When it comes to outplacement services, providers come in all shapes and sizes. For example, some offer global support, allowing companies with staff members all over the world to use the same service, while others only offer domestic services that help employees inside the US.
(You also have smaller, boutique providers that usually only work inside certain communities, cities, industries, etc, too.)
So, if you have a clients inside and outside the US, you should use a global provider, right?
Yes, and no.
You should probably look into using a well-rounded domestic outplacement provider alongside a global partner that will handle those outside of the country. This gives you the best of both, allowing you to have a robust package for workers anywhere.
Let's take a deeper look.
Global Providers and Domestic Providers: The Differences
Global outplacement providers are great at what they do. They have networks that can help employees all over the place get back to work. This means that they provide a great solution for US-based companies that have employees overseas or in other countries.
Domestic providers, on the other hand, work only inside the US. The key difference between these two providers is that the domestic one is more specialized in their process because they are working within smaller confines.
For the most part, the best domestic-only providers offer a higher level of support that's more tailored, flexible, and well-rounded than a provider that is handling global support.
In other words, you have to take a look at what each provider is good at and examine whether or not you can deal with the shortcomings of using only one provider to handle all of your outplacement needs.
By focusing solely on domestic outplacement, providers can get workers inside the US back to work faster than global providers because they are specialists. The same can said for boutique outplacement firms that typically handle the needs of smaller companies inside very niche professions or areas.
Using a global provider at a small business with only a handful of employees is, quite frankly, overkill. Plus, those let go from said small business will likely not get the same level of personalized, one-on-one support that they deserve.
Best Practice: Consider Using Different Providers For Different Things
We suggest that bigger companies who have staff members inside and outside the US use different providers when they want to achieve different things. This way, you allow your outplacement program to be as robust as possible, playing to the strengths of each provider instead of settling for one and missing key ingredients that you may need.
For example, let's say there's a company that is US-based but has staff members spread throughout Europe as well. Now, it makes total sense to use a global provider that can stretch across multiple countries when dealing with RIFs and layoffs in Europe.
However, if your US-based staff are having a layoff event, it makes sense to use a domestic provider who specializes in getting people back to work in this specific job market. Having a specialist provider allows you to fully cover your bases and not drop the ball when dealing with something as sensitive as outplacement.
Basically, this comes down to having the best of both worlds. By having both on retainer, you can ensure that no matter what happens you will always be covered by the most expert team you can find.
What to Look For in a Domestic Outplacement Provider
So what should you look for when trying to find the perfect provider for your needs? Is there a secret formula to use?
No, there really isn't.
However, you can seek out specific differences between companies and go with the ones that make the most logical sense.
For example, one of the biggest differentiators between US-based outplacement firms is whether or not they use term limits.
Term limits, as a refresher, are when an outplacement company agrees to work with participants for a specific amount of time. If a participant doesn't land a job within that time frame, the service is cancelled and the person now has to go it alone.
Not only does this open up the potential for some participants to not find an ideal next role, it can also cut back on how flexible the outplacement company is. For instance, look at the different approaches an outplacement company would need to take if they were trying to help a CFO land a new role or an entry-level employee.
These two roles are vastly different. They take different strategies and different time frames. It's impossible to pigeon hole them together.
This is why at Careerminds we have given up on term limits as a concept. In fact, we've never used them. EVER.
Instead, we provide Until Placement, which is exactly how it sounds: we work with our participants until they are placed in a new role no matter how long it takes. We also do not charge extra for this service. It comes standard with everything we do. We want to get people back to work and take the stress out of career transitioning, which means we will always support people until they make they make their move.
The sad fact is that many traditional outplacement companies do not offer Until Placement, deciding instead to use term limits that can potentially cut service off to participants when they need it most.
Besides Until Placement, you also need to look at the organization's coaching staff. Despite all of the technological breakthroughs that have redefined the outplacement space, coaching is still key.
Examine how their coaching works and who is doing the coaching. In our opinion, coaches should be dedicated to participants. A person should never have to meet with multiple coaches that they have to start from square one with at every meeting and reiterate what the previous coach said. That's how you never get anything done (which is doubly bad if the firm uses term limits, too).
But technology cannot be ignored, either. In today's world, everything is online. If an outplacement firm doesn't have virtual availability, a strong learning center, networking tools, and advanced ATS-defeating resume tools, they probably aren't the right fit.
The Key Takeaways
If you combine all of this, you will find yourself with the best provider in the US. Then, you should combine those skill-sets to find a provider that can also support staff members overseas or in other countries.
Basically, the goal is to be as well-rounded as possible so that your outplacement support does all that it can to help your exiting staff members move on to a new role without tarnishing your employer brand.
Want to learn about how much domestic outplacement costs? Check out our guide here: