What Do Outplacement Services Offer - Benefits to Employees & Employers
March 23, 2021
We’ll help you understand what outplacement services offer, how using outplacement benefits both laid off employees and company morale, and what factors to consider when evaluating outplacement firms.
Losing their job due to a layoff or RIF can be a devastating life event for impacted employees. Along with lost income and benefits, laid off employees experience the loss of their day-to-day routine that provided structure to their day, and the loss of identity that their job provided.
Layoffs are tough on managers, too, and in fact can affect the morale of
everyone in the workplace. It’s crucial that business leaders make the
layoff process as streamlined and dignified as possible.
Unfortunately, 2021 is likely to be a significant year for layoffs, with a full third of U.S. companies stating their firm will experience workforce reductions.
One important component of terminating employees with dignity is an investment in outplacement services for laid off employees.
What is Outplacement Assistance?
Simply put, outplacement programs help employees to find new work. Outplacement assistance can offer career transition services such as resume development and posting, career mapping processes, help with the online portion of job searching, and even one-on-one coaching sessions.
What are outplacement counseling programs?
A comprehensive outplacement program will offer the following to help former employees find meaningful work:
- One-on-one outplacement counseling time with a career coach
- Resume creation using a targeted, keyword-based approach needed for successful online job searches
- Resume posting to online job search sites like Indeed.com
- Cover letter development
- LinkedIn profile support to establish an online presence
- 24/7 accessible online support tools such as a career assessment or interview guides
Limitations of the Old-School Model
Historically, old-school outplacement firms like Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH), DBM, and Right Management offered outplacement solely in their offices which were located in large cities, resulting in high overhead costs that were passed onto customers.
Their outplacement model was based on offering terminated employees access to office space, clerical support, and a copy machine to apply for job postings found in newspaper ads by submitting their resume by mail. Due to the high costs of this model, employers were typically only able to offer outplacement to senior executives.
Today’s Outplacement Assistance Approach
To meet the needs of today’s job seekers conducting online job searches at home using personal computers with internet access, and to offer more affordable options, some outplacement companies now offer outplacement remotely.
In addition to offering remote access to outplacement support, more advanced outplacement firms offer tiered outplacement programs to enable employers to offer all employees access to outplacement support. For example, our DiscoveryQuest 6 plan, developed for Directors, VP-level, and the C-suite employees, provides a 6-month outplacement program with an in-depth discovery process, including phone sessions and a detailed discovery document.
How do Employees Benefit from Providing Outplacement Services?
There are definitely benefits for companies that use outplacement services (and we will get to them later in this post), but the main reason for investing in outplacement services is simply that it’s the right thing to do for your employees.
You can expect that employees going through a layoff are going to be stunned. Great leaders know that helping impacted employees through the process is a compassionate approach to a challenging situation.
Employee benefits of outplacement include:
- Outplacement services enable employees to move on faster and to feel more in control.
- Outplacement career transition services can help displaced employees to get new jobs faster, particularly those in more complex fields with longer or more complicated hiring processes.
- Outplacement coaching is a rare opportunity for most employees and is essential for anyone who has been in their role for a long time that might not be up-to-speed on online job search tools and techniques.
- Outplacement programs are free to employees – so it’s one less thing for them to worry about when their income is reduced.
- Outplacement programs provide needed structure in a time of uncertainty. Remember how we mentioned the loss of a critical daily routine? Having forward motion toward a goal every day can help.
- Outplacement services will do what you can’t for former employees: provide them with resume development and career coaching, LinkedIn profile support, interview preparation, and more.
Why Should Organizations Invest in Outplacement Benefits?
Aside from all the ways outplacement services support employees, you can look forward to some ongoing, internal benefits that come with such programs. That’s because your organization’s greatest asset is your people. In today’s information age, competition over top talent is stronger than ever. Only companies with well-regarded brands are considered by workers with the most to offer.
That means the more that you do to build and nurture a positive reputation, the better employees you’ll attract – and keep. At the same time, offering useful benefits to employees helps create security and loyalty with people who make it through a round of layoffs.
Keep the focus on the good – Disgruntled employees can be quick to act. Help them take positive action by starting their job search, rather than taking to social media to post negative comments.
Manage the anxiety of current employees – Once layoffs begin, remaining employees wonder if they’re next. You can ease those fears by demonstrating your commitment to helping former employees land on their feet.
Reduce negative online reviews – Social proof is a big deal, even in job searches. Rest assured that future job prospects will seek out reviews of your company. Leveraging outplacement services during layoffs can significantly reduce the hit to your online reputation.
Preserve the relationships you’ve cultivated – If you can maintain a positive relationship with laid-off employees, they are more likely to remain positive in the future. Should you ever have a question about their time at your company, or even want to offer them another job, you’ll be glad that you nurtured that professional relationship even as it concluded.
Your Choice of Outplacement Firm Matters
Companies who plan to encourage employees to take advantage of outplacement services are best served by choosing an outplacement firm that provides effective and individualized services. At Quest Outplacement, our clients love our range of affordable, personalized programs. To learn more about how we help organizations like yours, contact us for a conversation.