How Outplacement Providers Help Maintain Your Reputation

May 11, 2022 by Josh Hrala

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Getting laid off is one of the most stressful things an employee can go through. Immediately upon hearing the news, a flood of emotions from anger and betrayal to anxiety about their futures, families, and bills may kick in. These negative feelings can be compounded if the event isn’t handled smoothly and an outplacement provider isn’t brought in to help.

Besides ensuring that you plan and prepare your event properly, outplacement can seriously help you save face during these already stressful times.

In this guide, we’ll go through three common ways outplacement can help maintain your reputation during and after a reduction in force (RIF) or layoff.

How Can Outplacement Protect Your Employer Brand?

While outplacement is always a good choice for your employees because it helps them get back to work in a new role as quickly as possible, the benefits of the service cannot be understated when it comes to your employer brand.

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Layoffs, as we mentioned above, can create a lot of distaste and distrust among impacted employees and even survivors who will continue to work at the company.

A great show of grace and support is by showing both of these employee groups that if the worst should need to happen (a layoff), they will be offered a tailor-made service to get them through their transition as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Coupling this level of support alongside a strong severance agreement can go a long way because not only are you providing a lump sum that can help smooth out the financial burden but also offering them a pathway forward to get back on their feet.

This good-faith effort to help your staff even when exiting will help protect your reputation online on sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and others where future talent will likely head before applying to your organization.

Outplacement Providers and Retention: Internal Reputation

After a layoff, you can likely expect those who remain to be stressed and confused. Is the company going under? Will I be next? What should I do? These questions will all likely come to mind, and that’s natural.

By providing outplacement, though, they—again—will know that they’re in good hands and will have a path forward and that the company doesn’t view them as merely a number. Instead, they view them as coworkers and friends.

You can think of outplacement’s impact on survivors as maintaining your internal reputation, allowing you to make tough business decisions while retaining your workers’ trust and faith that you will do the right thing.

Outplacement As a Benefit: A People-First Differentiator

Many organizations still believe outplacement providers have a single use case and should only really be discussed at the moment a layoff event takes place, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

If the last two years have taught the workforce anything, a financial downturn or market correction can happen quickly, leaving people out of work.

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At the same time, workers are more empowered to choose what companies they work for. Outplacement, then, shouldn’t be a dirty word because it’s an insurance policy in case the worst should happen—and it’s ensuring the employee’s future success.

In other words, signing up with an outplacement provider early (especially one like Careerminds, which has no retainer fees) can be looked at as an HR benefit that is there just in case. When onboarding, this can be detailed and explained.

Given that most employees have no idea what outplacement is, this can be a differentiator, proving that you are a people-first organization.

Outplacement Providers and Reputation: Takeaways

In conclusion, outplacement providers can help you maintain your reputation internally and externally by providing your staff with the tools they need to exit your organization successfully.

Internally outplacement can be shown as a benefit (framed like layoff insurance or financial hardship insurance), which is there just in case. Externally, outplacement can help deflect impacted employees who may tarnish your employer brand on sites like Glassdoor and others.

These factors are vital now more than ever as workers are looking for people-first organizations and ditching companies that have antiquated—and sometimes harsh—policies when it comes to reductions or the latter stages of the employee lifecycle.

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Josh Hrala

Josh Hrala

Josh is an HR journalist and ghostwriter who's been covering outplacement and offboarding for over six years. Before pivoting to the HR world, he was a science journalist whose work can be found in Popular Science, ScienceAlert, The Huffington Post, Cracked, Modern Notion, and more.

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