What is meant by outplacement?

So what is meant by outplacement?

If you’re a florist, a doctor or a cleaner, you get immediately understood.

Not in my case!

I find I am greeted with confused looks from almost everyone when I mention I am in the business of outplacement.

Many people get confused with outplacement vs outsourcing or outplacement vs recruitment.

So what is meant by outplacement?

Outplacement is an employer-provided benefit provided to help departing employees make a smooth and timely career transition. Outplacement support is offered by employers interested in giving their exiting employees the care, counselling, tools, discipline and motivation to find new careers.

Employees most often receiving outplacement services are exiting their employers, as a result of being laid off.

Lay-offs are most often a result of a decision to make the role redundant due to four main drivers:

  1. technology replacement (from a payroll manager to a payroll system);
  2. outsourcing a function (from having an inbound sales team to a call centre);
  3. offshoring a function to (from employing a secretarial pool in a law firm to it being provided in a lower cost economy);
  4. and mergers and acquisitions (where roles are superfluous given their duplication).

Outplacement services typically include career choice support, cover letter and resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, job search guidance, interview preparation, networking help, emotional support and career coaching.

Outplacement services can be structured to offer support in a group format or one-on-one sessions, in the outplacement firm’s office or delivered via coursework online.

Outplacement is not about directly finding new employment. For employees who may have been laid off because they have skills or experiences that are out of date in the workplace, outplacement often focuses on identifying ways to translate those skills to the current workplace or to find a new career path and relevant training.

Why Offer Outplacement Services?

Employers of choice provide outplacement services because they are constantly aware of the impact of their actions on their current and future employees.

In a practical sense, employers offer outplacement to

  1. Protect their reputations as desirable employers, to head off potential lawsuits and, in the instance where a lawsuit is filed, demonstrate that they have behaved responsibly towards the departing employee, thereby limiting the risk of significant damages being awarded.
  2. Demonstrate they are true to their values, by supporting and caring for their employees across the whole of the employee life cycle – even at the point of departure.
  3. Show to their current employees that they do the right thing by their former colleagues and should the time come, the same dignified treatment would be extended to them.

Greg Weiss is the Founder of Career365 (formerly CareerSupport365) is a leading Australian employee transitioning firm, specialising in outplacement and employee onboarding.

Greg has authored 2 books about career transitioning and is soon to release a third.

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