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In the nineties business has slimmed down by a variety of methods variously called restructuring, delayering, or downsizing. Whatever it was called, it has meant people losing their jobs. Now firms are beginning to think hard about ways to keep and motivate the staff they still have. During the shake-out, many organisations hired consultants to help displaced employees find new jobs, a process which is often called outplacement. That job is now largely done. So the consultants have moved to marketing themselves as guides and mentors to staff still in post, to help them make the most of their career opportunities within the organisation. By an obvious shift in language that matches their change in role, they sometimes refer to their function as inplacement. But other terms are also in use (see the second citation below) and it may turn out to have been only a short-term fashion.

The policy provides for both inplacement and outplacement services, pay continuation, and continuation of specific benefits to those eligible employees whose positions are eliminated as a result of administrative restructuring.

Compass, Univ. of Pennsylvania, July 1996

Consultants offering inplacement services now call themselves career-change consultants, or career development consultants.

Independent on Sunday, March 1999

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.

Page created 01 May 1999