Layoffs and terminations have always been a fact of life in the world of business, but the stakes are higher today. Disgruntled former employees who feel they’ve been mistreated can easily tarnish an organization’s brand reputation on social media and other online forums. One way to prevent this is to invest in outplacement counseling and assistance services.

What is outplacement assistance?

Outplacement assistance is a service provided to employers that helps them manage downsizing and maintain positive relations with employees. Central to this goal is assisting laid-off workers as they search for a new job or career.

What is outplacement counseling?

Employers may offer outplacement counseling to their employees as part of their severance package to help them develop skills they may need to re-enter the job market. Services traditionally were provided in person, but modern outplacement counseling is largely virtual, making it more convenient and widely accessible.

What do outplacement counseling services do?

Looking for a new job after years of service with one employer can be a stressful experience, especially for those whose tenure ended unexpectedly. To help such individuals get back on their feet, outplacement firms generally offer:

  • Evaluations

    Specialized career coaches identify positions that would be a best fit for individuals based on their skills and experience.
  • Career fairs

    Job seekers have the opportunity to learn about different companies and meet prospective employers.
  • Resume building

    Online tools and counseling services can help candidates improve their resumes and increase their chances of securing an interview.
  • Interview prep

    With the aid of a coach, applicants identify key talking points and work on perfecting their conversation skills and body language.
  • Educational resources

    Individuals may receive referrals to webinars, classes or online tutorials that can help them obtain their desired skill set.

When is the right time for outplacement counseling?

Outplacement counseling begins after an employee is laid off and may continue for up to six months or more, depending on the provider. In some cases, displaced workers can take advantage of the service until they find a new job, regardless of how long it takes.

Outplacement Counseling

How does the outplacement assistance process work?

Outplacement procedures vary by provider and the services offered. Where virtual counseling is concerned, employees tend to follow these steps throughout their journey:

  1. Connect with a coach for psychological support and career transition guidance
  2. Take a self-assessment test to see which types of jobs may be a good fit
  3. Send resume to an expert for critique and improvement tips
  4. Engage in mock interviews and get feedback on word choice, tone and body language
  5. Take a workshop on building LinkedIn profiles and networking
  6. Search for employment opportunities on the provider’s jobs database

Why should a business offer outplacement counseling to displaced employees?

Outplacement counseling isn’t just for the benefit of outgoing employees. Employers who offer career transition services may see improvements in several key areas of their business, including:

  • Employee morale

    When the remaining employees see that their former colleagues were able to find new jobs with help from their employer, it sometimes eases tensions following layoffs.
  • Risk management

    Displaced employees who feel that their employer truly cares about their well-being may be less likely to file a wrongful termination lawsuit.
  • Operating costs

    By reducing the number of unemployment claims associated with their business, employers may be able to lower their state unemployment tax rate.
  • Brand reputation

    Positive feedback on social media and career-related forums, like Glassdoor, can go a long way in attracting not only future talent, but also new customers.

Why hire a professional outplacement assistance service?

Something as important as business reputation can’t be trusted to just anyone. That’s why many employers rely on professional outplacement providers to ensure that displaced employees secure new jobs as quickly as possible. Those who are capable of delivering on that promise tend to have:

  • Services personalized to the needs of both the employer and the employee
  • Technology that facilitates virtual learning for convenience and accessibility
  • Employee participation and job landing rates indicative of previous success
  • Certified counselors who have experience working with employees of all levels

Frequently asked questions about outplacement counseling

Why would a company provide outplacement assistance to an employee?

Businesses provide outplacement services to protect their brand reputation and improve employee morale when downsizing events occur.

How do employers benefit from outplacement and off boarding?

Outplacement services can help employers:

  • Lower their state unemployment tax rates
  • Reduce the risk of wrongful termination lawsuits
  • Maintain productivity and loyalty among the remaining workers
  • Minimize negative public feedback following layoffs

How long do outplacement services run?

Outplacement generally gives displaced employees a defined length of time to secure a new job before they can no longer use the service. Some providers, however, will waive duration limits or offer extensions at affordable costs.

What is outplacement coaching?

Outplacement coaching is a counseling service that helps laid off employees re-enter the job market with confidence. It may consist of psychological support, resume building, skill assessments, interview preparation, networking and more.

What does outplacement support mean?

Outplacement support may be offered to employees who are laid off or terminated. Through this benefit, they have access to a counseling service paid for by their former employer to aid them in their search for a new career.

This guide is intended to be used as a starting point in analyzing outplacement and is not a comprehensive resource of requirements. It offers practical information concerning the subject matter and is provided with the understanding that ADP is not rendering legal or tax advice or other professional services.

ADP Editorial Team

ADP Editorial Team The ADP editorial team is comprised of human resource professionals with extensive experience solving complex HR challenges for businesses of all sizes.