Ending on a good note is best for everyone, why investing in outplacement services is a great idea.

Downsizing and layoffs are devastating. For your employee, it is loss of an income, identity, community of colleagues and perhaps much more. The logical next step can feel overwhelming. At the same time, letting employees go is an unpleasant experience for managers, too. However, a good organisation and manager can take some steps to make layoffs as positive an experience as possible. 
Offering outplacement services is crucial to help employees move forward positively in their career journey. It shows your company’s commitment to people and ensures your brand and reputation are protected. 

What is outplacement?

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.


Why should an organisation invest in outplacement services?

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)


What to expect from outplacement services?

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. 


How do outplacement services work?

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.

Consider these points while investing in outplacement services to maximise the benefits for you and your employees: 

  • Timing – The best time to start outplacement support is before laying off employees. They are most marketable whilst they still have employment on their resume and can hit the ground running. They are also more likely to advocate positively for your brand.
  • Structure – Decide if you would like a group coaching session or individual; or a mix of both.
  • Ratios – Ask about the coach to participant ratio for any group sessions.
  • Connections – Ask about the network and key industries of coaches. While it’s good to have same industry exposure, there is merit in having cross-industry exposure as per market trends.
  • Methodology – Method of delivery is important. Given current circumstances, a mix of virtual and face-to-face meetings would be ideal.
  • Technology – Ask about the providers’ technological service delivery. The increasing role of software in outplacement solutions leads to effective and efficient services.
  • Results – Understand the methodology in detail. How has it proven to be effective in the past? How does it evolve for every individual?
  • Accountability – Finally, consider accountability. How will the provider keep you abreast of participant progress?


At the end of the day, there is a lot to consider. 

Establish pilot programs and make sure your outplacement service provider adds value to your organisation and reputation. 

As part of the worldwide recruitment group NPA Worldwide
we are able to connect your employees to a plethora of vacancies. 
Reach out to us to develop the perfect tailored outplacement solution for your organisation and employees.