Why Aren’t Big (and little) Outplacement Companies Recommending JibberJobber?

July 22nd, 2011

This post is going to sound snarky, or like I’ve got a chip on my shoulder.  In fact, I do have a chip on my shoulder. I’ve seen for-profit organizations not give the best to their clients for various reasons, and I’ve seen non-profit organizations (like church job groups) not give the clients the best.  Below are some theories why. Of course there are very, very few exceptions to what I write below… but yes, there are some outplacement firms that do recommend JibberJobber heavily.

I recently got an email from a client of a really big (one of the top 3) outplacement firms in the world.  This is a multi-billion dollar business, folks.  Here’s part of the email:

I wanted to mention that I am working with the Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) outplacement service and this is where someone recently mentioned Jibber Jobber.

LHH has always emphasized the importance of having a tool to manage all the data that a job search will generate, but they do not recommend any specific solution.  That is why many people default to using excel and then “out-grow” its effectiveness as you get a lot of data and try to associate information.

As a recommendation, if you could have companies like LHH put Jibber Jobber forward as a potential solution to manage data you may be able to drive increased sales.

I have been in the job search for over 4 months now and I would have liked to have known about this tool earlier in my search.

Ah, what a question!

Over the last 5+ years I have been trying to work with outplacement companies so they would heartily recommend JibberJobber, which I’m biased about, but I think is the best thing to organize and manage a job search.

In fact, in my mind, one of the companies that might acquire JibberJobber would be one of the top 3 outplacement firms (Right Management, LHH or DBM).  None of them have anything that touches JibberJobber… that’s what I’ve been told from their consultants (job coaches and counselors) and from their clients.

I know there are some consultants at various locations that recommend JibberJobber.  They teach classes about it, tell their clients to get on it, put it in their newsletter, etc.

But not one outplacement firm, that I know of, solely and strongly recommends the tool.

Why not?

Here again is the last line from above:

I have been in the job search for over 4 months now and I would have liked to have known about this tool earlier in my search.

It’s frustrating that JibberJobber, which is five years old now, isn’t THE recommended tool.

Have I tried to get in.

Big time.  But I hit brick wall after brick wall.  I haven’t been able to network in.  Most consultants haven’t been able to introduce me to anyone at the corporate level.

I did have an interesting conversation at the corporate level at Right Management, but the person there didn’t “get” JibberJobber.  Why would anyone want to use it, he wondered.

No matter what I said, did or showed him, he didn’t get it.  He said it would fail, like all CRM systems fail (when implemented).  He never understood that I wasn’t trying to get Right to use it as their CRM, rather to offer it to their clients, WHO NEED IT!

A corporate person didn’t get it, and killed it.

I had another conversation with someone high up at LHH.  Apparently he was responsible for developing a lot of the curriculum that LHH used world-wide (or, at least in the U.S.).  The most I could gather from that conversation is that since he didn’t develop or design JibberJobber, and it didn’t fit in totally with the nomenclature of his systems, they wouldn’t even consider it.

So, we have pride, ignorance and kingdom issues.

Why isn’t outplacement recommending JibberJobber?

I think it comes down to them (a) not spending time understanding how vital this tool is in a job search, and (b) not taking time to learn what their candidates (the job seekers) needs are.

It’s unfortunate.

But for five years I’ve tried and tried, and now, five years later, I get an email like the one above.

It makes me wonder what other tools, techniques and strategies these groups are withholding from their candidates.

All I can say is this: if you are an outplacement client, please go back to your coach and counselor and consultant and let them know how valuable it has been for you.

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5 Responses to “Why Aren’t Big (and little) Outplacement Companies Recommending JibberJobber?”

  1. Jeff H says:

    One BIG reason… Its a game changer and they’re threatened by the nature of self-service. Those firms become just a channel to get interviews or just plain obsolete. Don’t let it get to you. Lots of good examples of how some tools just became complete game changers… Look at facebook.

  2. Jeff Rock says:

    Jason,
    I believe in persistence and I know that you do as well. But sometimes when you repeatedly hit a brick wall, it’s best to consider the options. If you can’t break it down, go around it. If you can’t get around it, think long and hard about your destination and consider a different path.
    Focus on Purpose. What is the Purpose or primary goal of the large outplacement firms? It is to secure lucrative contracts from Fortune 500 companies. They do this by selling their branded process. They have defined steps that you do in order, with the guidance of coaches that have been trained in their proprietary process. I know one of those coaches. He is an excellent coach but cannot do anything with his clients outside of the prescribed methodology. I have one of the packages that they give to their clients to help them in their job search. I just put it on a scale.

    It weighs over 15 pounds.

    It is ponderous. The process itself was successful once but in 2011 and beyond, ponderous doesn’t cut it. JibberJobber enables its users to be nimble in their job search. The information is current and relevant. It’s real-time and focused. I think Jeff H who provided the comment above is absolutely right. JibberJobber is not a good cultural fit for the world of the big outplacement firms. I am not the least bit surprised that the person you spoke with at the corporate level didn’t get it. You are an entrepreneur coming from a place of creativity. He or she is overseeing what is essentially a manufacturing environment. Good money for them….for now. Culture clash for you. Does any of this remind you of your time in Corporate America?
    Take a step back. Flip it around. Instead of thinking of JibberJobber as a tool to round out the offerings at outplacement firms, think of it in terms of the client job-search life cycle starting from the day they are separated from their companies or make a decision to search for another position. If you begin with the premise that JibberJobber is the best thing to organize and manage a job search, and I believe it is, then the next logical step would be to partner with an organization that can provide the front end necessary to get people started and support them through what can be a scary process. Many people have not searched for a job in years and have no idea how to proceed. Engage a reliable team of coaches that could get the job-seeker unstuck, address self-imposed barriers and limiting beliefs, and rekindle their passions. This usually does not take long. Then you would have a large number of highly motivated, fully engaged, empowered people who could be who they are, do what they are, and unleash their full potential. They would, in all likelihood, be unstoppable. That is a very different business model than the big three outplacement firms.

    The difficult part, developing JibberJobber, is already done. There are good coaches that are underutilized. There are ways to determine if someone is a good coach. You need only find a way to make the connection. I believe you would find that the Purpose of most coaches, and your own Purpose, are better aligned than the big three.

    I’m just saying.

    Jeff

  3. Jeff Rock says:

    One more thing. When you’re breaking new ground, you will find that some people won’t get it. Just keep moving forward, like these folks:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSYhcaJkW7M

  4. Sylvie B. says:

    Yes, agree with Jeff H. and Jeff R.
    This reminds me of The Innovator’s Dilemma…You are the disruptor, they are established. As Jeff Rock says, no sense to bury your jewel in their business model.

  5. Jane N-B says:

    Hi Jason – reposting over here from Facebook :)

    Jason, you hit the nail on the head above…”he didn’t develop or design JibberJobber, and it didn’t fit in totally with the nomenclature of his systems, they wouldn’t even consider it.” Welcome to the corporate world ;) .

    What kind of traction are you getting with HR associations? (SHRM, etc.) I’m thinking you might be a good vendor candidate at their national conferences. In doing so, perhaps you can get publicity/publishing opportuntiies in their newsletters, emails, etc.

    Another thought since I posted the above to Facebook – you are actually somewhat of a competitor to the big outplacement firms. The gentleman above is quite correct regarding the nature of outplacement firms. They let HR/senior executives think they’re doing something positive for the newly released workers. I went through the process once, and it was OK…for 10 years ago.

    A Lee Hecht Harrison (or similar firm) doesn’t really have a place in a job seekers life after the initial consultation is done. Jibber Jobber is a long term tool, but that doesn’t fit with their business model. Frankly, they don’t care what happens to the job seeker once their work with him/her is done. They don’t derive additional revenue from the outplaced worker – they do from the corporation needing to get rid of people in the least disruptive fashion possible.

    Have you thought about creating a white paper that you host on your web site? The paper would be written as an ‘inside sales’ piece that an internal person could use to help ‘sell’ the tool higher up.

    Keep fighting! It’s a huge opportunity for the outsourcing industry and just wait when they ‘get it.’ They’ll want to rush to create their own and you offer a great option.

    I’d also consider a cosmetic update to the site. I haven’t been over there for a year or so and it looks pretty similar to when I saw it the first time. I don’t know how to describe the “look” I’m thinking of, but here are a couple of sites that have the “feel” :

    http://demandquest.com/
    http://oveyo.com/
    http://www.weebly.com/
    http://snappages.com/
    http://www.dittoandco.com/
    http://fedex.com/us/ (vast improvement visually from their old site)

    Crisp, clean, good balance of color and white space, somewhat large’ish fonts and graphic elements, etc.

    I know you put *tons* of work into the site, so I don’t make this suggestion lightly…but it might be an option.

    You are a visionary, and your software tool is benefitting thousands of people – keep pushing, since it’s so very needed!

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