The Outplacement Advantage

outplacement advantage

Why Offer Outplacement Services? 

Unfortunately, organizations are occasionally faced with the difficult decision to downsize or restructure.  How an organization handles layoffs can have a profound impact not only on the impacted employees but also on the morale and reputation of the company. This is where outplacement services come into play as a critical factor for both the company and the employee. Here, we will look at why offering outplacement services is not only a compassionate gesture but should also be an imperative part of your talent and business strategy.

Support the Impacted Employee 

Individuals facing a drastic career change undergo a rollercoaster of emotions from anxiety to denial to fear. Providing outplacement support can help individuals navigate this range of emotions and face the future with renewed focus and positivity. Properly supporting employees as they move through the outplacement process demonstrates that their service is valued and that supporting them in their next role or stage of life is important to you as an organization. The goal of severance benefits is to help those impacted transition to new opportunities. The financial component is typically a short-term bridge, while career transition services help address the long-term implications.

Support the Team Handling Restructuring 

Having available support from a third-party to help employees transition can ease some of the burden of your HR and management teams who are leading restructuring efforts. By utilizing a third-party outplacement firm, companies also remove any biases held by outplaced employees.

Reinforce the Culture of Your Organization 

Offering outplacement support shows that your organization responds to challenging events in a positive, thoughtful, and caring manner. This can help maintain a positive workplace culture and prevent a dip in overall morale, which can often occur after a round of layoffs. It also increases the likelihood of retaining high-performing employees who may be considering leaving due to uncertainty.

Fostering Employee Loyalty and Trust 

Companies that provide outplacement support as part of their redundancy program often find that it can lower the ‘emotional temperature’ across their organization. By fully supporting exiting employees, you can demonstrate both to them and to those who remain, that despite the current challenging circumstances you value them as employees and are committed to their well-being. For those remaining, it can be reassuring to know that if they find themselves in a similar situation, they are likely to receive the same support and consideration.

Keep a Positive Image and a Good Reputation  

The human impact of workplace restructuring, particularly where there is no support provided, is often underestimated by employers. Many of your former employees will stay in the industry with competitors, suppliers, or even customers. Also, with the prevalence of social media and online review sites such as Glassdoor, supporting impacted employees should not be taken lightly. Employer reputation is at stake! When you have a strong employer brand, you attract great people, innovative ideas, and more business for your organization.

Unexpected ROI in Reducing Hiring Costs 

It may seem odd to state that investment in outplacement can positively impact hiring costs, but there is a strong correlation. Companies are often concurrently laying off employees and hiring others, perhaps for new skills or teams. Rarely is restructuring solely about redundancies, and there can be a series of complex workforce planning and resourcing activities underway. Negative perceptions in both the internal and external candidate marketplace about how exiting employees were treated can be very damaging to critical recruitment campaigns and candidate attraction strategies. It’s also not uncommon for organizations to rehire those previously affected by redundancy. In all these situations, the relatively small cost of providing outplacement support can pay significant long-term dividends that far outweigh the initial outlay.

Limit Conflicts and Legal Risks

Offering outplacement support for your employees can help defuse potential conflicts. When your employee faces termination, facilitating a smooth and successful exit by helping them find a new path can limit or even avoid any legal risks that might occur. Legal action due to a mishandled employee exit can be expensive and time-consuming, not to mention damaging to morale and reputation. Providing outplacement can help mitigate any of these risks and support a more peaceful and successful transition out of the business.

Questions You Should Ask an Outplacement Provider

  • How long has your company been providing outplacement services?  
  • Do all candidates have access to a dedicated career coach? 
  • How many candidates are your career coaches supporting at any given time? 
  • How often do coaches meet with candidates? 
  • What is the typical coaching model or items covered during an engagement? 
  • What online resources are provided? 
  • What is the background of your coaches? Can I review some of your coach bios? 
  • Where are your coaches located? 
  • How do your coaches help candidates navigate applicant tracking systems? 
  • Do you offer any resources to help candidates upgrade their skills?  
  • Is there an opportunity for candidates to interact with other coaches within your organization or other career transition candidates? 
  • What happens when a candidate’s program ends, and they are still looking for a job?  


In an ever-changing business environment, organizations must be prepared to navigate the complexities of restructuring and downsizing. Offering outplacement services is a powerful way to demonstrate compassion, preserve a company’s reputation, and mitigate legal and financial risks. It also helps to maintain a positive workplace culture, boost morale, and retain valuable talent. Ultimately, investing in outplacement services is an investment in the long-term success and sustainability of the company, both in terms of its people and its bottom line.

Dan Haneman,

Vice President, Client Services

Paul Marion,

Vice President, Client Services