How Does Outplacement Assistance Work? 7 Things to Know

Woman using computer for outplacement assistance

Most HR professionals know outplacement assistance is often offered to employees who are laid off or terminated as a part of their severance package. However, because not all organizations have gone through a reduction in force or other major workforce shift, not all HR professionals know the fine details of what outplacement is or how outplacement assistance works—especially since outplacement services themselves are changing in today’s fast-paced business world.

If you’re looking into outplacement services for your organization, here is a short list of 7 things to know about outplacement assistance to get you started.

1. Outplacement assistance is provided by the employer.

Outplacement is a benefit offered by a company to exiting employees to support them as they look for new positions. Often, outplacement services are given to laid off or terminated workers as part of their severance package.

Generally, companies work with an outplacement provider to deliver outplacement services—such as career coaching, advice, and support—to affected employees. Since outplacement programs vary widely in quality, accessibility, and length, it’s important to make sure the program your company invests in will serve the needs of both your employees and your organization.

2. Outplacement assistance helps job seekers find jobs more quickly and easily.

When provided outplacement services, employees exiting your company receive support that enables them to find a new job. Some of the common services and tools outplacement programs generally provide include career coaching, resume review and editing, job interview practice and coaching, career interests and skills assessment tests, and social media profile optimization.

career coach can be especially helpful for employees, as talking with a career transition professional will help them identify their skills and goals, come up with a plan of action for their job search, and keep them on track throughout the process.

3. Outplacement assistance is free for the job seeker. 

Because outplacement programs are paid for by the employer, exiting employees get to access the services at no charge. To select the most effective outplacement program for your company, consider the needs of your workforce alongside the success rate of the outplacement firm that will provide the services. You’ll want to choose a firm that has a proven record and a high user satisfaction rating.

4. Outplacement assistance can be accessed virtually.

Traditionally, outplacement programs required job seekers to make an appointment to meet with career coaches in a physical office in order to access services. While some outplacement companies still mandate in-person meetings, the leading outplacement programs today allow users to get the help they need at their convenience through an online platform that gives them instant, on-demand access to career coaching and other tools.

Since virtual outplacement is also generally more cost competitive than the in-person variety, many companies today choose virtual outplacement and offer it not just to executives and senior-level employees but to all affected workers across every level of the organization.

5. Outplacement assistance protects employer brand.

A big reason why companies choose to offer outplacement is because the service helps strengthen brand reputation. Exiting employees, if they feel they’ve been treated poorly during a layoff, can publicly share their opinions about your company on Glassdoor and social media.

Offering outplacement to these employees can help prevent online backlash. If affected workers feel your organization did its best to assist them during a difficult time, you will mitigate damage to your company’s reputation.

6. Outplacement assistance helps reduce business costs.

One in five small and mid-sized businesses will face an employee lawsuit, at the cost of $125,000 on average to defend, according to Inc. Outplacement can help you avoid wrongful termination lawsuits and the cost of unemployment claims, both of which can be costly.

Protecting your brand reputation with outplacement also puts you in a better position to maintain and expand your customer base, because a positive brand reputation attracts and retains customers, while a negative one repels them. Brand reputation also helps you save on recruitment costs, since a more positive reputation will draw talent to your organization; Harvard Business Review reports that a company with a poor reputation ends up paying $4,723 more per hire. In addition, since outplacement allows you to retain better relationships with exiting employees, your company will be able to better attract boomerang employees.

7. Outplacement assistance supports a positive company culture.

During and after a reduction in force, it is critical for companies to foster a positive company culture to encourage the productivity and loyalty of remaining employees. This is another reason why it is vital to offer outplacement to exiting employees. If departing employees are supported by the company—and are able to land new jobs through an effective outplacement program—the remaining employees can conclude they work for a company that truly cares about its workers.

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While these seven points cover the basics of how outplacement assistance works, Intoo’s Essential Guide to Outplacement provides a more comprehensive look at outplacement and can answer more questions you may have. In addition, you can experience an outplacement program firsthand by requesting a demo of Intoo’s outplacement solution today to learn how our outplacement program can support your company’s unique needs.

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