Outplacement: Who, What, & Why
Outplacement is a service that is extended to assist employees to transition to a new job and while it is a benevolent service to offer, there are pragmatic reasons that outplacement services are included in the severance package.
By offering outplacement, employers protect their business reputations and maintain strong morale for employees that continue with the organization. From the prospective of the employer, the role of the outplacement service is to help the employee move forward in a positive, futureminded direction. This helps minimize potential lawsuits and, in the instance where a lawsuit is filed, offering outplacement may minimize an employer’s liability for unemployment compensation payments. In addition, outplacement may provide tax benefits as long as certain requirements are met.
Offering outplacement services benefits the company, the departing employee, and those that remain behind. It is simply an essential component of an exit plan.
What should you look for?
A good outplacement service will visit your company and provide onsite workshops and individual consultations. It should also provide specific functions to participants for an extended length of time, to include:
- Customized assessments.
- Job search planning.
- Professional help with resumes and cover letters.
- Coaching on particular professional topics of interest.
- Entrepreneurial consulting.
- Videotaping and mock interviews.
- Information on online services, recruiting firms, and job fairs.
Outplacement Career Coaches: Career coaches provide personalized assistance that helps reset the employability mindset of someone who may be uncertain about how to build a winning job search plan and who may also have low selfesteem and lack of confidence after being laid off.
Encouraging a positive relationship between employees and the outplacement service.
- Advise employees to trust the process. Outplacement might be a completely new experience for them and it can help them find the work they really want.
- Encourage them to participate in the process. Employees shouldn’t expect an outplacement consultant to do all the work; it’s up to them to find the right job.
- Help them articulate their thoughts, feelings, and ideas to their outplacement coach. Employees need to be assertive so the coach will understand how best to help them.
- Ask them to network with other employees using the outplacement service. Encourage them to form a community.
- Remind them to make and keep appointments with their coach and any job contacts that they find.
- Suggest that they map out what they want to accomplish with their coach, and bring a list of specific questions to each meeting.
- Recommend that they set a rigorous schedule for themselves and follow it. It’s important for job seekers to keep a full calendar.
- Most importantly, remind them to take action. They shouldn’t wait for others to take the first step. Companies can assist the process by working in tandem with the outplacement service. Install a company bulletin board with advertisements for job openings at other companies. Designate some office space for terminated employees, giving them free use of personal computers, Internet connections, telephones, fax machines, and photocopiers. A bit of goodwill can go a long way as employees look for new opportunities at other places of employment. As you can tell, a lot of planning is required before a parting of the ways can be done correctly. An outplacement service can be an important part of the process.