What is Outplacement?

Find out everything you need to know about outplacement and supporting your employees when they lose their job

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what is outplacement

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What is outplacement?

Outplacement is a service offered to employees who have lost, or will be losing their job, to help them quickly find a new career path. This may include a new role in the same or a different industry, retraining, retiring or starting a business. The service is paid for by employers but provided by independent providers who work directly and confidentially with employees. It is widely recognised as an important part of the employee lifecycle, ensuring people feel supported as they exit the business into an increasingly complex job market. 

What is included in this service?

Services can include career coaching, CV writing, interview preparation, skill development, referrals to hiring managers and targeted job leads. This can be delivered both via face-to-face or virtually and often includes a hybrid of the two. Some outplacement programmes vary in content, duration and delivery style and can be provided to employees at all seniority levels. There are 3 key parts to outplacement that can ensure people are given the best possible chance of moving on successfully:

1. The experts – An outplacement provider will offer access to highly qualified and certified career coaches from a variety of backgrounds and industries committed to supporting people through their outplacement programme. A specialist provider will also have their coaches utilise data and predictive analytics so that they can help people land their next role quickly and effectively.

Other experts that can be included in an outplacement programme are branding specialists and talent connectors. A branding specialist supports with people’s personal branding, ensuring they produce a strong CV and complimentary social media profiles to present to the job market. A talent connector would then be on hand to help source jobs that match the persons preferences including those jobs that are not easily found.

2. The events – Events in an outplacement programme can include workshops and seminars that cover a range of topics that support people looking at a variety of career paths. From portfolio career workshops to start your own business seminars, they are normally provided to help people learn and discover the direction they want to take. Another key part of an outplacement programme are the networking events. Networking proves to be an invaluable use of time for people on their outplacement programme as they can speak to likeminded professionals, recruiters and organisations who are actively hiring. Outplacement providers that facilitate networking sessions, career fairs and job search group meetings where peers can support each other is an essential part of the outplacement programme that is highly valued by those who attend.

3. The tools – People will be given access to a range of tools and resources to help develop the skills and knowledge needed to effectively transition into their new career path. These tools can vary but an established outplacement provider will have an online portal of resources that included recorded webinars, industry research and assessment tools that can be accessed 24/7. Many people also use this opportunity to reskill and upskill, so some outplacement providers compliment their services by providing access to professional training partners such as LinkedIn Learning.

Other tools that prove to be helpful during an outplacement programme is the use of AI and predictive technology. The job market is evolving and so too should outplacement support. This can be seen where an outplacement provider offers AI powered digital career agents who give daily job leads based on individual career goals or an online platform that is designed to match and connect people to 1000s of exclusive employers looking to hire.

What are the benefits to the business providing outplacement?

Although most business leaders acknowledge that being socially responsible and “doing the right thing” are all valid and noble aims for providing outplacement, the rising pressure on budgets means leaders must present a robust commercial business case for such expenditure. The tangible benefits experienced by organisations as a result of offering outplacement support are many and varied:

1. Brand and reputation protection – Negative experiences relayed to the masses through the likes of social media can quickly damage the employer and customer brand. The opposite can be said about positive experiences. Providing genuinely useful support to employees going through what can be a difficult time can help to protect and even enhance the organisations brand and reputation.

2. Reduction in legal costs – Legal action taken after someone exits the business can be expensive, time-consuming and damaging to the morale and reputation of the organisation. With legal costs potentially running into tens of thousands per case, providing outplacement can help minimise the legal risk and make the most financial sense.

3. Improved morale, motivation and productivity – For those remaining in the organisation, feelings of insecurity, anxiety and demotivation can quickly negatively impact performance, sickness absence and productivity. However, seeing friends and colleagues being supported appropriately as they leave the business can have a direct impact on engagement and retention amongst existing employees.

If you would like to know more about outplacement and how it supports, your employees and the organisation you can download the Best Practice Guide to Outplacement here.

For more information about how LHH can support your organisation please do feel free to get in touch. 

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