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If you are not familiar with the term "outplacement", you probably know it by another name, such as "outplacement", "external mobility", "replacement" or "outplacement solution". The names for the outplacement plan process are varied, but the result is ultimately the same: helping employees to find a new job or professional training, usually after a redundancy or termination.

The outplacement solution: everything you need to know!

In the age of Glassdoor, its scathing reviews and social media, more and more companies are choosing to offer outplacement services to mitigate the damage that disgruntled workers can do to them. Outplacement can therefore soften the blow of a job loss by helping the employee find a new opportunity. Sometimes even a more interesting opportunity. Here is an overview of what outplacement means in 2020, why more and more companies are offering this service and where it is becoming a norm.

What is outplacement?

In general, outplacement involves working with an external service provider to help departing employees with their career transition. Typical services offered include personal coaching, CV review and interview training. It is important to explain that an outplacement plan can be the outplacement of one employee or several. In this case, we speak of "collective outplacement".

Traditional outplacement services offer employees face-to-face meetings with career development specialists. These services, although highly personalised, can be expensive and are therefore often only offered to senior managers. In order to make outplacement services available to a larger group of employees and/or to offer collective outplacement, an increasing number of companies are opting for virtual outplacement services. Employees can then benefit from individual coaching via video or chat and receive digital assessments of their CVs via an online interface.

That said, the type and quality of service offered varies considerably from company to company. Some outplacement providers offer strong service packages, such as specialised coaches and mock interviews with detailed feedback, while others offer little more than a job board. When selecting an outplacement provider, it is important to carefully consider the specific needs of your employees.

Why do companies offer outplacement services?

One of the main reasons why more and more companies have invested in an "outplacement solution" in recent years is a better view of their brand. Until a few decades ago, there was little that unhappy employees could do to ensure that people outside their immediate circle knew about their negative experiences with a company. Today, anyone can go on platforms like Glassdoor, LinkedIn or Twitter to voice their opinions or share their feelings.

These negative comments from former employees can have major consequences for companies. In the 2017 CareerArc Employer Branding Study, 66% of applicants reported sharing negative thoughts about an employer who had fired them, and 64% of consumers reported stopping buying products from a brand after hearing news about the poor treatment of employees at that company. In addition, negative employee reviews can make it difficult for the company to recruit and retain talent in the future. The outplacement plan and group outplacement have therefore become a must for companies year after year.

The advantage of the outplacement solution for companies and HR departments

By offering outplacement services, companies help employees leave on a more positive note, which decreases the likelihood that the employee will feel the need to publicly criticize the organization. In addition, when employees leave under the right circumstances, the morale of the employees who remain is preserved. Some companies choose to keep outplacement services as a core benefit for their employees at all times, as opposed to hiring outplacement firms only when major layoffs are imminent. This way, employees know throughout their careers that their employer will support them for a very long time, even if their employment with the company ends.

Where is outplacement most common?

Large companies are particularly likely to have outplacement services. Not only do these companies often have the budget to provide such services, but they also depend on outplacement to retain their former employees as customers, brand ambassadors and potential boomerang recruiters. Many smaller companies also invest in outplacement services for similar reasons, although they often choose other arrangements for budgetary reasons.

Technology companies, which tend to be at the forefront of online brand management, have been quick to adopt virtual outplacement services for their internet-savvy employees. In addition, industries that experience a large number of mergers and acquisitions or other forms of market volatility also make frequent use of outplacement programmes. Aerospace, healthcare, finance and retail all fall into this category.

Outplacement, a corporate solution: what you need to know!

The use of outplacement services seems to be growing in all sectors, as more and more companies are paying attention to their reputation and corporate culture. Today, social media and other online forums not only allow people to keep in touch with friends, but also to maintain relationships between former employees and employers. The provision of outplacement services can be a key way to ensure that these relationships remain positive.

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