Outplacement is no longer merely a “nice-to-have” and there are many reasons why it should now be considered an essential element of any company policy. It has strategic benefits that add value to a business far beyond simply farewelling an under-performing staff-member.
An outplacement service provides a structured program through which former employees are provided professional support with regards to career transition or change. It’s a service often utilised by businesses as a means of managing redundancy and other non-voluntary departures within a business.
These days, prospective candidates are attracted to businesses willing to go the extra mile for staff. They seek superior levels of employee commitment and an established employee value proposition, which includes tangible benefits extending beyond simply paying an employee’s salary.
With employee benefits programs having sky-rocketed in popularity in the recent years, outplacement is one such benefit that is attractive to both existing and potential staff.
The Eighth Annual Prudential Study of Employee Benefits indicated an increase of 19% in the number of employee benefits offered among survey participants from 2012 to 2013 alone. This is reflective of the shift in strategic direction of many employers, as they recognize employees are increasingly underpinning the success of their brand.
Maintain Brand Reputation
Companies that offer outplacement are considered responsible brands and this is based on three key facets of the process in the unfortunate event of departure, personalized job matching, resume consultation and career coaching for former employees.
Participation provides evidence that a business comprehends the effects of non-voluntary departure on staffers and is willing to actively work towards minimizing disruption to maintain staff levels, whilst maximizing future opportunities for the exiting staff member.
Non-voluntary employee departure from a business can occur as a result of under-performance, negligence or other serious misconduct but it can also be a result of changing business needs, such as re-structure.
An uncertain economic climate is more likely to generate redundancies on a greater scale and unfortunately these occurrences have grown increasingly common in recent years.
In October 2015, the International Labor Organisation published a bi-annual Asia-Pacific Labor Market Update that stated, the general unemployment rate increased year-on-year in eight of fourteen economies within the Asia-Pacific region.
Therefore, with job security potentially in question, outplacement programs are increasingly viewed as an attractive added security blanket for existing staff as well as an added incentive for prospective employees.
Create Added Value
Outplacement assists with driving productivity, profitability and brand value for a business as well as providing support to former employees at a critical time in their professional career path.
Interestingly, Harvard Business Review surveyed 2000 Senior Executives including CEO’s and Heads of HR across 18 countries, and 60% reported that their responsibility for employer branding ultimately fell in the domain of a CEO.
According to the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer findings reported by Forbes, “Employees rank higher in public trust than a firm’s PR department, CEO, or Founder. 41% of us believe that employees are the most credible source of information regarding their business.”
It’s becoming increasingly common for employees to be attracted to a company’s employer branding, almost even more so than the actual product or service that it sells.
By offering outplacement, a company can work towards mitigating the risks of negative departures affecting the perception of future job seeking candidates. When departing staff feels supported and respected, they’re more likely to reference their former employer in a positive light to external parties.
This in turn contributes to building a solid employer brand and supports the company to market and promote itself through word of mouth. This includes marketing on various popular social media platforms as well.
Another research conducted by professional networking platform LinkedIn shows that, 56% of respondents believe word of mouth is among the most effective channel for spreading employer branding messages.
As job seekers become more savvy and selective about where they would prefer to work, it’s critical for employers to market a solid value proposition that will entice top performing candidates to want to join them.
Employees notice that when their employer is responsible and respectful, during implementation of change management strategies it contributes towards making a significant difference, when it comes to building and promoting an employee brand.
Article authored by: Joe Flanagan
Joe Flanagan is a current Senior Consultant at Velvet Jobs, a resume builder and job search facility for candidates worldwide. With over 7 years in the career industry his expertise include hiring practices, retaining employees, resume consulting and more. He has contributed to an array of publications with expert advice for candidates, HR professionals and SMB’s. When he’s not trying to help fix the unemployment rate you can find him living between the UK, USA and Taiwan, a recreational student of Mandarin Chinese and running middle distance competitions.
Image credit: vivicorecruitment.co.uk