Choosing an employee outplacement provider can seem like a daunting task, but it is worth the effort. Including outplacement as an employee benefit is becoming more and expected. Potential employees seek out employers who will support them during every part of their employment journey.
Read more about the benefits of outplacement
How do you choose an employee outplacement provider?
This will depend on your organisational set up, size, geographies and the level of support you wish to provide. Career Star Group offers outplacement on a global and/or local scale. Your organisation might need global or international coverage if you have multiple offices or brands in multiple countries. However, you might need support on a national scale. Be sure to understand where potential outplacement providers are based and how they work in all of the locations you require. There are a number of other factors to consider:
Value / Quality
We all know the saying ‘you get what you pay for’, it is no different when it comes to choosing an employee outplacement provider. Therefore, there is no point choosing an outplacement provider solely on a low price. Of course, you must ensure you are within your budget, but outplacement shouldn’t be included as a benefit for the sake of being included. Ideally, you are looking for a provider that you are excited to work with, and that you are excited for your employees to work with.
Understand first-hand the quality of their services. Anyone can say their programmes are high quality – are you able to experience this for yourself? Can you demo their platform, meet a coach, or talk to someone on their delivery team? Understand the journey your employee would experience. The outplacement process will be one of the final experiences the employee has with your organisation, therefore, it is important to make it a good one!
Remember, there is a fine line between value, quality and cost. It pays to dig a little deeper. Ensure that potential providers aren’t limiting coaching time (especially in a fully virtual setting), and that they place importance on development.
The world has become more personalised. In all areas of our lives, personalisation is prevalent. It should be no different when it comes to outplacement. Outplacement should be an individual experience unique to the employee.
Does the outplacement programme provide opportunity for your employees to choose aspects of their programme? Is there support for those who might want to retire, or start their own business?
Additionally, the seniority of employees, and length of time with the company, may also determine the level of support you wish to supply. Check with potential outplacement providers that they have the flexibility to offer different programme levels.
Outplacement programmes all tend to have a number of core offerings:
- CV / resume evaluation and support
- Interview preparation, practice and techniques
- Career planning
These can be delivered face-to-face, via group workshops, or 1:1. This might be in your office, or theirs. Currently, most outplacement services are being delivered virtually. It is critical to understand what outplacement providers mean when they say ‘virtual outplacement’. For some, this means just access to a virtual platform with little support from coaches, and no workshops. Make sure you understand exactly what is included and that all terminology has been well explained.
Outplacement programmes have the opportunity to include much more however, than just the core offerings. Are there training, networking and career development opportunities? Is there on-demand coaching, testing and skills gap analysis? What support is available for the internal HR teams?
We have all had to be flexible in the past year. Working has changed, and will continue to change. Outplacement programmes have also transformed. Of course, this was inevitable. What is important is that your outplacement provider can continue to change with your business. Can they adapt their programmes and offering to reflect your needs? Do they have different programmes in different locations understanding different cultural needs?
Career Star Group does this particularly well. As an organisation made up of the top outplacement providers across the globe, we have deep knowledge in every one of our locations. This is constantly growing, and therefore our programmes evolve. We are extremely experienced in understanding the different and changing needs in different countries and regions. As outplacement should be individual and personalised, this is important. If your potential outplacement provider is governed centrally, make sure your employees won’t be receiving a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. This will not give your organisation the return you want, or give your employees the support they deserve and need.
Also, check that there is flexibility dependant on the size of your change project. If you might have to make large-scale redundancies in the future, can your outplacement provider scale with you. If you expand into other regions or territories, again, can your provider scale with you? On the other hand, will the provider accept redundancies as and when they occur and can the programmes provided reflect the circumstances?
Finally, let’s talk about innovation. But firstly, why is it important for outplacement providers to be innovative? The simple answer is that they are dealing with humans and their careers. Human needs change, the job market constantly changes, and industries change… the world of work is constantly changing. Therefore, outplacement providers have a duty to understand and react to these changes.
Of course, it is easy to determine if an organisation is innovative based on their technological advancements and offerings. However, there are other ways to measure their innovative nature. Who governs the organisation? What are they known for in the industry? Above all, what internal initiatives and events do the organisation hold to encourage an organisation-wide innovative culture?
In conclusion, choosing the right employee outplacement provider who can evolve with your organisation, and who holds values close to yours, can result in great support for your employees and wider HR teams. Career transition support is unique and robust and increasingly more organisation are looking for partners to support them in this area. Additionally, it is important to remember that employee experience begins the moment an employee hears of your organisation, and in a way, it doesn’t ever end. An ex-employee could be discussing their time at your organisation for many years to come. The return on investment of outplacement is long-term protection of your brand reputation. Hence, why it is important to make the right decision and choose the best outplacement provider for you.
Career Star Group can support your HR team with your outplacement needs. Get in touch today for more information.