Some options in the market offer an online formula where the participant is self-guided, with on-demand access to a coach. It is essential to question whether this virtual approach is the appropriate choice for your organization. Here are some indications to consider before opting for this type of virtual program.
Why Offer This Type of Service?
Virtual career transition solutions are designed to provide support to affected employees while minimizing the costs associated with this type of service. These programs are entirely online and allow participants to access a web platform where they can find resources and tools to assist them in their job search process. Among these resources, there are readings, directories of job sites, CV templates, and prerecorded webinars.
There are several reasons why an organization might choose to offer a virtual career transition program rather than a personalized individual program. In general, this decision is driven by economic considerations, thus supporting employees during times of change while minimizing costs.
Here are some reasons why an organization might opt for a virtual career transition program:
Virtual career transition programs are accessible anytime and from anywhere, offering participants great flexibility in accessing the services provided to them. Of course, this assumes that participants have the necessary computer equipment.
Virtual career transition programs allow participants to schedule their activities according to their personal and professional constraints. It's an ideal option for self-directed individuals who prefer to work independently.
This type of program is not personalized and takes place entirely online. This can be advantageous or not, depending on individual preferences. However, those who are comfortable with technology and prefer to work independently can benefit from this type of program.
Virtual career transition programs delivered through an online platform are generally more affordable than individual programs. Thanks to a standardized approach, this type of program does not require the personalized intervention of an expert.
Despite the advantages they offer, virtual career transition programs also have some disadvantages to consider:
Lack of Personalized Support
Due to their virtual and non-personalized nature, virtual career transition programs cannot offer the same level of personalized support as an individual program. Participants may feel isolated or have difficulty obtaining specific answers to their unique needs. The absence of a dedicated coach can limit the ability to solve complex problems or overcome specific obstacles.
Lack of Social Interaction
Virtual programs may lack social interactions and networking opportunities, which can be a disadvantage for some participants. The lack of direct contact with other professionals can reduce networking opportunities, sharing experiences, and mutual learning. These interactions can be important for expanding professional horizons, gaining practical advice, and building connections in a new field.
Participants facing technological limitations or limited internet access may encounter difficulties in fully benefiting from the program. This can lead to access disparities and exclude some individuals who could benefit from a career transition, particularly those with limited resources.
Expert Opinion: Should You Offer This Type of Program? No!
Virtual career transition programs have some significant disadvantages. The lack of personalized support, lack of social interactions, and technological limitations can compromise the success of these programs. It is recommended to opt for an individual career transition program that offers personalized support, more meaningful human interactions, and emotional support. There is a wide range of individual programs available to meet the specific needs of participants.
Furthermore, based on our experience, access to on-demand coaches in these virtual programs can be challenging. Participants struggle to establish interactions with their coach, as the focus is primarily on online tools, and coaches are not dedicated to them and are difficult to access. This additional constraint reinforces the importance of choosing an individual program that offers personalized support to ensure a successful career transition.