By: Brian Hallahan
I thought I would write about 3 things to consider when searching for an outplacement partner that will fit your organization’s needs. Every company across every region of the United States is different. And while many organizations are doing well and are still focused on hiring, that doesn’t necessarily mean all companies are thriving. With the news that the US economy shrank 1.4% in Q1 2022 and the Federal Reserve committing itself to interest rate increases to bring down inflation, some companies may have to conduct – or be prepared to conduct reductions in force.
So, how do you know if you’re making the right choice when it comes to selecting a partner to assist with layoffs? Here are a few items that made the shortlist:
Budget. As with all things business, budget matters. But there are two sides to what you receive for your spend on outplacement services.
First, what does your departing employee receive? You’ll likely want to seek out providers that offer flexible options to provide an outplacement package that meets the needs of each of your separating employees. Whether it be offering services for an entry or senior-level position or perhaps to mitigate special considerations in particular instances, your outplacement services partner should be able to recommend an appropriate package that maps to your specific needs. One size does not fit all.
Second, what do you receive as the buyer of the outplacement service? You want to work with an outplacement provider that can help with the logistics of the termination day by providing experience and objectivity. You will also want to work with an outplacement firm that can provide insight into planning the before, during, and after the notification, and offer guidance on how to support remaining employees.
Customization. Serendipitously, while working on this blog I had a call with a person representing a non-profit that has never provided outplacement services before. She described two individuals whose positions were being eliminated in a restructuring. She responded to my suggested level of support based on what she told me about these individuals – and why I suggested different levels of support. She thanked me for considering the difference between the individuals and for explaining the rationale behind my suggestion.
This leads me to the second element you should consider when choosing an outplacement firm: customizable solutions. You want to work with an outplacement provider that offers a variety of plans or levels of support to tailor the program to the uniqueness of each departing employee. Some want to stay in their field, others may want to change fields or professions, and others may spend time adjusting to a different phase of their life.
Respect and dignity. Whether the employees you’re letting go have dedicated their lives working for you or have only been contributing to the organization for a short period of time, they are human. By treating them with the same respect and dignity you took while recruiting them into the company, you will demonstrate this not only to them but to your entire organization.
Choose an outplacement provider who will give your employee a dedicated career coach to support them during these challenging times. This career coach can offer support, guidance, and quickly empower the employee during this difficult time. And you have the assurance that someone is watching out for their wellbeing – they are not at home, alone.
For more helpful tips and insights on how to navigate and prepare for layoffs, visit our blog.