4 Things You Need to Know About Outplacement Assistance

January 01, 2021 by Josh Hrala

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Outplacement services can come in many forms, though they all strive for the same result: getting your outgoing employees back to work as fast as possible. 

To help you better navigate the world of outplacement services, we’ve made this easy-to-follow list that goes over why outplacement is important and what you should look for when shopping around.

Let’s get started.

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What Is Outplacement Service and Why Does My Company Need It?

To put it simply, outplacement is a service that HR departments can offer their outgoing employees who were let go in a downsizing event or a single layoff.

So how does outplacement work? The service works with departing employees to help them with career assessments, cover letter and resume writing, interview preparation, also helping them learn about the current job market, make social media accounts like LinkedIn, and then encourage them to perform interviews to land a new, meaningful job outside of the organization so they can continue on their career paths. An outplacement partner can also help employers save money on unemployment claims and offer expert advice in legal issues such as wrongful termination lawsuits, among other benefits.

What Are Outplacement Services?

Outplacement assistance is when an HR department uses a third-party provider to help them navigate downsizing events during this important organizational change. Outplacement is used to find departing employees new roles by obtaining a new job or transitioning to a new career in outside organizations, minimizing the negative impact that layoffs can have on businesses. Outplacement services offered by employers are an important employee benefit for their staff.


The reason why your company should use a provider for this service is because layoffs are one of the most stressful things HR professionals have to deal with and also one of the most trying times for a company’s brand reputation. That’s why outplacement services are worth it.

Protecting your reputation during a layoff is of utmost importance, putting a lot of weight on how your transitioning employees are treated and how their career is affected. We recommend planning this entire process from start to finish. The first step is making sure your HR managers are trained in layoff best practices and have a layoff script on hand to ensure the notification meeting goes on without a hitch.

Near the end of the notification meeting you will go over the employee’s severance package. This is where outplacement comes in.

By providing your soon-to-be former employee with outplacement services shows that you care about their future and that you hope they succeed in another organization. Not only does this help protect your company and employer brand in today’s Glassdoor era, it also is plainly the right thing to do.

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How Does Outplacement Services Typically Work?

How the outplacement process will unfold is largely based on what firm you decide to go with.

There are quite a few out there to choose from and it may seem like they all offer the same service.

They don’t.

Many firms are still very traditional in their approach to outplacement services. They usually partner your employee with a job outplacement coach who then meets with them in a physical location to discuss what the employee needs to cover in order for them to find a new job through career transition coaching.

This is problematic. Technology has drastically changed the HR landscape over the past decade, making office visits obsolete.

At Careerminds, we use an online platform coupled with one-on-one coaching to ensure that we can provide modern outplacement programs to anyone anywhere in the US, which is a big difference because some employees live in rural towns that may not have access to large metropolitan areas where typical outplacement firms operate.

By using virtual methods, you can also be sure that the firm providing outplacement solutions is tech-savvy. In today’s world, job hunting is online. Most jobs are posted on LinkedIn, job boards or announced on company websites, if a firm can’t figure out how to harness the power of the internet to providing career coaching, why trust them to harness it for the job search?

So, in summary, technology plays a big role in the outplacement process and should be a deciding factor for anyone shopping around for it.

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The Case Against Term Limits

This is a big one.

Besides Careerminds, all other outplacement firms use term limits for their services.

What does that mean? Well, like many other services, firms give their clients a specific amount of time to find a new job. If they fail to do so in that window of opportunity, the service is canceled, meaning that there is no guarantee that your outgoing employee will find work.


At Careerminds, our dedicated team works with outgoing employees to provide them outplacement assistance until they are placed in a job. That means that if someone finds work in three months – the typical time limit offered by other firms – great. If not, we will work them even if it takes a year or more.

Everyone has different needs and setting a time limit for the service greatly reduces the chances of an individual finding a new job.

Term limits also show that the provider is not certain they will be able to place your employee and will give up on them if the going gets tough. Why pay for a service that has no guarantee, especially one that is so personally important to your staff member?

Creating a Strategic Partner For the Future

Another important factor is whether or not the firm will be a strategic asset in the future.

Outplacement is one of those things that may come up from time to time because layoffs can be triggered by the economic climate and many other factors.

The good news is that many firms will allow your organization to put them on retainer so that you can use them when you need them.

However, most of the time firms charge a specific fee for this, which can add up over time to cost quite a bit.

One of the weirdest things about these fees is that the same companies who charge them are the same ones using term limits, meaning that you get to pay the company to have their service available and then you get to pay more for your outgoing client and you still are not guaranteed that it will work.

Here at Careerminds, we strive to be partners with organization in the future, helping them find their displaced clients a new, meaningful job and career development. We do not charge retainer fees and only require payment when an employee actually needs our help.

If you follow these tips, you will be able to find the perfect outplacement services provider for your company’s needs.

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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