Outplacement refers to the confidential support arranged by an organisation for an employee whose role has been made redundant. Delivered by a third-party, outplacement support guides the exiting employee through the loss of their job and their transition to their next role.
An organisation might provide an exiting employee with outplacement support in a wide range of situations, including redundancy, end-of-contract, exit during a probationary period, negotiated exits and, in some circumstances, resignation. An individual may also seek out an outplacement program to help them find a new role or to transition from one organisation to another.
A note: You’ll notice that the terms “outplacement” and “career transition” are used interchangeably here. We have a slight preference for “career transition”, but both terms mean the same thing.
So, what does an outplacement provider actually do?
Support employees experiencing job loss
Our outplacement programs provide exiting employees with a range of strategies to help manage the complex emotions and challenges that can be experienced during this time. We also provide practical assistance, helping individuals to identify next steps, helping them clarify their career direction, and providing them with tools to successfully transition to something new.
Support employees implementing redundancies
We provide support and advice to managers and HR team members to prepare for and have conversations with employees impacted by job loss. Our consultants are available to be onsite with organisations as redundancy announcements are made, to offer immediate support to both leaders and employees.
This announcement day support allows us to give advice to affected individuals about what they should do that day, and how to tell their families, as well as provide an outline of the outplacement program that has been made available to them.
Support the organisation to protect its reputation
How redundancies are managed can have a significant impact on the way an organisation is perceived by all stakeholders. We help organisations to ensure that exiting employees are treated with respect and dignity and are well supported through their transition, minimising risk to the employer brand.
Support remaining employees
The remaining employees’ perception of the fairness and supportiveness with which redundancies are managed will impact their productivity and morale, as well as turnover and absenteeism. Providing outplacement programs to exiting employees goes a long way to increase perceptions of fairness and support.
What does an outplacement services program involve?
An outplacement services program should help individuals decide where the way to take their career next, and support them through the process of getting there.
Most programs include one on one career coaching and may include group workshops or webinars, assessments to assist career strategy, plus online learning, tools and templates.
Topics which may be covered include:
- Dealing effectively with change and building resilience
- Exploring career direction, identifying options for the future and assessing the suitability of these options
- Personal marketing tools such as LinkedIn, resume and cover letters
- How to best approach the job market, including online and personal networks to access opportunities that are not advertised
- The critical skills for job hunting including research, networking and intelligence gathering, and strategy and tactics for engaging prospective organisations
- Performing well in interviews
- If relevant, exploring self-employment options, including starting or buying a business, consultancy, not-for-profit involvement and portfolio careers
Most outplacement service providers offer a range of program levels, which vary in the number of coaching hours, duration, content and design, the seniority of the career coach and the resources provided. The program level is usually chosen by the organisation offering outplacement services.
What is discussed in an outplacement program is confidential. This is essential for the trust relationship that is built between an individual and their coach. At Trevor-Roberts, we provide general progress reports to organisations that funded the program, so that they can be confident the program is being utilised but without details being disclosed.
What does a successful outplacement services program look like?
The short answer? It depends. Program participants work with their coach to set and work towards their own goals for the program, which may be landing a similar job to the one they just left or doing something entirely different. It may be returning to study, starting a business, or transitioning into retirement.
What we do know is that an effective career transition program helps people to move quickly to a constructive activity, helping them make informed decisions about their future, and shortens the period of career transition for most individuals.
We see people improve not only their skills and capabilities but develop a new approach to career planning and the job market, which will serve them for the rest of their career.
We receive an overwhelming amount of feedback that tells us that when we help people transform their careers, we empower them to transform their lives. Through our programs, they create a new direction for their future, and a roadmap to get there.
At Trevor-Roberts, a successful outplacement program is defined by each individual, and that’s the way we like it.