Outplacement is one of the most misunderstood benefits that companies provide for their employees. As I visit with Human Resources Executives, I find that there are several misconceptions that are common. Most of the misconceptions that I see are from assuming what the employee desires or needs. The best approach is to make Outplacement available to all separating employees and facilitate an easy introduction to the Outplacement consultant/firm. I will address the most common misconceptions.

Assuming the job search will be easy. From all the media reports, the job market has rebounded and more jobs are available now than in the recent past. The truth is, if you haven’t been “in the market” in a while, the scenery has changed tremendously. The use of online job boards, social media and personal websites, the advent of the one-page biographic, even the way resumes are written and formatted have all reshaped the landscape of how a successful search is conducted.

Networking is king – upwards of 80% of jobs that are landed are found through someone the job seeker already knows – and personal marketing materials and a solid marketing plan are key to opening the right doors. Partnering with a professional Outplacement coach who can help your employee to utilize social media channels and face-to-face networking while bringing their resume and other personal marketing materials up to date, will accelerate their job search success.

Only entry-level employees benefit from Outplacement services. Many people assume that it’s only entry-level employees who need the type of assistance that Outplacement services offer. In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth. Entry-level, mid-level and executive-level employees can all benefit from resume preparation, interview prep and career coaching. The difference is that each of them will have different angles for these areas, which Outplacement services can help in identifying. Additionally, executive-level employees tend to search longer for their next position than other levels of workers, and therefore they are more likely to need the support that an Outplacement firm can provide.

Assuming that if an employee has accessed career transition services previously, they will not need support when they experience a job loss again. Regardless of whether it is the first time an employee has involuntarily lost their job or the fifth time, the feelings of uncertainty, fear and anxiety that often accompany separation surface. Combine these recurring feelings with a rapidly changing job market and shifting personal goals, and it’s clear why employees can derive great value from career transition support each and every time they experience a job loss.

Outplacement is only for those seeking another job. The goal of Outplacement isn’t just to get workers another job. An effective Outplacement program will lead the employee to explore options that might provide a richer and more rewarding career. For example, Outplacement services can help a worker transition into self-employment, contract work, or change career direction; their goal being to help the displaced worker come up with a new game plan. In some cases, this new plan can even be leaving the workforce temporarily to obtain additional training or education.

Only large companies offer Outplacement services. While it is true that most larger companies do utilize the services of an Outplacement firm, businesses of all sizes can benefit from providing Outplacement services. Additionally, Outplacement services often increase morale at the business as well as among the remaining employees, which is actually even more important the smaller that the business is. Outplacement can help protect your employment brand in the marketplace and maintain employee engagement.

Outplacement is only for large reductions. Outplacement services are indispensable in helping to facilitate large-scale reductions in a workforce. However, they are just as effective if the company is only terminating one or two workers. These responsible companies are taking responsibility for the welfare of their employees and former employees. In fact, many individuals who are terminated by themselves have greater feelings of loss and depression, making it harder for them to get back on their feet. Outplacement services can assist these employees in moving beyond their loss and onto a brighter future.

To learn more about Outplacement, call me at 918-293-0500.


Rick Christensen

Rick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice Rick has been a career consultant for over 25 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.

Rick’s passion is coaching individuals through career transitions, developing career management strategies and in identifying and sharpening competencies to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have assisted thousands of individuals achieve their full potential.

Contact Rick at: Rick@CareerDevelopmentPartners.com