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This Outplacement Advice Will Make You Rethink Your Provider

August 31, 2017 by Josh Hrala

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When it comes to outplacement, there are tons of articles you can pour through to try to find the right provider for your business. However, the best outplacement advice you will ever receive is the also the simplest to understand.

outplacement advice

In short, what makes your outplacement provider a strategic partner?

By asking yourself this question, you start to uncover what you need to look for when shopping for outplacement services as a whole.

Before we dive into it, we want to show you how much you can save by using Careerminds outplacement services over traditional firms. Take this simple quiz to see your savings!

How much could you be saving using Careerminds? This calculator will show how much you could save over a year using Careerminds, as compared to your current provider.

Let’s get into it.

What Makes a Strong Partnership?

A strategic partner should be one that you know will cover all of your needs for years into the future. Basically, you want to find a provider that will handle all of your workforce transitioning needs as they arise without breaking your budget.

This is obviously one of the best pieces of outplacement advice one can give, but few actually consider what goes into a strong partnership.

Retainer Fees: Should I Worry About Them?

For most providers, making a “strategic partnership” is less about the partnership and more about those lucrative retainer fees.

Think about it. If you can offer you a service that someone will use once and while – even if it’s something as stressful as outplacement – and you can also charge them while you wait for that need, you’d do it, right? That’s business.

This is the thought process behind the retainer fee. Providers know that you will need their help . . . eventually. So, during that waiting period, they charge you a fee for hanging around even if you don’t need them right now. In other words, you’re paying for nothing.

The good news is that there are firms out there that do not require retainer fees to be partners. Instead, these firms (we’re one of them, by the way) want to give your organization the boost they need while also helping your outgoing employees find new, meaningful work.

So, ask yourself this: is my strategic partnership strategic for me or the firm I have on retainer? Who is really benefiting from this exchange?

The Problem With Term Limits

Here’s another simple piece of outplacement advice: be wary of term limits.

What do you we mean? Just like many other services, outplacement providers tend to offer their service for a certain period of time. If the goal isn’t met within that time, the service stops.

outplacement advice

This is fine when it’s, say, boosting a post on Facebook or running a campaign to bring on new clients. It’s not okay when a person’s livelihood is on the line.

Put yourself in your exiting employee’s shoes. You lost a job and received a severance check and outplacement. Severance typically lasts about three months or so (more if you save). It turns out that many outplacement providers also stick with clients for three months, too.

This means that after that three-month deadline, you are now running out of money and are also about to lose your support system. A support system that your ex-employer thought of as a “strategic partner”.

How would you feel in this situation?

Common outplacement advice dictates that by providing outplacement you are setting your employee up for success while also keeping your employee from resenting your company, potentially saving your hard earned reputation in the process.

When a person is going through all of the stress of job hunting and gets cut off from the support they thought they had, all of those bitter feelings come back and they are now in a worse spot than they were before.

The short of it is if you are working with a firm that has term limits, they are not willing to work with your employee until they are placed, which is a waste of your company’s money, your employee’s time, and can have the same negative effects as not having outplacement at all.

Staying on the Cutting Edge of Technology and Thought Leadership

The last and final bit of outplacement advice we can bestow upon you is to make sure your provider is always questioning their own systems, staying up to date with what’s happening in HR as well as what’s happening in the job market.

This means you, yourself, should try to stay current as well. The big goal is to have a provider that covers this area for you. They should be ahead of the curve, guiding you through the process. However, it’s important to do your own research too so you can check in on them once and awhile to ensure they are staying current.

Right now, technology is obviously making the biggest waves across the business world, especially when it comes to finding work.

outplacement advice

Just a few years ago, online job boards were in their infancy. Now, they are one of the best ways to land a new role. Social networks such as LinkedIn are also way more important than they were only a short while ago.

Nowadays, it’s far more important to make connections and establish relationships than it is to carpet bomb resumes across the internet. If your outplacement provider is still using outdated tactics to land a role – plus they implement term limits – the chances of your employee finding the ideal role diminishes.

So, every once in awhile you should do your homework and check in on what your outplacement provider is actually providing to ensure it lines up with the current technologies and trends happening in the world.

Making a Strong Partner: A Simple Conclusion

Let’s wrap this all up.

The best outplacement advice you can receive is knowing how to distinguish whether or not your provider is actually a strong partner.

Do they charge retainer fees that are costing you an arm and leg without providing thought leadership and proper guidance? Are you really getting your money’s worth by paying an organization even when they aren’t helping at all?

Do they have term limits? If you pay a retainer and also only get three months of help when needed, where is all of your money going? How is this a strong partnership if only one side is making any thing from it?

Do they stay current? This is the trickiest point to evaluate but it comes in quite handy from time to time and also helps you be the best HR leader you can be. Ask yourself: Do I know more than the provider when it comes to finding a new role? What’s happening in the job market from an applicant perspective?

If you follow this simple outplacement advice, you will be well on your way to having a partnership that lasts for years, and that – after all – is what you’re truly searching for.

Want to learn more about buying outplacement? Check out our free guide to help evaluate your current provider:

Download Our Outplacement Buyer's Kit Here!
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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