Outplacement is often looked at as the simple act of helping your laid-off employees find a new job. However, outplacement services have the capability to be so much more than a simple service, and should instead be considered part of your overall employment brand.
The downturn in the economy has forced employers who truly care about their workers to decide whether or not they should reduce the size of their workforce, who they should keep on board and who they should let go. Those are not easy decisions for any employer.
Outplacement services have been talked about on a more regular basis due to the shift in the economy the last couple of years. Outplacement services have proven to help soften the blow to those employees affected by layoffs and have been a crucial act for many companies. Eventually, however, the economy will recover. Companies will be in a position to make new hires or rehire previously laid-off workers. Does that mean employers should stop using outplacement services for their workers?
The obvious answer to that question is no. While it may seem like you only need to use an outplacement firm when times are rough and you’re in danger of having to make unwanted layoffs, any company will easily be able to see how using outplacement services, regardless of the economy, can be a great benefit. What I mean by this is considering using outplacement services for employees within your organization who just are not a good fit. We had an opportunity to speak with an HR Professional and current President of the Staffing Management Association of Phoenix, Julie Armstrong. Julie’s previous organization utilized outplacement services for that reason. I asked Julie why they chose to provide outplacement services?
“We selected outplacement services as a way to assist employees that may not have been a match in our environment but had skills and abilities for a successful career. We as a corporation did not want to leave people with no options and no where to turn, we wanted to do the right thing for transitioning employees. Through the outplacement process we actually retained 3 employees in other areas/departments of the company where their skill set was found to be more valuable and a better fit. The overall process enabled us to transition employees and ensure they were able to retain new employment opportunities. In most cases the transitioning employees found better opportunities that aligned with their overall career goals. We were able to learn from the outplacement process, improving our recruiting practices and retention tools and at the end of the day it helped with our overall image.”
Just as every successful company regards its interviewing process, hiring process and culture as part of its employment brand, outplacement can easily fit into that overall picture. For instance, just as companies don’t only use an HR team when interviewing and hiring, you shouldn‘t only use an outplacement firm when layoffs are inevitable.
There are many instances throughout a normal year when having a good relationship with an outplacement company can be extremely beneficial. Fortunately, many companies have the ability to more easily intertwine outplacement services with their employment brand.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!