Terminations, staff reductions and layoffs are stressful for both employees and employers. However, outplacement, a career transition and assistance service that helps workers find new jobs, can ease the transition. Studies show businesses that offer outplacement find that it improves their reputation, boosts employee morale during a difficult time, helps mitigate litigation and reduces the cost of unemployment claims.
What exactly is outplacement?
Outplacement is a company-sponsored benefit provided as part of a severance package to help transitioning and laid off workers quickly find another job or career. Outplacement providers offer resume writing and cover letter services, teach navigating job boards, refine candidate interviewing techniques, and offer guidance with networking and negotiating salaries.
How does outplacement work?
On rare occasions outplacement can be provided in house, however it’s more common for businesses to partner with a third party that specializes in resume writing, job coaching and career transition services. Laid off employees participating in an outplacement program usually work with a career coach one-on-one or as part of a group. These are mostly done online or by phone however some outplacement providers offer in-person coaching. This usually depends on the extent of the program and capabilities of the outplacement provider.
How much does outplacement cost?
Outplacement fees vary based on the career level of the employee, the number of employees utilizing outplacement and the types of career transition and coaching services provided. High-end programs, especially those catering to technical, engineering, IT or executive level candidates are usually one-on-one, with a dedicated, expert level career coach. Lower-end outplacement services tend to be in group settings with coaching coming from lesser experienced career professionals. As a rule of thumb, services costing $500 – $800 cater to lower-level job seekers. Outplacement providers that charge between $1,000 – $1,500 are more typical for career professionals. Services costing $2,000 or more typically curate specific jobs for the transitioning employee as well as take a much more active role in a person’s job search.
What are the benefits of providing outplacement?
Spending money on departing staff might seem like an unnecessary expense, however, studies show career transition services are often as advantageous to employers as they are to employees and worth the added investment. Offering outplacement services may be able to:
- Improve your reputation
Outplacement programs send the message that an employer cares about its people and may lessen negative feedback when layoffs are announced. Businesses that are viewed favorably in the public also have a better chance of recruiting talent in the future.
- Mitigate litigation risk and workforce incidents
Employees commonly get upset, angry or frustrated when laid off. But if they know that their former employer is going to help them get another job, it may reduce the chance of workplace violence or a wrongful termination lawsuit.
- Boost existing employee morale
Employers who explain that career assistance services were made available to any employees who were let go may help ease anxiety among the remaining workers and keep them engaged.
- Reduce unemployment costs
The faster former employees find new jobs, the less they will need unemployment benefits. By reducing their number of claims per year, a company may be eligible for lower unemployment insurance rates.
What are the potential drawbacks to outplacement?
Transitioning staff may be competing with peers in their outplacement program for the same jobs. If the service uses standard resume templates and cover letters, it can be difficult for individuals to differentiate themselves in the job market. Professionals with extensive experience may find personalized outplacement to be much more helpful.
How do you choose an outplacement provider?
With brand reputation, risk mitigation and employee relations at stake, not all outplacement services will be up to the task. Follow these steps to help choose an outplacement service best suited for you:
- Look for personalized experiences
Solutions that are tailored to the individual as opposed to using cookie cutter templates for resumes and cover letters tend to produce the best results.
- Check the reputation and capabilities of the outplacement provider
Be sure to look on Google reviews to see what others have said about the service provider. Ask if they are willing provide references of previous clients. Ask if the coaching and resume writing is done in house or outsourced to a third party.
- Ask for a demonstration of the technology
What job seeker tools are available to your transitioning staff? Is there 24/7 career focused online portal being offered to laid off employees that gives them a competitive edge in the job seeker process?
Frequently asked questions about outplacement
My previous employer is offering outplacement benefits. What are outplacement benefits?
Outplacement benefits are services paid for by an employer as part of a severance package that help laid off employees transition to a new career elsewhere.
What is outplacement counseling? What is job coaching?
Outplacement counseling is another name for job coaching. Professional career coaches help candidates assess their skills and apply to potential employers. It may be provided on a one on one or in a group setting.
What is outplacement assistance?
Outplacement assistance is a career program for terminated and laid off employees that helps them with writing resumes, preparing for interviews, navigating job boards, optimizing LinkedIn profiles and other tactics necessary to land a job.
Why would a company provide outplacement assistance to an employee?
It shows the company cares, even if you are no longer employed by them. And although outplacement assistance adds to the cost of benefits packages, employers offer it because it can help improve their company reputation and may mitigate some of the risk associated with layoffs and terminations.
How can we help?
Outplacement Services for Employers
Our outplacement packages and career counseling services are fully customizable and affordable for any size business or individual. We provide consultation, training, and proactive marketing campaigns for everyone!