“When a company is looking for an outplacement service what they really want to give isn’t a program – it’s care.”

When assessing outplacement services, it’s not always easy to compare. Price is highly important, but even more important is that the sponsored support you are providing leaves the person in a better place. We’ll provide you with questions to ask providers that go beyond the simple: ‘what do outplacement services cost?’ to make sure you are receiving the best care for your employees.

When a company is seeking outplacement they are looking not at a product but to gift the person with the help they need to move forward onto a positive future with another great company.   

The following are a few important questions to consider when investing in their care:

1. Who will be delivering the program and what are their goals when working with your team members?

Emotions are high and people are vulnerable during this time. A good outplacement provider understands that. Securing a job in the shortest possible time is brilliant but only if it’s the right job. An experienced career coach will work to safeguard your people during moments of vulnerability and will have your staff member’s welfare as their priority. It can be easy to fall into the trap of only looking at placement statistics when weighing up service providers but digging a little deeper to get to know the outplacement company’s ethos as well may uncover more than you realise.

2. How much do outplacement services cost and what are you really paying for in your outplacement services fees?

The right care doesn’t need to be expensive. It just needs to be tailored to the needs of the organisation and their employees. The biggest risk to ROI is selecting a program based solely on the fees rather than the inclusions and sacrificing care.

Every individual is different, and thus, every outplacement program is also different in structure and cost. For example, entry level and executive outplacement services cost different things, and for good reason. One size fits all doesn’t work during times like these. Each person has different circumstances and goals: each their own strengths to market, fears to overcome and journey to travel. The best thing you can give your people in outplacement care is flexibility. Flexibility enables the coach and the individual to decide together how to spend time where it’s needed the most during the job search process. It gives the person the unique care they need.

Don’t forget to check how personalised each outplacement program is, how much flexibility the individual has to pause their program if needed, how long the support lasts and if there is any post-program continued care.

3. Will your people get the tools and knowledge they need for today’s market?

Old job search doesn’t work anymore. You only need to look at labour market statistics to see that traditional job search methods often result in months of frustration. When you are investing in care you want to know that your team member will be armed with every advantage they can be given. This includes top level marketing materials custom-designed to market their strengths and built to work in today’s technologies, a coach that can help them pinpoint and then proactively pursue relevant opportunities, expert coaching on how to succeed in the rapidly changing interview forums, and the very latest information on new tools in the market. Typically this will mean your team member will not only have a dedicated career coach but access to other in-house resume writers and career specialists where appropriate to give them the advantage they need.

You only need to look at labour market statistics to see traditional job search methods often result in months of frustration. When investing in care you want to know that your people will be armed with every advantage they can be given.

4. Are your values upheld and represented?

Redundancy is a sensitive time for everyone (former employees, remaining employees, employers etc.) so you need to know you can trust your outplacement service providers to care for your departing employees the way you’d want. What does the outplacement firm you are partnering with list as its values? Does their job hunt strategy promote efficiency or care? Programs run out but the right care doesn’t. Does the support end with the outplacement program or is their support ongoing?

Read Also: Outplacement Services – Support at a Time of Vulnerability

The best way to judge any service today is speaking with others who have been through it.

  • Start by reading testimonials from past participants – look beyond the words used to the emotions expressed. This will tell more than statistics and marketing.
  • Speak with people at the company and ask what they believe is important during this time. Again listen for clues about not just what they offer but how they deliver their care.
  • Look for clues to their commitment, values and professionalism. How active is their career coaching team in the industry? What resume writing credentials do they have? What do they believe in and stand for in their career transition articles?

Outplacement is an incredible gift and an important investment so it’s important to get it right. The care you give now can make a huge difference to someone’s life.