14 March 2011 Categories: Gerry's Corner

         Let me start with explaining the term Outplacement. This word is synonymous with words or terms such as de-hiring, exiting, Career Transitions, downsizing, restructuring and more. The simple explanation is anyone who loses their employee status is in effect being outplaced. My blog today is in 2 parts. The first part which will be discussed here applies to Employers. The second part which will appear in a later blog will apply to individuals.

      The last 2 decades has seen an increase of Companies paying outside Consultants ( Outplacement or Career Transitions Specialists ) to work with the outplaced employee(s) and assist them with job search tools and techniques. The original idea behind this was to help the employee relocate themselves because the company felt obligated to assist employees who were being let go thru no fault of their own. Today there is an element of legalities which cloud this benevolent action. This service was almost necessary because of long term employees who had not conducted a job search since leaving school. Some never had a resume.

      The services in Outplacement include; writing/updating a resume, covering letters, interviewing skills, telephone interviewing, applying for jobs, internet job search techniques, negotiating job offers and more. These services also include dealing with the trauma of lost employment, financial planning advice, retirement, skills assessment, changing careers and self-employment. The one thing Outplacement does not include is finding work for the individual albeit the service will point the employee towards opportunities that they may be aware of.

      Even though large companies have adopted this trend as part of the financial package offered to outplaced employees many companies have not followed this process. In part the reason is not seeing the financial obligation or need to assist employees that are downsized. It is most prevalent with companies that have 100 employees or less. The benefits of such programs are enormous. An x-employee that is well taken care of will continue to promote that Company however an unhappy employee will do as much damage as an unhappy customer. This is amplified in smaller communities.

     It always has amazed me how companies spend lots of money to attract new employees in fact they roll out the red carpet for new talent then the red carpet disappears afterwards. You would think the red carpet treatment would continue to exist from hiring, during employment and at the time of leaving but it does not. Being a good corporate citizen would include making good financial decisions when it comes to letting employees leave their employ.

     We at CAG have offered Outplacement services for more than 20 years. We pride ourselves in meeting both Corporate and employee expectations.