What to Look for in an Effective Outplacement Program: 5 Key Elements

employee departures

In any organization, there will come a time when you’ll have to let employees go due to workforce restructuring, layoffs, facility/plant closures, or other circumstances. How employees leave your organization really matters. The way displaced employees are treated in their final days will be shared with friends, family, and even potential customers. Future job candidates on social media and review sites like Glassdoor may read about their experience. Additionally, employees remaining with the company will be watching how former colleagues are treated and may re-evaluate their trust and loyalty to the organization.

Fortunately, there is a way to make the experience as positive as possible for everyone involved. Providing your departing employees with an effective outplacement program gives you the opportunity to help them while also protecting your company and reputation.

What is Outplacement?

Outplacement, also known as career transition, is a benefit provided by the employer through a specialist firm to employees who have been laid off. The service is usually offered as part of a severance package and is designed to help the individual find new employment.  Outplacement programs typically provide a suite of services ranging from career counseling, job search advice, interview preparation, resume assistance, and career development.

While outplacement involves spending time and money on employees who are leaving your company, it’s important to consider the benefits of your investment:

  • Protection of Your Employer Brand – By investing in outplacement, you show that you care about your employees. This can put your company in a positive light and make it easier to recruit and retain key talent in the future.
  • Reduced Risk – Losing one’s job is never easy. Your departing employees may feel frustrated or angry when they get let go. But if they know you’re providing them with assistance to help them land a new job, they’ll be less likely to engage in a wrongful termination lawsuit.
  • Decreased Impact on Employee Morale – Layoffs can be uncomfortable for both existing employees and those who remain with the organization. If departing employees feel supported, they’ll be less anxious and will stay motivated to continue working hard for your company until their last day. At the same time, those who remain with your company will see that the organization is doing its best to support the employees it had to lay off.
  • Lowered Unemployment Costs: Outplacement support helps your former employees find new jobs faster than they would on their own. The sooner they’re able to secure new employment, the less unemployment benefits they’ll need, and the lower your unemployment insurance rates will be.


Choosing an Outplacement Program

Not all outplacement programs are created equal. In fact, there are a number of differences among programs and providers.

For over 30 years, CCI Consulting has designed and delivered top-of-the-line career transition support. We’ve learned through our work that outplacement can have a positive impact on an individual’s career journey, which, in turn, reflects positively on their former employer. We work with hundreds of laid-off employees every year who report that having the guidance of a dedicated, knowledgeable career coach, along with a comprehensive package of technology tools to assist with resume development, their LinkedIn presence, interviewing, and offer negotiation, has helped them tremendously in landing their next ideal role.

Before you move forward with an outplacement provider, make sure their outplacement offerings include the five critical elements below:

Individual Coaching

CCI’s coaches are world-class with years of experience and local market knowledge and networks.  The most powerful coaching comes from building relationships and learning the unique needs of each candidate.  In lesser outplacement programs, coaching is often cast to whoever is available from wherever at the time or left out entirely.  Repeatedly switching the coaching flow sub-optimizes progress.  Think of your last call center experience when you were transferred from one attendant to the next, and the next.  How did you feel?  And that was for an issue likely less important than a career!

Technology to Enable, Not Replace

Pairing great career coaching with leading technology creates a holistic program that fully supports candidates.  You are relying more heavily on technology to recruit employees than ever before.  If an outplacement program does not account for this change it is missing a major component.  CCI’s technology suite, PowerMyCareer™, includes ways to better adapt to the new employment reality with tools like Job Scan to match ATS programs, video interview practice, resume builders, weekly webinars, and much more.  All this technology is mobile-friendly and accessible on-the-go from anywhere in the world.

Immediate Support

At CCI, we believe in the immediate support of both the organization and separated employees.  Our coaches are trained to provide on-site support the day of a separation to immediately engage with former employees and help them begin taking steps in the right direction.  Our team is available to coach Human Resources and Management through the appropriate steps in preparing for layoffs, including communication, and to work with team members who remain after a separation.  This is a trying time for both individuals and organizations, with CPI’s support this transition can be made as smoothly as possible.

Career Choices

Part of the CCI outplacement program involves taking time to evaluate a candidate’s options in moving forward.  For many, this will be returning to a similar role as quickly as possible.  For others, the evaluation goes deeper, and alternative choices may be more attractive.  As an example, some senior executives choose to start consulting instead of returning to a standard 9-5 role.  In that case, our entrepreneurial program is appropriate for them.  Alternatively, if a separated employee is nearing retirement, this might be an appropriate time to begin that next phase of life.  For them, CCI has the New Horizons program with proprietary and validated assessment tools to begin holistically planning for retirement.  Importantly, CCI caters to each candidate’s unique needs, providing choices instead of a one-size-fits-all system.

Tailored Expertise

The provider you choose should have experience providing the specific type and level of support your employees need. For instance, the needs of a C-level executive in transition are different from an entry-level or mid-level employee and the outplacement program you offer must be able to support their needs. At CCI, our outplacement programs are personalized for all levels of employees—from entry-level to executive—to ensure the right level and length of support is provided.

Taking the time to find the right career transition and outplacement programs for departing employees is essential to maintaining a good employer brand.  Settling for subpar outplacement providers may provide a short-term financial benefit, but by partnering with a quality provider, you fortify your status as an employer of choice and set yourself apart from the rest of the market.


Does Your Organization Have Outplacement Needs?

For more information on CCI Consulting’s Outplacement & Career Transition Solutions, click here or get in touch to speak with one of our outplacement consultants.