HR Topics  Leadership Tips
What is Outplacement? It’s Both Affordable & the Right Thing To Do.
You may have many questions:
What is outplacement – exactly?
What is the cost? Who pays?
What are the outcomes and benefits?
Is it part of a legal strategy?
Outplacement services are something you hope you never need. Yet, in 2020, layoffs and furloughs continue at many organizations as they evaluate their talent needs and long-term strategies. Now’s the time to get a clear picture of how outplacement can benefit your organization.
What is Outplacement?
Outplacement, also known as career transition services, is a program offered to employees to help them move forward after job loss. It is most often paid for by the employer, as a benefit included in a severance package. Therefore, it is provided at no cost to an exiting employee.
Strong outplacement programs emphasize personal branding and coaching. Job search coaches help job seekers develop a branding strategy to market themselves online. They help former employees optimize their efforts by aligning them with the technology and processes employed by today’s hiring managers. Today, the services extend well beyond resume writing and access to job boards. A coach has a critical role in helping people transition successfully.
Services for HR & Your Organization
Outplacement consulting services are also available to support the HR team and those who are managing the layoffs. Outplacement consulting services can be used to:
- Assist organizations with making layoff decisions.
- Help managers communicate layoff decisions to employees.
- Support remaining staff members so they stay productive during change.
Services could include consulting, strategic planning, career coaching, job search programs, group workshops, and team trainings.
What Outplacement is Not
Outplacement is not akin to a personal shopper who does all the work; an outplacement coach does not procure jobs, place people in jobs or apply for jobs on behalf of the job seeker. The coach is an expert in hiring processes and trends. Coaches work with the job seeker to overcome any obstacles in finding a new job. They may work on building a stronger personal brand, interviewing skills, networking habits or even managing the emotional toll of job loss.
Outplacement Outcomes – Empathy & Experience Work
Job seekers who work with professional outplacement services find work more than 2.5 times faster than those who don’t. At IMPACT Group, job search coaching is a core competency. We support people through career transition during good and bad economies, offering job search services for participants in outplacement programs as well as for people who are moving to new communities (due to corporate relocation of a spouse or partner). So no matter what the economy is doing, job search support is our continuous mission. And, we’ve developed competencies, processes and technology tools that get results.
Participants in our programs benefit from the experience of our coaches who understand how employers use social platforms and automation to find talent. We also support job searches with the emotional side of the process. Empathy and understanding help job candidates stay positive, active, committed and open to new opportunities.
Outplacement is usually priced as a fixed fee per employee, no matter how long it takes the person to find a job. And outplacement job search services can be scaled for nearly any budget. IMPACT Group works with Fortune 500 organizations as well as small businesses. We easily support a layoff of hundreds or just one or two associates at a time.
What are the Benefits of Career Transition Services?
Displays social consciousness.
During this 2020 pandemic, many people believe businesses must do everything in their power to keep people working. Outplacement signals a social consciousness, while taking cost control measures. Public announcements of layoffs often mention outplacement services. That’s because taking care of separating employees makes a meaningful statement.
Reduce the risk of litigation.
An experienced outplacement partner helps you process the criteria you will use to determine who is being let go. Similarly, the partner will also analyze the affect it has on the diversity of your staff. It’s also important to review applicable laws to ensure compliance.
Protect your brand reputation.
Ninety percent (90%) of professionals state they will not work for an organization that has a bad reputation.1 In other words, maintain a positive brand because it allows you to attract the best talent when you enter times of growth. Taking strategic steps along the way will ensure you uphold an employer of choice culture.
Create a clear message to communicate internally and externally.
Determine the rationale behind the layoffs and the business reasons for reducing staff. In other words, it’s essential to put these two things into words so you can accurately and clearly share them. Communicate this to exiting employees, remaining employees, stakeholders, and the public, for instance.
Compassionately support your separated employees with quickly getting back on their feet.
Many professionals are caught off guard when they lose their job. Provide exiting employees with job search assistance through an outplacement partner because it empowers them to find a new position fast. When a former employee cuts their job search in half compared to the national average, your organization drastically reduces your unemployment compensation costs.
Enhance productivity and retention among remaining employees.
Employers paid $600 billion in turnover costs in 2018. They can expect that number to increase to $680 billion by 2020.2 As a result, reducing your voluntary turnover rate by even 1% can deliver significant savings. Proactively address your remaining staff’s questions and needs because this upholds morale and rebuilds confidence in your company’s future.
Minimizes survivor anxiety and accelerates forward mobility.
Remaining employees often combat survivor syndrome on top of mounting workloads. Ultimately, this leads to a lot of frustration. To get everyone working toward a common goal, you need a plan that addresses workload changes, manager changes, and team rebuilding. As a result, transparency throughout the process will ensure they buy into the future state.
How Do You Select an Outplacement Firm?
Some outplacement firms offer very “thin” programs; they point people to a web portal and tell them to find everything they need online, without much support of professional coaches. Other programs go deep into coaching, but have little technology support. If you need to hire an outplacement firm, review our Outplacement Assessment Tool, which will help you ask the right questions and decide on the criteria that will shape your selection process.
1 IMPACT Group Relocation & Job Seeker Survey, 2018
2 National Employee Retention Report, Work Institute