Believe me, we didn’t script any of this.

First, we decide to run a three-part blog series called “Outplacement: Then and Now,” contrasting the traditional business model of outplacement providers like Lee Hecht Harrison and DBM to the disruptive model introduced by RiseSmart.

Then, just as we’re about to announce that China Gorman, former president of Lee Hecht Harrison and DBM North America, has joined RiseSmart’s Strategic Advisory Council and endorsed our approach to outplacement, DBM is acquired by LHH’s owner, Adecco.

The Lee Hecht Harrison and DBM merger makes a lot of sense. These are two like-minded companies that have relatively indistinguishable products built on career transition philosophies and principles from the ’70’s. They have high cost structures given all their office space across the country, so I assume they will attempt to achieve some cost synergies through the merger. 

But frankly, to us, the combining of these two companies is like the horse coming together with the buggy.  Their services were appropriate and effective at one time, but we are in a different era now. Today’s workers are more mobile, more time-constrained, more socially connected and more tech-savvy than any in U.S. history.

At the same time, corporations are using different tools and methods to recruit, attract, and retain talent. All of these changes demand a fundamental rethinking of how outplacement solutions are conceived and delivered in 2011.  

That’s what RiseSmart is all about — and why we believe China Gorman joining RiseSmart will prove a more significant story than the LHH-DBM merger over the long term.

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