what you need to know about outplacement.


When faced with layoffs, no organization wants to let go of its valued employees. Top employers understand the importance of supporting a successful transition for impacted individuals. By embracing people-first values, empathetic employers offer outplacement services to help departing employees land their next role significantly faster than they would on their own.

Following a layoff or workforce restructuring, outplacement services are provided at no cost to employees. Outplacement services provide individuals with freshly written resumes and social profiles, personalized career coaching and highly targeted job leads. 


what is outplacement?

Outplacement solutions provide certified coaches and technology resources to facilitate, speed up and optimize the re-employment process for displaced employees. Outplacement services include a variety of resources to ease your employees’ career transitions, including:

  • career coaching to improve interviewing, networking, job searching and salary negotiation
  • professional branding services to prepare resumes, cover letters and social media profiles
  • technology resources to enable online job searches, assessments, webinars and training courses
  • customized job leads through a network of recruiters and referrals
  • emotional support and resilience training for impacted and remaining employees
  • career resources and skilling to future-proof employees’ capabilities

Outplacement services may be used on a short-term basis to help manage layoffs and workforce restructuring, and on an ongoing basis to assist all employees who are let go. Employees served by outplacement range from executive leadership to junior staff. And geographies and companies include global enterprises and businesses of every size. 

It is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and service providers offer customized solutions to meet specific employer needs.

outplacement in 2 minutes video

when should we use outplacement solutions?

Companies often implement outplacement support when they’re facing layoffs or workforce restructuring. They realize that treating employees with care and compassion is more than just the right thing to do — it’s good business.

Your actions during the disruption will affect everything from morale and productivity, to recruitment and retention, to your overall brand perception. Getting it wrong can mean negative media coverage, scathing social media reviews, stalled recruitment and costly legal liability.

Remaining employees will also feel the impact, which may result in reduced productivity, lower engagement and higher churn rates. Additionally, your corporate brand is at risk, which can impact revenue and bottom-line results. Layoffs expose your organization to significant risks, but outplacement services help mitigate these risks.

People are the heart of your company, and how you treat them at all stages of the talent life cycle — including at departure — matters. It says a lot about your company and its values. That’s why many companies choose to implement outplacement services on an ongoing basis, to support all exiting employees, even when they’re not facing immediate layoffs.


how do businesses benefit from outplacement services?

Outplacement services can be your first line of defense when your organization faces the repercussions of layoffs. They can also be one of the ways you show employees they’re valued even when times are less turbulent.

Outplacement has a long-lasting effect on your reputation, your ability to attract and retain great talent, and your future business success.


how does talent benefit from outplacement services?

Through outplacement services, a blend of expert career coaches, personal branding writers, recruiters and technology innovations help impacted employees find new opportunities with speed, efficiency and confidence.

Outplacement users can expect:

  • to land their next role faster
    Quick coaching and resume writing speed up the time it takes to land a new position.
  • greater networking opportunities
    Technology and coaching resources optimize networking best practices.
  • a big confidence boost
    Career transition support and empathy reduce anxiety and improve well-being.
  • a personalized experience
    The goal is to help affected employees land an equal- or better-paying job.

When layoffs affect senior leadership, some outplacement firms provide executive-level services to meet the unique challenges of executive departures. For example, executives may face longer search times and fewer viable opportunities. Executive searches often require elevated service levels due to higher visibility and broader demands. If leadership teams are affected by layoffs, it’s essential to have expert coaches, writers and recruiters to meet their complex needs and requirements.

help through transitions

what does an outplacement solution cost?

The cost of outplacement varies depending on specific company needs and the professional level of the impacted employees. Outplacement costs can vary based on the:

  1. number of impacted employees
  2. scope of services offered, including length of coaching time, resume critique vs. writing, etc.
  3. incremental services such as skill workshops, career development and programs for retained employees

> how much does outplacement cost?


what kind of ROI can we expect with outplacement services?

There are high risks — and high costs — associated with handling layoffs poorly. With outplacement services, you strengthen your employer brand and your ability to attract and retain great talent. This means reduced recruiting expenses and increased productivity from remaining employees.

The goodwill resulting from doing the right thing can also improve retention rates, leading to substantial savings. In fact, the cost of turnover can range from 33% to 200% of a departing employee’s salary.

Outplacement services also help reduce the risk of legal and unemployment tax fees while protecting your company reputation — which can take a major hit (along with sales) — from poorly handled layoffs.

When the positive impact of outplacement services is considered in its entirety, it’s easy to see that the ROI is substantial.


how do we select an outplacement solution?

Not all outplacement services are created equal. Choosing a partner and a solution is a strategic business decision that will have far-reaching implications for your people and your business. Your partnership with an outplacement services provider is likely to be long-term as your business needs ebb and flow in a shifting economy.

You’ll want to evaluate all aspects of your outplacement needs and how the outplacement services provider can meet your requirements. This includes the professionals that will support you, the scope of services and technology resources available, and the organization’s ability to scale in terms of size and geographies.

The best outplacement firms offer tech-and-touch solutions that combine the latest technology with the support of top-performing coaches, resume writers and advisors. When evaluating outplacement companies, look for providers that align with your company’s values; offer flexible, personalized services; can scale as quickly as your demands change; and use inclusive and accessible technology.

the essential guide