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Reviewed by Nov 11, 2021| Updated on
Outplacement is a service that helps a departing employee acquire a new position or transition to a new profession. Many employers offer access to the outplacement programs as an employee benefit for their employees. Outplacement programs can be monetarily, professionally, and emotionally helpful to all involved and, more often than not, guarantee a successful termination of a working relationship.
Nobody enjoys being fired or laid off from a job or delivering that news to someone else but going above and beyond a compensation package and offering outplacement services will support all parties through a, sometimes, difficult transition.
Sometimes, the company that allows an employee to go provides the services in-house; some recruit a third party when it is necessary to keep costs down, or when pressures or awkwardness are particularly high.
Traditionally, outplacement services were provided at an outplacement firm so the previous employee could have access to the office tools (such as a telephone and computer) he or she needed to write resumes and cover letters and find new jobs. Most workers today have home offices and may only need to visit an outplacement career counselling company, if at all, as counselling can also be performed over the internet.
Either way, the services stay the same: resume and cover letter writing, coaching, fine-tuning interviewing skills, salary negotiation, and other services aimed at giving an ex-employee the best opportunity to find another job as fast as possible.
From the viewpoint of an employee, the outplacement definitely lightens the emotional burden resulting in job loss. Seeing a pink slip on your desk is often daunting enough. Outplacement programs can often help with feelings of insecurity, humiliation, frustration, or anxiety about the unknown, making job search even harder.
From an employer's point of view, offering outplacement services will show that the organization really cares about the employee as a human being and can go a long way to thwarting any retaliation.
Insurers providing insurance against the risk of wrongful termination lawsuits look favourably at firms that have a solid outplacement plan as it can reduce the risk of expensive legal issues. Compassionate outplacement can also reduce the risk of abuse in the workplace and of hostage situations.