No one looks forward to the day you get the call stating you are “being let go” or the “company is downsizing.” Outplacement is meant to be a cushion many former employees rely on to ease their transition to a new job. Unfortunately, it appears that outplacement is getting much stingier. In today’s world, more and more employers are only offering outplacement services to protect their image and to merely “check the box.” Employers use this to protect against potential lawsuits and if a lawsuit is filed, then at least they can state they offered this service. It also minimizes their liability for unemployment compensation payments. The problem is though, the services they are providing might just be a waste of money.
Here are 5 ways employers get outplacement wrong.
- Less Individualized Services
In the past, most outplaced employees had the opportunity to work with an employment coach in person through one-on-one, personalized sessions. Now, its is more likely that employees will be sent to a group outplacement lecture where the counselor addresses the key points of a job search in a way that’s general enough to include everyone but isn’t very beneficial to specific individuals.
- Only Finding a J-O-B
Many outplacement agencies only care about finding the next job and not taking the time to know the ex-employee and their goals. Having an ex-employee find their career goals is beneficial to a company. If someone does not focus on finding the right job, their shotgun approach to the search can end up with them staying on the company’s unemployment longer.
- Offering Only Online Seminars
Some companies have outplacement programs that omit the human component altogether. Some employers will steer their ex-employees through a sequence of online tutorials that are marketed as “opportune” or “convenient” because it saves the fired employee time. No longer do ex-employees have to put in the necessary preliminary research, leave home, or even interact with another human being. This approach may be cheaper but it is not very helpful.
- Delaying Outplacement Services
An ex-employee with nothing but time on their hands and an axe to grind will wreak havoc on your company. It is important to be proactive about arranging next-day appointments to help employees get back on their feet. Having an outplacement counselor on site to meet with employees immediately after they receive their notice can be beneficial. An experienced outplacement professional needs to be supportive during this stressful time.
- Expanding Only Networking and Interviewing Skills
Most open positions are filled through referrals and internal movement. Knowing how to build relationships with key stakeholders and communicate your value are of the utmost importance. It’s extremely valuable to maintain a professional online presence and to incorporate online activity into your job search, but too many outplacement firms are focusing inexplicably on ramping up online skills at the cost of humanizing networking.
Unfortunately, the majority of today’s abbreviated and streamlined outplacement programs won’t be able to provide the customized, nuanced advice departing employees need. Outplacement services need to offer a variety of career transition programs that are designed to meet a wide range of organizational and individual needs.