What Are Outplacement Services?

At a glance

Outplacement services, or career transition assistance, are benefits offered by some employers to help laid-off employees find work.

Published on:
June 21, 2024

Understanding Outplacement Services

While not formal job sourcing and procurement, outplacement services offer recently let go employees with knowledge and resources to help them overcome possible challenges in finding new work. Companies can offer this assistance internally or through a third-party provider. Some elements regularly included in outplacement services include:

  • Interview coaching
  • Resume writing
  • Cover letter writing
  • Job search assistance
  • Networking opportunities 
Outplacement services provide laid-off employees with resources and support, such as interview coaching and resume writing, to help them find new work.

The Benefits of Outplacement Services

Outplacement services can provide a much-needed sense of relief for employees transitioning out of a company. Organizations interested in maintaining a positive brand reputation for their current and former workers should consider offering outplacement services. They can also help avoid angry ex-employees and consequences such as wrongful termination lawsuits. For employees, outplacement services can significantly lessen the impact of being let go. Additionally, they can alleviate the emotional burden and financial stress of searching for new work. 

Outplacement services help transitioning employees by reducing the emotional and financial stress of job searching. They also help companies maintain a strong employer brand among current and former workers.

Challenges and Considerations

Small businesses' cost of providing outplacement services can be significant or too high to bear. For example, they may need to allocate funds for hiring external providers or training internal HR employees to deliver these services. You might also need more resources, such as HR employees, to implement and maintain a career transition assistance program effectively. It can also be challenging to ensure that all departing employees receive fair outplacement support, which, if handled poorly, could lead to dissatisfaction. This could include ensuring all employees have access to the same resources and opportunities, regardless of their position or tenure with the company. 

Small businesses may struggle to provide comprehensive outplacement services because of budget and resource constraints.

Best Practices for Small Businesses

Despite the challenges, small businesses can still offer valuable outplacement support. To establish a career assistance program, consider leveraging external providers or free online resources to provide accessible support. In-house workshops focused on skill development, resume writing, or other career development and job search techniques can also be a cost-effective solution. These initiatives can help exiting employees in their future search and maintain good relationships with soon-to-be past employees.

Despite limited resources, small businesses can maintain good relationships with departing employees by offering outplacement assistance through in-office workshops, free online resources, or third-party platforms.

Main takeaway

Outplacement services help laid-off employees transition by providing resources like interview coaching, resume writing, and job search assistance. These services ease job search stress for employees and help companies maintain a positive reputation. While small businesses may face challenges due to budget constraints, they can still offer valuable support to departing employees. Small businesses can foster relationships with departing employees and enhance their employer brand.

About the author

Casey Pontrelli

Casey Pontrelli is a multi-talented professional with a background in content creation, branding, and social media marketing. Whether writing for a newspaper, eCommerce website, B2B startup, or a marketing agency, she has taken her strong background in journalism and turned her focus to SEO and content marketing. She’s written about everything from boutiques to cars to small businesses, and enjoys most when she knows her writing has had an impact. When she’s not writing up a storm or creating attention-grabbing social media posts, Casey enjoys hanging out with her partner and three cats, Eddy, Larry, and Marcus, going on long walks in the Green Belt, and, predictably, reading.

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