In today’s volatile job market, with things changing by the week, restructure and workforce change is common. Outplacement services assist an individual’s job search following a layoff or job loss. These services are contracted by the employer to assist these employees through career transition and change.
Outplacement services play a crucial role in post-employment relationship between employer and employee. Consider it a separation benefit with a significant humane component. No employer is required to provide this support but choose to do so to assist their employees move forward positively in their career journey.
This support is a strong indication of an employer who cares about their employees and employer brand. It shows your dedication to your employees, no matter how bad things get. In turn it also creates security for the survivors (employees still working with you). There is evidence that losing a job has a negative effect on psychological well being and can cause consistent increases in distressed symptoms (McKee-Ryan et al 2005). This has ongoing and social costs and can be a barrier to reemployment moving forward. This self doubt and depressed feelings may make it harder for an employee to feel motivated to look for work after a job loss.
‘Worries and discomfort tend to decrease when people perceive to be supported, appreciation and utilisation of outplacement services might had a positive impact on mental health, reducing feelings of loneliness in managing transitions from one organisation to another”. (Battisti F D, Gilardi, S, Solari L 2014- Employability & Mental Health in dismissed workers)
Modern outplacement services offer a strategic job search framework, supported by coaching and feedback. Typical competencies include career assessments, resume and LinkedIn writing, networking strategies, interview preparation, salary negotiation.
Outplacement service providers are highly connected and can help in identifying new and uncharted career paths. They also have the necessary market information to target the right employment opportunities tailored to every individual’s requirements. Employees who are offered outplacement as part of an exit package are better equipped and supported to find another role that suits them. It’s a part of human resources management to not only make sure that employees are looked after on the way in but also on the way out. In this current climate, where you may need to consider options in the future, it is best to try to depart on a good note.
If you use an outplacement service or have your recruitment company manage this for you, you should seek feedback and information on what aspects were utilised by the employee so you can make better decisions for the future. Don’t just offer it and forget about the service, follow up is important.
Outplacement services may be one-to-one, or group workshops as required by your organisation. Regardless of the type, they should work with every employee individually to maximise the value of the service. Everyone’s career path and journey is different and requires a different plan.