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Using a Directory of Outplacement Firms: What You Need to Know

Have you ever tried to find a service online before? If so, you've probably used some sort of directory to look at listings of the service you searched for. And if you’ve ever tried to find an outplacement service before, you’ve probably used a directory of outplacement firms to guide your research.

If you have no prior knowledge of what you are searching for, this can be a great tool to acclimate yourself to the various options available. But other than that, there really is no value.

via GIPHY

And here is why:

Several of these directories, including a directory of outplacement firms, are biased. As a consumer, it is easy to be fooled into thinking that all of the information you find online is genuine. Most of the time though, it isn’t.

 Why should you care?

Well, you don’t want to end up with a bad service all because you trusted a random listing from Bob Smith in a random directory of outplacement firms. There is a lot at stake here, after all.

A bad outplacement program can further sour the already bad taste severed employees have for your organization. If someone is unsatisfied with their outplacement program, they could damage your employer brand or take legal action against the company, which is exactly what you want to avoid by using outplacement in the first place.

That’s why you need to pay close attention to where you are getting information about providers. In researching this topic, we couldn’t find one impartial directory of outplacement firms to recommend our readers to use.

But we did come up with a list of ways to make our readers smarter when looking through these directories alongside how to evaluate each of the listings, allowing you to find the right provider for you.

directory of outplacement firms

Directory of Outplacement Firms: Different Types

If you were too search for a directory of outplacement firms, two different types would appear in the results:

  • Third-Party Hosted
  • User-Generated

A third-party hosted directory of outplacement firms is an HR industry website that lists various services within different sectors of the industry.

These lists are practically useless as most of these directories are “pay to play," meaning that you are only listed in the directory if you are a paying member of the organization, which usually costs thousands of dollars.

While the companies listed in these directories may have lots of money to spend advertising, that doesn’t always mean that they are best service. Actually, you could make the argument that if you have to spend tons of money to be listed in directories, your product doesn’t sell itself, which means you definitely aren’t the best service.

The second type of directory is user-generated.

It is easy to think that a user-generated directory of outplacement firms would be a better alternative than a third-party host. You would be wrong! They are actually just as bad.

Here's why:

The reviews in these directories are rarely genuine. Think about Yelp. If your friend opened a new restaurant, would you post a positive review on their Yelp page just to help them out? I bet you would.

If your friend’s restaurant had a competitor, would you write a bad review of that competitor? Not all of us would, but I would bet that a lot of people actually would.

directory of outplacement firms

Not only do you have to worry about fake reviews when searching in these directories, you also have to think about the power of negative words. Think of your last bad customer service experience. How many people did you tell?

Now, think of your last really good customer service experience. I bet it is harder to remember and that you didn’t tell nearly the same amount of people you told when you had the bad experience. In fact, news of bad reviews travel to twice as many people on average than news of a good reviews.

When looking at a directory of outplacement firms you must keep in mind that reviews of the firms will be skewed towards the negative side due to this principle. A firm might have a lot of bad reviews, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a horrible service.

With all of those different issues, it's hard to use a directory of outplacement firms to find a solid provider. Reviews can’t be trusted to be impartial, which can make it impossible to find good information when searching a directory.

Finding A Provider Without Using A Directory of Outplacement Firms

Instead of using a directory, here are our recommendations:

  • Search on Google for “outplacement” + the city you are located in for a local boutique firm.
  • If there is a specific aspect of outplacement that is important to you, search for that term. For example: “virtual outplacement” or “IT outplacement.”
  • Do an RFP! Send out an RFP to all of the firms listed under “outplacement” in the first few pages on Google, allowing them to come to you.

On most company pages, there will be a form that you can use to request more information or a chat window for you to speak to a staff member. For example, if you look to the lower right hand corner of this page, there's that very chat button that connects you with a team member ready to answer any questions you might have.

directory of outplacement firms

If you aren’t ready to see a demo of a service but are just gathering information, chats are very useful. This makes it easy for you to get enough information to decide which of the outplacement services you would like to see demos of.

What to Look For In A Provider

Once you have gotten a solid list of outplacement firms to choose from using the methods above, you will need to narrow down that list. This can be a hard task since every company needs something different.

We recommend creating a list of specific needs for your organization. Once you have a small group of providers that meet all these needs, pick the firm that provides the most value for the dollar.

The process of finding an outplacement provider this way will be so much more effective than using a directory of outplacement firms.

Think Careerminds might be the provider for you? Schedule a demo to find out today:

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