In these turbulent economic times, many small to medium size companies are being forced to make cuts and right size their business to remain competitive and profitable. For these small to medium size companies, laying off employees or terminating employees for other reasons is often a daunting and difficult task.
One way to cushion the blow and make the transition easier for loyal employees to is offer outplacement services as part of the severance package. The intent of any outplacement program is to provide valuable assistance to individuals or groups of people that are involuntarily leaving their job.
Offering outplacement is a good business practice that achieves a few objectives for both the company and the former employee.
For the employee, it helps prepare them for a job search, builds their confidence and improves the odds that they will get back to work quickly.
For the employer, it helps retain staff by demonstrating to the remaining employees that their employer cares about their well-being during a difficult time of transition between employers. It can contribute to a reduction in your unemployment costs by getting people back to work faster. It lowers the risk of adverse actions since it is a benefit normally packaged in a general release agreement along with other extended benefits and severance pay. Offering outplacement can enhance your brand as an employer. Knowing the company will assist departing employees will reduce the stress within your organization and management team.
Outplacement programs can range from one day to several months and the related costs may range from less than $1,000 to several thousand for executive programs. The level of the affected employee is often a driving factor in selecting the right program. An outplacement program should focus on developing and implementing a strategic approach to the job search and cover the important basics of conducting a self analysis, market analysis, resumes, cover letters, networking, interviewing techniques, and negotiating. A good program will also cover the latest methods of using the internet and understanding how recruiters and managers find and select candidates to hire. There are certainly both tangible and intangible benefits to outplacement.
I have used and recommended Williams & Sewell HR Consulting (http://www.wshrc.com ) to many of my clients and referral sources who are exploring this option. Williams & Sewell are experienced HR Consultants and Advisors who are well versed in assisting companies with outplacement.
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