What do you need to know about outplacement services?

With companies of all sizes facing hard times over recent years, and many needing to lay off workers to keep doors open, there have been many people who have suddenly been out of a job and under pressure to find work again in a hurry.

Outplacement firms provide services to help laid-off employees transition, and can be of great benefit to both workers and to the companies who have to say goodbye. Read on for the lowdown on outplacement services and what you need to know today.

How outplacement services work

Outplacement is a service that specialist companies provide to help individuals search for a new job after they have been laid off or otherwise lose their job. Outplacement firms are usually contracted by businesses to help them meet their duty of care to employees facing redundancy.

This system helps workers to come to terms with the shock of losing their role, and assists them to maintain their self-esteem, work out what they want to do next, put together a strategy for moving forward, and get ready for interviews and other parts of the job application process. By providing ongoing support and motivation to people who have lost their jobs, outplacement solutions help transition employees to a new future.

Outplacement service providers can offer a variety of programmes to suit corporate and individual needs. Typically though, these are broken down into two categories:

• Individual services: usually for executive management and top-level professional staff; and
• Group programmes: more often used for larger-scale staff reductions and for non-exempt workers.

The benefits of using outplacement firms

There are multiple benefits to be had from engaging outplacement firms, for both businesses and staff members. For starters, when you provide this service to your laid-off workers, you are more likely to maintain healthy relationships with them. This makes things more comfortable for all involved, and shows people that you care about their futures and the contributions they have made during their time with your organisation.

While you may provide severance pay to workers who get laid off, it’s important to keep in mind that most people have other needs and the money they receive isn’t enough to create new opportunities for them. By providing outplacement services that include options like resume assistance, career assessments and planning, networking advice, interview coaching, and the like, you help your former employees to secure a new job. This gets workers back on their feet much more quickly than just a monetary handout.

Another benefit to businesses from using outplacement solutions is that doing so can serve as a liability protection against potential disgruntled employees who have been let go. By ensuring people have a smoother transition, you are more likely to avoid any possible legal action they may try to take in the future.

One of the biggest pluses to be had for organisations who hire outplacement firms is that it can increase staff morale during a redundancy situation that often sees workers feeling low, stressed, anxious, and unmotivated.

With outplacement services, you will likely enjoy increased productivity from your current employees, as they see that the company is committed to all staff members and that no matter what happens, workers are treated with respect and dignity.

By showing dedication to all of your employees, even the ones you have to let go, you demonstrate to your whole team that they work for a worthy company. This can increase engagement and motivation quite quickly.

Another big benefit of engaging outplacement services is that it builds a better brand for your business. Image is hugely important these days, especially when the world is so connected and people only have to click a few buttons to research what others think about an organisation.

As such, if you treat your displaced staff with care, they will be much more likely to speak positively about their experiences with the company. This will enhance your firm’s reputation in the general marketplace, which is always a must, plus it will also help you to attract top job candidates in the future.

How to choose a provider

When you’re ready to select an outplacement company, there are a few things to consider. For starters, don’t just look at price. While this is of course important, you also need to look at the experience of the firms you’re weighing up, as well as the service levels they provide.

Ask different outplacement providers lots of questions, about things such as:

• Who exactly from their firm will be doing the work;
• What qualifications and experience and credentials they have;
• How they can adapt their services to meet the needs of individuals;
• What is included in the particular programme you are considering;
• How and when payment is charged;
• The types of clients the firm has worked with in the past;
• If they specialize in a particular area; and
• What their success rates have been.

Tiffany Rowe is the Marketing Administrator at Seek Visibility.

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