Retail Outplacement: How to Protect Your Brand During Downsizing

August 31, 2017 by Josh Hrala

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When it comes to turnover rates, retail leads all other markets. Because of this, it’s important for companies to protect themselves when they have to let people go. This is where retail outplacement comes in.

retail outplacement

So, how will retail outplacement impact your company? Why should you care?

To put it simply, it saves your company’s hard-earned reputation and sets your outgoing employees up for a successful transition to a new job.

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.

Why Is Retail Outplacement Important?

For starters, let’s look at some data.

According to recent studies, the retail market has the highest turnover rate compared to any other.

“Hourly store employees have the highest turnover rate at 65%, followed by retail distribution positions at 23% and corporate positions with turnover rates of 18%,” reports World At Work, a non-profit HR organization.

“Positions with the highest turnover cited better opportunities/promotions as the No. 1 reason for leaving, followed by more money and desire for a move/geographic change.”

With this much turnover, layoffs are perceived even worse.

What this does is put an immense amount of pressure on your corporate brand and signals to potential workers (and buyers) that something is wrong with your business even if there isn’t.

You can negate these negative effects by providing retail outplacement to the staff members you need to let go.

How Does Retail Outplacement Work?

Like any other form of outplacement, retail outplacement services work by providing your exiting employees a support system to help them get back to work in a new, meaningful job. This typically involves coaching and e-learning to revamp resumes, make social accounts, and learn about today’s job market from experts.

retail outplacement

Think about it this way: if you were laid off from a company, your life is suddenly upturned. You now have no source of reliable income, no healthcare benefits anymore, and no guidance system.

This becomes increasingly more problematic the longer you work at a given company. For example, if you managed to hold one job for the last 10 years, today’s job market would look completely foreign to you when you re-enter.

Retail outplacement – and outplacement in general – helps negate all of that by helping employees get back on their feet with a strong support system behind them.

What Should I Look for When Shopping For Retail Outplacement?

This is the trickier question. It’s easy to see why outplacement is important but it’s a lot tougher to understand what firm you should go with.

We have a full list of questions you can ask yourself when shopping for outplacement here. We suggest you give them a read if you are a serious buyer.

In short, though, you want a provider who is on the cutting edge of technology, providing their services via internet platforms that people can access anywhere that they are.

Fast Company’s Val Matta makes the case that providing benefits such as outplacement – especially if participants can access it via their phones – is not simply a benefit but an investment in your employee’s future.

“Instead of simply giving workers cash, consider the benefits of investing in other opportunities that will benefit them in their job search, such as providing outplacement services on mobile devices,” Matta writes.

“Research indicates 68% of job seekers use their mobile devices to look for work at least once a week, and moving your outplacement services there means displaced employees can access them anytime, anywhere. This will help increase usage and encourage workers to take advantage of the services you offer.”

retail outplacement

Besides using the best technologies, you should also be wary of term limits and retainer fees. Both of these aspects cost you money. A retainer fee is only worth the value it gives your company while a term limit – especially the standard 3-month time frame – can make you pay for a service that doesn’t even place the employee, which is a waste of money for you and your staff.

Do I Benefit From All of This Outplacement, Too?

You sure do!

Outplacement is a clear signal that you care about your employees even if they are exiting the company. By providing it, you can expect to see a decrease in turnover rates – something very important to retail companies specifically – a better brand reputation overall, and a reduction in liability claims from workers you let go.

In other words, it helps protect you from the dangers that layoffs may cause.

“Although this may appear to be self-serving, anyone who has left a job should be offered outplacement. Experienced outplacement professionals state that in dealing with thousands of terminated individuals, all are traumatized by a job loss,” writes Mary Pille, from Employer’s Association, in an article for Peoria Magazine.

“This sense of loss, anger, betrayal, fear and the struggle with self-confidence will occur regardless of financial status, reason for leaving or age of the individual.”

You can help with all of those feelings by simply providing outplacement to your staff as a standard benefit.

All in all, it’s clear that retail outplacement is a win-win for everyone involved.

Want to learn more? Check out our free outplacement buyer’s kit, which goes over everything you need to know about purchasing the service:

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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