China Gorman & Outplacement Ripped Down Under

A fellow by the name of Shane Granger with out of Australia decided to get caught up on his movie viewing and pop in Company Men.  Subsequent to the viewing, and perhaps a few Foster’s as well; Mr. Granger decided to write, in part the following:

I was following China Gorman on Twitter. China describes herself as a ‘Business leader, public speaker, free agent and supporter of all things HR’ and was until last week the COO of SHRM. Last week she transitioned to a senior role with RiseSmart.

RiseSmart describes itself on China Gorman’s own site as follows:

RiseSmart is a leading provider of next-generation outplacement solutions. The company leverages a cloud-based technology platform, proven methodologies, and one-on-one support to help employers with their workforce strategy, and displaced employees with their career strategy. RiseSmart drives significant ROI to organizations by offering affordable pricing while reducing unemployment insurance taxes and severance costs. RiseSmart has received a wide range of awards and recognition from organizations including Red Herring, TiE, the Stevie Awards, SiliconIndia, the San Francisco Business Times and the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. For more information, visit 

My POV is that for all the accolades and nice words about China Gorman’s new position the reality for real people is that outplacement = sacked employee’s! It’s also an obscene $3Bn per annum USD industry. This means that someone with a unique position to understand the US economy, the HUMAN RESOURCES implications and that market has decided to not use her position to keep people in employment but to make money from people being unemployed.

Perhaps China should adopt the acronym HM (Human Misery) rather than HR (Human Resources).

Given the dire nature of the US economy and China’s unique corporate knowledge of the HR market in the United States it seems that she is taking the dollars over the best interests of her fellow Americans.

Not surprisingly, Ms. Gorman with pointed class, acquitted the industry without attempting to defend herself quite well via the comments section.

Response by China Gorman (3 August 2011):

Despite what you see in the movies, outplacement firms don’t decide who loses their job. Once those decisions are made by the org, outplacement consultants – paid for by the org – focus on providing a pathway to new employment. Statistics are clear that laid off employees who engage with an outplacement provider & utilize their resources are re-employed much more quickly. RiseSmart’s clients, for example, are in new jobs 54% faster than the market average ( Not a bad service.

Mr. Granger, my POV is that “HM” or “Human Misery” is the least accurate acronym you could assign China or many others within the outplacement industry.  My experiences with China have in fact been the polar opposite.  Whether as a colleague or as a competitor, my experience has been that she cares deeply about others, and is willing to assist even when there is nothing in it for her.  My experience is not unique as I have found from others that China develops outstanding teams by putting the needs of others above those of her own.

There are some vultures in every sector of  industry who take the dollars over the best interest of their countrymen…some might even refer to them as politicians; however, many in the outplacement industry are not.  Some are a part of this industry because they truly appreciate the challenge and responsibility for helping provide hope, process, and assistance to the negatively impacted employees and their families.

Might I suggest a more recently released movie titled Horrible Bosses which may provide you with a more appropriate target.





Posted on August 4, 2011, in Strange But True and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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