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Outplacement RFPs: 6 Differentiators Procurement Should Look for in 2021

4 minute read

In 2021, outplacement’s impact on the employee experience, its ability to protect employer brands, and its sole mission: to get displaced employees back to work in new, meaningful roles, cannot be understated.

In a recent article by The Harvard Business Review, researchers found that holistic offboarding is no longer a box to check, it’s a vital piece of the employee experience that can have long-lasting effects on a company’s talent management strategy. 

Since outplacement is a huge component of that holistic process, procurement and sourcing specialists need to know what to look for when selecting an outplacement provider to participate in an RFP. 

Not all outplacement providers are created equal, after all. And choosing the right one is vital for the service to have an impact. A past survey Careerminds conducted found that ‘bad outplacement’ is actually worse than providing no outplacement at all. 

To help buyers fully understand what to look for when searching for top-notch, contemporary outplacement services, we put together this easy-to-follow list of differentiators to get you started off on the right foot. 

You can also download our latest guide about what questions to ask during the outplacement RFP process here:

6 Questions to Ask Potential Vendors in an Outplacement RFP

Unlimited 1:1 Coaching Until Landing with Services for Life

One of the key components to a contemporary outplacement program is the utilization of dedicated, one-on-one coaching that starts as soon as a person makes an exit and lasts until they land a new role. 

This model allows workers of all skill levels to participate in outplacement services by not putting timeframes around how long the service is offered. It also allows workers to fully explore what their next step will be with the guidance of an expert right at their side through the whole process. 

Once a participant lands a new role, they retain the ability to use the outplacement platform to connect with fellow participants, attend webinars, and much more for life. 

Expertly Crafted Resumes

Alongside dedicated coaching, another huge component of outplacement is writing resumes for participants. Resume writing is a skill set that many job seekers simply do not have because they are employed for up to years at a time. Over the course of those roles, resumes become outdated, ATS technology improves, and writing a new resume from scratch can feel like a huge burden.

Top outplacement firms know this so they simply write resumes for participants, allowing experts to take the wheel to reduce stress on the participant and ensure that they put their best foot forward when it comes to finding a new, meaningful role. 

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Contemporary Global, Virtual Model

No matter where your employees happen to be in the world, your outplacement provider needs to be able to provide them with services that are tailored to their location.

A contemporary global model requires a provider to have coaches ready to deploy across the world who know all about local customs, job search techniques, and an understanding of every market.

Virtual delivery is also a must. By delivering virtually, outplacement providers help contain costs and reach more participants no matter where they are. This also allows participants to have flexibility over when they use services, meet with coaches, and conduct their job search. 

Transparency and Analytics to Measure Results

Contemporary outplacement services need to provide high-level data and insights into just how well the services are performing. After all, as we said above, a poor outplacement experience can be just as bad as not providing them at all. 

With data surrounding landing visibility, billing integrity, and ROI & satisfaction, organizations can actively monitor the outplacement process to ensure that their displaced workers are receiving the highest level of support possible, which in turn allows organizations to fully reap the benefits outplacement has to offer, such as boosts to employer brand, a reduction in survivor sickness, and reduced levels of stress across the board (for HR, department managers, and those employees let go). 

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True Business Partners - An Extension of HR

Outplacement buyers should also examine how providers work with their clients, too. As true partners, outplacement providers help support organizations during every step of the reduction process from training managers on how to deliver the delicate news to providing survivor training. 

Contemporary outplacement, essentially, goes further than just receiving a list of participants and getting them started in a program. Providers now work closely with organizations during the process to ensure everything goes smoothly and that the event doesn’t impact retention, rates of survivor sickness, and negative corporate brand exposure. 

Customized Solutions for All Levels

Finally, one of the last differentiators that should be thoroughly examined when looking for an outplacement provider is how well the firm can adjust services to address various job types, skill levels, and career tenure. 

Contemporary outplacement firms provide unlimited support to all participants, allowing them to find work at any level. At the same time, services need to be tailored to meet the needs of each participant depending on their next move. 

For example, an outplacement program tailored to a long-tenured executive will look different than one for a mid-level manager or an entry-level worker. Each of these roles has different paths and, on the individual levels, each participant has different wants and needs. In order to address all of these possibilities, outplacement providers need a flexible service that can fully support all participants.

Wrapping Up

In the end, contemporary outplacement is not the same thing as outplacement from 10 or even 5 years ago. Changes in priorities and a fundamental shift in the workplace over the course of 2020 have furthered the need for modern, next-gen outplacement that addresses a plethora of organizational concerns that go beyond simply helping displaced workers land new jobs.

These concerns are focused on the employee experience, virtual options, adaptability, true partnerships, and more, that all come together to form a service that reduces survivor sickness, helps employer brands increase, and works closely with clients so that they, too, can create a holistic offboarding experience for every and all employees.

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