What is Outplacement?

You may have heard the term outplacement and wondered what it means. Outplacement is a service that helps employees transition to a new role, usually as a result of redundancy. When an organisation undergoes a restructure for example, roles can become redundant leading to employees no longer having a job. This is where outplacement services come in.

Outplacement services are provided by specialist outplacement companies and by career coaches with expertise and experience in this area. The role of an outplacement company is to provide support to help employees transition into a new role. Some employees might require career counselling to help them deal with any emotional distress caused by redundancy or may require help making career decisions. Redundancy can be an ideal time for employees to consider their their career coals which might include changing careers or moving into self-employment for example.

What does outplacement support include?

Outplacement services can include:

  • One-to-one coaching and support
  • Career counselling to identify career options
  • Career action planning
  • CV development and tailoring for specific roles
  • Job search strategy advice
  • LinkedIn coaching
  • Cover letter writing
  • Job application assistance
  • Interview coaching
  • Salary negotiation advice
  • Ongoing support (typically 6-12 months).

How much support is included in outplacement?

Outplacement packages range in cost depending on length and intensity of the support provided. The level of outplacement support provided will also depend on what has been negotiated by an employer. Some outplacement programmes are provided in a group setting consisting of an induction followed by topic-focused workshops for example ‘How to Write a CV’.

Group outplacement or individual outplacement?

When choosing between a group or individual outplacement support programme, it’s important to be clear on expectations. Some people thrive in a group setting where others can find a tailored one-to-one outplacement support programme best.

The benefits of a group outplacement programme could be that you enjoy learning in the company of others. While a disadvantage of a group outplacement programme is that it is generally delivered to a schedule and requires you to travel to the programme location. A further disadvantage can be that there may be topics covered in a workshop that don’t meet your needs. This can leave you feeling like you’ve wasted time attending a workshop you didn’t require.

In a tailored, one-to-one outplacement package, your career coach can identify your individual requirements boosting the effectiveness of the support. You might have a great CV already and need help with job search strategy, applications or interview coaching. Perhaps you need guidance in building a stand-out LinkedIn profile and growing your network.

In our experience, this tailored approach is proven to have a greater impact and achieve faster and more sustainable results than a group programme.

Who pays?

While outplacement is usually funded by an employer, an employee who receives a redundancy payment might choose to fund their own outplacement support. In this case, you will need do your research to choose an appropriate level of service to suit your needs and budget.

How to choose an outplacement service

The outplacement services market is a crowded one which can make it difficult to find the right service for you. Once you’re clear on your needs and preferred method of delivery (i.e. a group or one-to-one outplacement service), you can then turn your attention to things like price, inclusions and reputation.

Many of the larger outplacement service companies specialise in high volume outplacement. If a large organisation lays off hundreds of workers for example, they will engage the services of an outplacement company to put them through a group programme. These typically involve a series of workshops on topics from CV writing to job search strategy and interview skills. They can also include some limited, one-to-one support from an outplacement support specialist.

If you’re looking for a more tailored, one-to-one outplacement service, a smaller boutique outplacement company like CareerWorx who offers outplacement services shaped to suit the needs of individuals can be a better option. Check the credentials of the outplacement support providers, as qualifications and experience will vary.

If you require career counselling and coaching to choose a new career, you’ll want to engage the services of an outplacement service with suitably qualified and registered career development professionals. RCDPs are registered with the Career Development Institute requiring a minimum Level 6 career development qualification, adherence to the code of ethics and annual continuing professional development.

Finally, ask about the outplacement service provider’s track record of success. Ask questions like: What is your success rate? What is the typical length of time candidates take to move into their next role? What are the qualifications and experience of the outplacement specialist I’ll be working with? Will I be working with them exclusively?

We hope you’ve found this explanation of outplacement helpful. If you have any questions at all, please leave a comment below or get in touch with us directly. We’d love to hear from you.

Picture of Lisa LaRue, MCareerDev,  RCDP, MAC

Lisa LaRue, MCareerDev, RCDP, MAC

Career Coach, EMCC-Accredited Master Practitioner Coach and CDI-Registered Career Development Professional with more than 20 years’ experience helping achieve successful and fulfilling careers.



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