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September 22, 2010
Submitted By Sanjay Sathe

While news out of Silicon Valley often seems to focus on the latest gadgets and online social networks, we at RiseSmart always work to remind ourselves that technology can never take the place of real human relationships. That’s one reason why we employ a team of very special people who help laid-off workers in our Transition Concierge outplacement program. We call these folks Transition Specialists. Their mission is to build one-on-one relationships with laid-off workers and to go the extra mile to help them identify, apply for, and secure new jobs. When a person is laid off, they are worried about their family; they are worried about their future. They’ve got a lot of distractions – and this can lead to missed opportunities. RiseSmart’s Transition Specialists understand this. They know that part of their role is to do whatever it takes to keep clients focused on the task at hand – finding a new job as quickly as possible. Transition Concierge creatively leverages technology to optimize time-to-placement for laid-off workers. Powered by proprietary aggregation and semantic search tools, the virtual solution delivers highly personalized job leads as well as other job search tools to eligible employees on a weekly basis. But technology is only part of the story. Laid-off workers have access to one-on-one assistance during every step of the job-finding process. Keeping Jobseekers Focused and Motivated Often, this personal assistance is a lifeline of support to struggling jobseekers, keeping them motivated and focused in their search. “One of my clients had to deal with his father becoming very ill and passing away. It took a month out of his job search and was very difficult for him emotionally,” says one Transition Specialist. “When I thought the time was right, I sent him cookies because I knew he had a daughter he absolutely adored who would love them. That started the dialogue going again. He got re-focused, and we eventually got him placed in a new job.” Zoning in on Each Candidate’s Needs While other outplacement firms deliver highly standardized or group-oriented services with only token attempts at personalization, the focus at RiseSmart is on the specific needs of individual jobseekers. This approach is built into all aspects of the company’s technology and service platform, and extends to every interaction between a candidate and a Transition Specialist. “I had one client who had her heart set on a specific Fortune 500 company. She wanted that or nothing else,” says a Transition Specialist. “So we focused all our resources for her on that goal. We identified and paid for her admission to a networking event where we knew her target company would be recruiting, and she ended up getting a job there as a result.” A Sounding Board for Life and Career Transition Specialists also help workers who are considering career changes and other major life decisions. “While I generally expect to use Transition Concierge’s job search tools to help my clients find a new position in their chosen field, sometimes it doesn’t work that way,” one Transition Specialist says. “When people lose their jobs, it’s often a time to reflect on big-picture issues – like, am I really doing what I want to do with my life? “I am asked to be a sounding board in those situations. One client, after discussing it with me for weeks, decided to stop looking for a job and to open her own retail store instead. It was gratifying to be one of the first people she felt comfortable telling about her dream – and to help give her the strength to follow through with it.” Going the extra mile for clients has its own rewards, our Transition Specialists say. “When I leave no stone unturned and ultimately help find someone a job, I feel like I’ve pulled that person out of the dumps, brushed them off and gotten them back on their feet,” says one. "It's the highlight of my day -- every day."

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