The Silicon Review
Careerminds puts unemployed people to work faster in an average of 12 weeks and does it for 30-70% less than the competition.’
Careerminds is a national provider of affordable, scalable, strategic web-based outplacement solutions for U.S. companies seeking, virtual outplacement 2.0 services. Using an advanced, proprietary technology platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly. Founded in 2007, Careerminds is based in Delaware.
The Careerminds story
In January 2007, Careerminds CEO, Raymond Lee, left corporate HR to take the first step of entrepreneurship and began consulting and recruiting under the Careerminds name for organizations across the U.S. During that year he took on several recruiting projects for companies in the chemical industry. Towards the end of 2007, the economy was thriving. It wasn’t until Raymond received a phone call from one of his clients, Theatre Xtreme,a Delaware based home theatre business that was using Careerminds to staff sales managers for all of their stores across the company. The phone call was to let Careerminds know that Theater Xtreme was going bankrupt because they were funded by Circuit City who was also going bankrupt, as a result of the housing crash and the start to the recession. During that phone call, the CEO of Theatre Xtreme asked for outplacement for their employees in the Delaware corporate office. It was then that Raymond had the vision of creating an innovative approach to outplacement, as compared to the 30-year-old traditional outplacement model.
Careerminds was born from this request from Theater Xtreme, coupled with his corporate HR experience helped to shape the concept for “outplacement 2.0”. As a former HR executive for Corning, a global manufacturer of optical fiber, Raymond was involved in planning and implementing large scale layoffs and helped develop, execute, and facilitate outplacement centers for multiple facilities.
Over the course of his career, he realized that the face-to-face outplacement programs that had been around for 30+ years weren’t garnering the engagement that he had counted on. His employees wanted flexibility, including working from their home office, on their laptops and smartphones; the feedback he got was that people didn’t want to drive back into an office after they had been laid off. The truth is, the available outplacement providers weren’t keeping up with the shifting workplace trends toward mobile, virtual and cloud technology that started taking place in the early 2000s.
Careerminds recognized the trends in a changing and growing workforce and responded to the needs of modern companies and job seekers. The workplace today is more virtual, connected and flexible than ever before, and if a job seeker isn’t using online tools and social networking then they just aren’t finding jobs quickly.
In conversation with the Key Executive Raymond Lee
What do you feel are the reasons behind your product’s popularity?
Our product is popular because it solves problems for our clients that traditional outplacement providers don’t. We provide low cost solutions, while increasing the quality of the programs being delivered. Our participants get back to work in less than 12 weeks on average, and our clients boast a 16.5% stronger employer brand than the average organization. We also support our participants until they are hired on, and provide personalized coaching from the start of their severance. Something that has been missing from traditional providers is the ROI from the investment in outplacement. With Careerminds’ 2- way HRIS integration, we provide real-time visibility into usage and have the ability to report on all data.
Are there any trigger factors/events that have played key roles in shaping your organization’s road map?
The “silver tsunami”, or massive wave of baby boomers preparing to retire in the next decade, (10,000 per day on average), has shaped the product offerings of our organization. We saw an opportunity to apply our technology and expertise to this societal shift and have been able to help our clients effectively prepare for it through our holistic retirement lifestyle planning program.
How do you and your company contribute to the global IT platform and society at large?
Our technology has changed the way outplacement is delivered. We offer customized and personalized solutions that integrate with HR systems to provide the highest level of transparency and collaboration possible. Careerminds has set the standard in the outplacement industry.
Do you have any new products ready to be/getting ready to be rolled out into the market?
Yes! We have applied our technology and coaching to the growing societal change of baby boomers retiring en masse. Our new program, Evergreen, allows us to help baby boomers assess their retirement options and plan for changes that are in their future. This program also helps organizations with the succession planning that comes along with this mass exodus of a company’s most tenured employees.
Where do you see Careerminds a couple of years from now?
We will continue to expand our offerings and grow geographically with an integrated solution offering virtual outplacement, talent development and retirement services.
Meet Mr. Lee
Raymond Lee, CEO and Founder: Raymond Lee launched Careerminds in 2008 as a virtual outplacement company. He brings over 18 years’ human resource leadership, career consulting, and outplacement experience to Careerminds. The concept of virtual outplacement was developed by Raymond after experiencing years of traditional outplacement in a variety of HR roles. When he started the company in 2008, he had one goal in mind: to create an outplacement program that was forward thinking and to reduce the stress employees face during career transition. This included developing a robust and relevant technology that accelerates the transition process, creating personalized and customized programs by job function and industry, and hiring the best career consultants who support displaced employees every step of the way.
Raymond holds a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology from Louisiana Tech University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology.