We explain how outplacement works and what to consider when choosing a service
Many of our small to medium-sized business clients and individual clients have never heard of outplacement before working with us.
In this article, we provide an overview of exactly what it is and how it works.
Simply put, outplacement providers help individuals who were recently laid off or are going through a career change navigate the process.
A good outplacement company equips its clients with the practical tools they need to secure new roles while also providing emotional support.
What elements are included in an outplacement support package?
Services provided include resume and cover letter writing, LinkedIn profile development, job application strategy development, and career coaching.
Companies can vary significantly in the level of service provided for each of these elements.
For example, some firms rewrite a client's resume and cover letter from scratch while some only review their documents and provide feedback.
Other services offer an online portal with a resume builder and other resources.
How does an individual get outplacement services?
When companies have to let go of employees due to layoffs or restructuring, they often include outplacement support as part of their severance packages.
Companies can choose to have all departing employees work with a single outplacement provider, often negotiating a volume discount.
Alternatively, companies can provide departing employees with an allowance that they can use towards a service of their choosing.
What should I look for in an outplacement provider?
We believe that the number one thing to look for in an outplacement provider is someone who provides a high-touch personalized service.
Whether you looking to secure outplacement support for employees leaving your company or individual services for yourself, you should conduct your research.
Navigating a job loss or career transition can be one of the most stressful experiences an individual will go through.
Clients should be able to reach out to their main contact directly with any questions they have throughout the job search and application process, for example.
At its core, outplacement can be a valuable service that helps take the pressure off of someone's shoulders and decreases the amount of time it takes them to find a new job.
Unfortunately, many firms offer a generic service that simply "ticks off the boxes" while adding little real value to their clients.
Why do companies provide outplacement services to employees?
Companies want to support their departing employees, knowing that there is potential for backlash from employees who have lost their jobs.
For example, employees who have been with a company for 10+ years and have been let go due to budget cuts or restructuring will likely harbor some hard feelings.
In such cases, the investment in outplacement services can reap dividends from both a reputational and corporate liability perspective.
When a company at least offers to provide support during this challenging time, those affected will be less likely to badmouth the organization, minimizing potential reputational damage.
More importantly, by offering outplacement services, a company can minimize the likelihood that the employees who were let go will pursue litigation.
What does the outplacement process look like?
The ways in which outplacement services are delivered vary from provider to provider.
As we mentioned, some outplacement companies operate on a high-volume basis, leaving their clients feeling like they were simply rushed through a funnel and sent on their way.
Though a company can enlist an outplacement firm with the best intentions in mind, such an approach can have the opposite effect.
It may leave departing employees feeling as if the company never cared about them, to begin with.
At smaller outplacement firms, clients can generally expect an approach that is high-touch and will therefore provide better emotional and practical support to those affected.
What do your services look like?
At Resume Pilots, we offer packages with base components for employers to choose.
These packages can include end-to-end resume and cover letter writing and a certain amount of time allocated to career coaching, for example.
Each of our suggested standard offerings can be tailored to a firm’s individual needs and budget, however.
More importantly, once we start to work with the individuals who were affected by a company’s layoffs, we provide plenty of one-on-one attention.
Our service starts with a strategy session where we help clients reframe their situations from a feeling of loss to a chance to embrace a new opportunity.
From there, we leverage a powerful combination of practical tools and coaching to help clients secure new roles more quickly.
Outplacement support can benefit both the companies who invest in it as well as the individual employees affected by layoffs.
Unfortunately, the service is often viewed as impersonal and ineffective.
This reputation stems from providers who are more concerned with profits than the impact of their work on a person’s career success and emotional well-being.
As such, we recommend asking questions before signing onto a contract to understand exactly what components are included and how the process works.
About Resume Pilots
Resume Pilots is an award-winning executive resume writing firm. Our previous clients include CEOs and senior executives at the world's leading companies.
Here's how we can help you:
Resume, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn Writing: After a one-hour phone consultation, one of our expert writers will prepare your top-quality personal marketing materials from scratch.
We're a proud member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. All of our writers have studied in the Ivy League and other top-tier universities and have solid industry experience.