In the event of a layoff or workforce reduction, an outplacement service can be a beacon of hope in an otherwise dark night. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances such as cost reductions, redundancies, corporate mergers, and global pandemics can cause employees to be laid off. No one wants to be laid off and it’s up to the company to ensure former employees don’t have any reason to take legal action against them, ruin their reputation, or be resentful toward the company. Companies need to have something like an outplacement service in place to ensure the employee experiences a smoother transition into a new job and in turn, the company demonstrates it cares about its workers past and present. Aside from the overwhelming anger and anxiety that usually accompanies a job loss, there can be depression or even physical reactions like fatigue or a lack of sleep. Outplacement services offer a respite from the cold, dark reality of dealing with the loss of a job. Here’s a quick overview of these vital services and how they help former employees transition into a new job.

A Brief Introduction To Outplacement Services

Outplacement services, in a nutshell, are services that help displaced/terminated employees find a new job. It typically includes a number of useful tools to help ease that transition. These can include access to job boards, job searches, career coaching, resume writing, and support along the journey. The idea behind these services is to help reduce the stress associated with sudden job loss while protecting the employer from reputation or legal issues.

At your own company, you may consider including them as part of the employee’s compensation package. Not all outplacement services are equal. Some use an innovative approach steeped in modern technology, while others may provide a more traditional approach.

What An Outplacement Service Does

Outplacement comes at no cost to the employee (the employer typically pays for the service as part of the severance package). Outplacement services help significantly with networking. One of the most essential ways to get the ideal job is by making connections. A career coach can help a job seeker start networking and getting to know the right people, along with introducing them to specific job boards for their specialized industries. The service might also provide templates for sending out resumes, scripts for talking to a recruiter (via phone or email) and coaching for the interview itself. With some of the more tech-oriented services, the technology will automatically match job seekers to possible openings and supply them with the necessary insight/training to ace the interview and (hopefully) get the job. They’ll help create custom resumes and provide plenty of retargets to get a job seeker into a new career with ease.

What It Doesn’t Do

Focusing on former employees with the same care as current employees is where outplacement services excel, but there are few things these services simply do not do. One of the things in outplacement service does not do is guarantee a job seeker a new position. Instead, it’ll supply all the training, coaching, materials, and everything the former employee needs to land a new job promptly. The service will help find leads, but won’t act on them for the candidate. Similarly, a career coach won’t go on an interview or write a resume for a candidate; they will, however, do everything they can to make sure the candidate has a chance. The service also won’t treat someone differently based on their former career level. Outplacement is no longer just for executives or people at the highest levels of the organization. They’re perfect for workers from any age and walk of life. It isn’t always easy to find a job and having something there to help you jump through the hurdles of doing so is sometimes essential.

What To Look For In An Outplacement Service

Finding an outplacement service might seem daunting at first. At the very least, it can be a little tricky. Research the companies extensively before committing to one. Ask important questions. Does the service have a high user satisfaction rate? How successfully and quickly does the outplacement service help someone land a new job? Are those jobs comparable salary-wise to what they held previously? Are they getting job seekers into the same industries?

Here’s what to look for in a good outplacement service:

  • The service aligns with your company values
  • The service offers flexible services for clients
  • The service personalizes its career coaching to the individual
  • The service takes full advantage of modern technology
  • The service stays up-to-date on the working world has evolved over time
  • The service has reasonable fees

On the surface, every outplacement service can seem like it offers similar things. This is simply not the case. Outplacement services actually have quite a bit of variety in what they offer, how they help employees transition into new roles.

How Outplacement Shows Employers Care

Outplacement has a number of benefits on both the employee and employer sides of the equation. For the employee, it can help reduce the insecurity, anger, or fear that comes with a layoff. Giving them the retargets to get into another job quickly is one of the best things a company can do for an employee it’s just let go. The former employee is less likely to file (or remain on) unemployment for long, as the outplacement service has the retargets to help them get back on their feet. On the employer’s end, offering outplacement is a way to reduce angry/resentful feelings a former employee might bear toward the company. It can also help reduce potential legal issues, as insurers who insure against wrongful termination tend to look favorably on workplaces that offer outplacement as part of their compensation package. Finally, it leaves the avenue open for rehiring the individual should they be able to do so at some point in the future. Outplacement can be a significantly useful service for both parties, and it’s something worth looking into for your organization just in case.