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The Ultimate Guide To Affordable Outplacement Services

By Nicholas Crown

Founder & Chief Strategist at Resume Atelier

Updated: 8/18/2021


Need assistance deciding on an affordable outplacement services provider? Book a free call below.


1. What Are Outplacement Services?

These are specially designed programs to help employees enhance their skill sets and land a new job even after being laid-off. For many businesses, it is an integral part of the severance package to benefit former employees.

The concept of outplacement or career transition services started in the 1960s when business entities offered assistance to their former employees through a satellite office, phone, and an assistant. These services were mostly provided to executives and upper-level employees back in the day.

These outsource programs are either conducted by your organization’s internal HR team, or you can outsource them to an expert outplacement service.

Choose to outsource your firm’s career transition services. The outplacement firm offers career support to transitioning employees and even the HR teams and the managers involved with the layoff.

office meeting

2. What Is Outplacement In HR?

An organization’s HR department hires outplacement providers to assist them during the reduction in force (RIF) or layoffs. It takes the stress from the HR department and offers psychological support before and after terminating the employment.

To stop the repercussions of sudden layoffs, the HR department is responsible for considering the outplacement services they can offer as part of the severance package to their exiting employees. This means that they have to craft a credible severance package that incorporates the best outplacement processes and other benefits.

meeting with hr image

3. What Elements Are Typically Included In Outplacement Services?

The outplacement services include all the tasks involved with helping former workers to find new jobs. They usually consist of an individual or a group of career experts and trainers that structure their services in a one-on-one or a group session.

As laid-off employees are mostly unaware of the latest job search techniques, they require training and career coaching support in their career transition process.

Outplacement firms also craft highly professional resumes and cover letters to help them apply for the job that aligns with their skills and work experience.

They guide your staff through career-related problems, helping them prepare for interviews, building professional connections, and creating a compelling personal branding strategy.

Since the outplacement agencies are entirely in tune with the job market, they have full access to all the information on what an employee in terms of skills and training to fit in a specific role.

And now, with the advent of online interactive communication, your staff can get trained remotely. This instant access to career coaching saves them from traveling to meet their career counselor.

Other than this, outplacement firms handle your social media profiles, mainly LinkedIn, to highlight your strengths, attract employers’ attention, and build a network.

Not all outplacement programs offer the same services, which is why the quality of their services vary. Some outplacement firms provide one-on-one sessions with an experienced career coach and plan the entire career development path. In contrast, others offer group career counseling services with non-specific job search advice.

Thus, if you are searching for an outplacement firm, you need to determine which strategy is right for your employees and your organization.

outplacement discussion

4. The Benefits Of Outplacement Programs For Your Organization

Let’s see how an outplacement service plays a significant role in boosting your organization’s performance and brand name in the job industry.

Maintains The Employer Brand’s Reputation

The way your treat your employees during a layoff says a lot about your organization and its values.

Suppose employees think that they were not appropriately treated during the layoff. In that case, they have the power to share their experience on professional community forums and social media platforms. According to a study by Intoo, 66% of people decide to share their bad lay-off experiences with others.

But with outplacement, the exiting employees feel valued, which in turn maintains your organization’s reputation. This even shows your present employees that they are working for an organization that prioritizes their career goals and well-being.

High Loyalty And Productivity Levels In Current Employees

Layoffs can be just as emotionally disturbing for your present employees. When they see that your organization doesn’t care about the well-being of its people, they begin to fear that they may also be laid off at any moment. Thoughts like these make them resentful and inhibit their productivity.

A team of researchers from three different universities, including Auburn University, Baylor University, and the University of Tennessee, deduced that the layoff survivors experienced a 20% decrease in their job performance.

This is great way to show your employees that you care about them and their careers. This demonstrates compassion that increases your loyalty to the organization and positively impacts their productivity.

resume atelier team

Reduce The Chances Of Litigation

If an employee feels dismissed on unfair grounds, they can file a lawsuit claim against the organization. This tarnishes your reputation and damages your customers’ perception of the brand.

Moreover, a lawsuit can be costly and time-consuming for your entity that even affect your present workers.

But offering an outplacement program in the severance packages reduces the risks of an unpredictable lawsuit. It also diminishes the chances of others developing a negative perception of your firm.

Decreases The Costs Incurred During Layoffs

Offering an outplacement program to reduce the costs associated with severance might seem like a counterintuitive plan. But in reality, the business value of this program trumps the cost of outplacement services.

The costs of outplacement services vary according to your requirements and the services you choose. Elements that contribute to these costs include the number of employees facing layoffs and the level of services you select for them.

cost reductions during layoffs

Other elements that impact the costs include career development programs or any discounts offered by the outplacement firm if you choose them for a high volume of employees.

But still, the costs of not offering outplacement programs are more than the services selected to support your employee’s career.

Lowers Stress Across Your Staff

Laying off the employees can be just as stressful for the HR professionals and the staff personnel involved as it is disturbing for the exiting employees.

The HR department is responsible for notifying the employees. They may experience emotional turmoil, primarily if the outgoing employee has been serving the organization for several years.

In the wake of a layoff event, the excessive stress might result in a massive turnover since your employees feel that their jobs are not safe. A study suggests that even if you lay off 1% of your employees, 30% more workers will leave your organization due to high stress and less job security.

With the help of outplacement services, your HR department and other staff personnel involved in the layoff processes will be satisfied that the employee will be taken care of by a team of experienced career coaches.

They also demonstrate to your surviving employees that even if downsizing occurs, they will be entirely supported in their future endeavors.

5. How To Choose Outplacement Firms?

When the time comes to hire an outplacement firm, make sure that you choose the right one.

outplacement meeting

The following are some essential features to look for:

Personalized Outplacement Programs

The right outplacement agency offers tailored services that meet the requirements of the outgoing employees and your organization. Since every employee has a different motivation behind progressing towards the next step of their career.

For some, financial security is the topmost priority when it comes to job search. In contrast, others seek to gain experience and different ways that they can utilize this knowledge.

A tailored outplacement program that aligns with their career stage and displays your support’s value protects your organization’s reputation and boosts your present employees’ productivity.

Proven Track Record Of Successful Job Search

Hire an outplacement firm with a proven record to show for their promises of successful career transition services. Ask the outplacement agency for testimonials and reviews or look for reviews by previous clients that utilized their services.

The success rate of an outplacement firm demonstrates that they value the client’s best interests and ensure that your employee passes through the rehiring process successfully.

High Value At Cost Effective Rates

Working with a cost-effective outplacement agency does not mean that you have to compromise on the quality of their services.

For this, compare the value offered by different outplacement agencies and observe the differences between the quality of their services and their fee. Hire a firm that provides a cost-effective and straightforward budget along with in-depth and practical programs.

Leverages Technology

Now that technology has infiltrated every part of our lives, it must be an essential element to look for in the right outplacement firm.

Look for an outplacement partner who invests in social media platforms and networking. They play a crucial role in offering job leads. With a vast network and an optimized social media presence for your employees, you can easily leverage the job opportunities available online.

Outplacement HR also prepares your employees for highlighting their skills and strengths so that a potential hiring manager can notice them.

big team meeting

Offers Flexible Programs

Select an outplacement firm that offers flexible options when it comes to the learning methods of your employees. As some employees are comfortable with one on one sessions while others learn best in a group environment, you need an agency that adjusts their preferences.

Moreover, if your ex-worker learns best through group sessions instead of one-on-one with career coaches, the agency must be flexible enough to cater to their requirements.

6. How Much Does An Outplacement Service Cost?

To select the right outplacement agency, you need to understand their fee structures and how much service costs are average. First, let’s see what you need to expect in an outplacement solution fee plan.

One-On-One Training Sessions

See if the firm offers one-on-one training sessions for employees that are more comfortable to learn when the trainer offers his/her undivided attention.

one on one coaching

Skill Workshops For Groups Or Individuals

Offers training to the outgoing employees on the most in-demand skills for a successful job search.

skills workshop meeting

Training Resources

Provides all the right training material to the employees to smoothly transition into their new job roles.


Retirement Plans

Offers retirement plans to employees so that they can make a smooth transition out of the job industry.

Resume Writing Services

Highly effective resume writing tactics that highlight the employees’ skillset and experience. Further, ensures that the resume is ATS compliant is critical when candidates apply online.

resume writing illustration

Access To Outplacement Resources

It makes the entire job transition process easier for the employees through robust outplacement tools and resources.

Now, when it comes to the actual costs of an outplacement service, it can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars depending on your requirements.

outplacement resources

7. Why Should Your Company Provide Outplacement Assistance To An Employee?

As the job market evolves, employees do not want to remain in a single job position for their entire lives. They want to shift from one company to another every few years to gain versatile experience.

Witnessing this, the HR department prioritizes specific skills and qualities in the employees while balancing their roles in the workplace. This has increased the demand for an outplacement service that serves as an effective career management program for downsizing employees.

Whenever downsizing or redundancies occur, your employees’ emotions flare up, putting your organization’s reputation at risk. In such cases, outplacement services tame the storm and protect your brand image during downsizing or any structural changes.


8. Ready To Get The Best Outplacement Service?

An important element of an effective outplacement plan is resume writing for the outgoing staff. This is a powerful tool that can help other employers explore a worker’s expertise for future opportunities.

While laying off your staff may not be avoidable given the circumstances, arranging for effective resume writing can help them find the right hiring managers.

If you are building an in-house outplacement department, call on us to handle all the resume writing needs of your ex-staff. We offer impeccable resume writing services for organizations who are empathetic about their employees that are laid off, thereby improving their placement rates after they leave the organization.

Our resume writing packages start at a fraction of a cost than getting your resume written by a traditional outplacement firm. Starting from $699, you get an ATS-aligned resume, one-on-one collaboration, industry analysis, and one job target.

Ready to get our resume writing services? Book a free call here.

frustrated employee
hr meeting with employee
outplacement group meeting
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