcelona Techcity, the biggest ecosystem for Start-ups in Barcelona, presented the European Start-up Ecosystem in a very impacting way.

Max Gouchan, CEO and Founder from the Startup Wrap & Roll from Norway, presented in a very refreshing way that inventing your own way of being an entrepreneur is a life option with a lot of ups and downs but gives a lot of personal and professional satisfaction.

Terence Hielscher, CEO and Founder of MoBerries Berlin explained how AI can help to recruit candidates even with the help of amazon’s Alexa.

Pablo González, CEO of Trivu moderated a very interesting debate with digital natives around 18-29 years how they see the future of work. They valuate above all mentors in companies, trust and freedom.

At the end if this inspiring day, Sylvia Taudien showed an impacting video about robotization, machine learning and AI everywhere, but the importance in a highly humanized world. Humans will be more important than ever.  She mentioned a recent quotation from Dalai Lama: “Science and technology cannot replace the ancestral spiritual and humanity values that have profoundly transformed the history of human beings!”  She closed the day with the song “Human” and a hug for everybody.

See you again at the 6th edition on October 4th, 2019.


By Sylvia Taudien, CEO & Consultant at CPI Firm, Advantage Consultores

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