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4 Things You Need to Know About Outplacement Assistance

01 January
by Josh Hrala
5 minute read

Outplacement assistance can come in many forms, though they all strive for the same result: getting your outgoing employees back to work as fast as possible. 


To help you better navigate the world of outplacement assistance, we’ve made this easy-to-follow list that goes over why outplacement is important and what you should look for when shopping around.

Let’s get started.

Are you in procurement? If you are researching an RPF, check out our link below on What to Expect in 2021, or take a look at our comprehensive FAQ page  here!

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What Is Outplacement Assistance and Why Does My Company Need It?

To put it simply, outplacement is a service that HR departments can offer their outgoing employees who were let go in a downsizing event or a single layoff.

The service works with employees to help them update resumes, learn about the current job market, make social media accounts like LinkedIn, and then prepare and perform interviews to land a new, meaningful job outside of the organization.

What Is Outplacement Assistance?

Outplacement assistance is when an HR department uses a third-party provider to help them navigate downsizing events. Outplacement is used to find exiting staff members new roles in outside organizations, minimizing the negative impact that layoffs can have on businesses. 


The reason why your company should use a provider for this service is because layoffs are one of the most stressful things HR has to deal with and also one of the most trying times for a company’s reputation.

Protecting your reputation during a layoff is of utmost importance, putting a lot of weight on how your outgoing employees are treated. We recommend planning this entire process from start to finish. The first step is making sure you have a layoff script on hand to ensure the notification meeting goes on without a hitch.

Near the end of the notification meeting you will go over the employee’s severance package. This is where outplacement comes in.


By providing your soon-to-be ex-employee with outplacement assistance shows that you care about their future and that you hope they succeed in another organization. Not only does this help protect your company in today’s Glassdoor era, it also is plainly the right thing to do.


How Does Outplacement Assistance Typically Work?

How the outplacement process will unfold is largely based on what firm you decide to go with.

There are quite a few out there to choose from and it may seem like they all offer the same service.

They don’t.

Many firms are still very traditional in their approach to outplacement assistance. They usually partner your employee with a job coach who then meets with them in a physical location to discuss what the employee needs to cover in order for them to find a new job.

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This is problematic. Technology has drastically changed the HR landscape over the past decade, making office visits obsolete.

At Careerminds, we use an online platform coupled with one-on-one coaching to ensure that we can provide outplacement to anyone anywhere in the US, which is a big difference because some people live in rural towns that may not have access to large metropolitan areas where typical outplacement firms operate.

By using virtual methods, you can also be sure that the firm providing outplacement assistance is tech-savvy. In today’s world, job hunting is online. Most jobs are posted on LinkedIn, job boards or announced on company websites, if a firm can’t figure out how to harness the power of the internet to providing coaching, why trust them to harness it for the job search?

So, in summary, technology plays a big role in the outplacement process and should be a deciding factor for anyone shopping around for it.

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The Case Against Term Limits

This is a big one.

Besides Careerminds, all other outplacement firms use term limits for their services.

What does that mean? Well, like many other services, firms give their clients a specific amount of time to find a new job. If they fail to do so in that window of opportunity, the service is canceled, meaning that there is no guarantee that your outgoing employee will find work.


At Careerminds, we work with outgoing employees to provide them outplacement assistance until they are placed in a job. That means that if someone finds work in three months - the typical time limit offered by other firms - great. If not, we will work them even if it takes a year or more.

Everyone has different needs and setting a time limit for the service greatly reduces the chances of an individual finding a new job.

Term limits also show that the provider is not certain they will be able to place your employee and will give up on them if the going gets tough. Why pay for a service that has no guarantee, especially one that is so personally important to your staff member?


Creating a Strategic Partner For the Future

Another important factor is whether or not the firm will be a strategic asset in the future.

Outplacement assistance is one of those things that may come up from time to time because layoffs can be triggered by the economic climate and many other factors.

The good news is that many firms will allow your organization to put them on retainer so that you can use them when you need them.

However, most of the time firms charge a specific fee for this, which can add up over time to cost quite a bit. 

One of the weirdest things about these fees is that the same companies who charge them are the same ones using term limits, meaning that you get to pay the company to have their service available and then you get to pay more for your outgoing client and you still are not guaranteed that it will work.

Here at Careerminds, we strive to be partners with organization in the future, helping them find their displaced clients a new, meaningful job. We do not charge retainer fees and only require payment when an employee actually needs our help.

If you follow these tips, you will be able to find the perfect outplacement assistance provider for your company’s needs.

Download Our Top Outplacment Firms Guide