Once upon a time there was apparently a “rule of thumb” about the cost of outplacement. One of our founders told me that until at least the 1980s the guide was to allow 10% of salary. So a £50k role would get something in the region of a £5k outplacement package. Certainly that fits with what was pitched to me in the early 80s when, as a young and raw HR professional, I was tasked with budgeting for some large scale redundancies.
Today the world is very different. Outplacement costs aren’t driven solely by status. There are more options and more variables than ever before. Let’s explore that.
What kind of help do your people need?
If they are looking for practical help with finding opportunities and making applications our view is they need support from people who know how the contemporary jobs market works. Chiumento calls them Career Advisors. They are predominantly ex-recruiters with an in-depth knowledge of how employers and agencies source candidates. Career Advisors know how on-line application systems filter, sift and rank CVs. They know how to prepare someone to perform at interview. And they can help you adapt your master CV for each specific application.
Unsure what comes next? Then your delegate probably need a different kind of help. Exploring options, opening up new lines of thought and challenging thinking is the role of a Career Coach. They’ll still get practical help – including from our Career Concierges – but a coach can take you on a much broader journey. Of course that takes more time – not least as the delegate is likely to need space to reflect.
Executive Career Coaches know the complex challenges facing senior executives. They have more options. Job opportunities are fewer. International searches might be required. They’ll be different types of recruiter to work with (like head hunters) and potentially extended assessment processes. Executive coaches have typically held senior roles themselves, have extensive experience and often extensive personal networks.
At some point a delegate may need very specific expertise – eg from a Subject Matter Expert. That could be a specialist in setting up your own business. A psychologist who can help you explore different aspects of your personality – like motivation or preference. Or it could be a retirement or financial planning consultant.
Not surprisingly all these different resources have different costs. Which blend is used has a significant impact on the cost of outplacement.
Face-to face or remote?
Face-to-face support is more expensive for everyone. For a delegate worried about money, the cost of travelling to a physical meeting could be a barrier. For the outplacement provider there’s the cost of renting office space or meeting rooms. That’s for both one-to-one meetings and workshops/learning events.
Our view is that the cost of outplacement shouldn’t be the only consideration here. Our belief has always been that the success of a programme often comes with matching the delegate to the best possible career advisor, coach etc. Remote delivery makes location irrelevant and gives everyone more choices. Not just the option of whose local.
Both the number of meetings and the duration of the programme can influence the cost of outplacement. More time means more cost. Lots of factors shape how tough it will be for your people to make the transition to a new future. Their profession or specialism, their transferable skills, the local jobs market, seniority and many other factors will play a part.
How much can you afford?
Designing the perfect needs based outplacement programme is the ideal solution. However we have to accept there will be times when design will be driven by a finite budget. Getting value for that budget is crucial. You want your people to have an excellent experience – because if it isn’t, they’ll likely blame you at least as much as the provider. Your reputation and therefore your employer brand is on the line.
If you have a finite budget be honest about it from the outset. A good provider will show you options about how to get the most from that budget. And be open with you about what outcomes you should expect to achieve.
There are more options than ever before when it comes to designing an outplacement service. The cost of outplacement can therefore vary widely depending on the type of resources used to deliver it.
Ultimately what you are buying is a combination of user experience and value. A good outplacement provider will work with you to get the blend that fits your budget.
For more detailed examples of costs contact us. We’d be happy to walk you through what’s possible. Whatever your budget we’ll make one simple promise. We’ll look after your people.