Outplacement is free – isn’t it?

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Outplacement is one of the few benefits that employers can give out without creating a tax liability. Which is great news as when you’ve just been made redundant money is usually one of your biggest worries.

However, is outplacement really free?

From an employer’s point of view, it isn’t. In almost every case it will be a former employer who is paying for the programme. We do sell the odd programme direct to individuals but, even then, that’s usually because their former employer has given them a budget and allowed them to choose who they spend it with.

So, with the employer picking up the tab, individual delegates are surely getting something for nothing?

Well, that often isn’t the case. As two separate meetings this month have made very clear.

I’ve interviewed two candidates this month who’ve both been made redundant and both given outplacement by the same provider. Who has insisted that they travel into Central London for all their meetings. They both faced travel costs of between £50 and £60 every time they booked an appointment. With between 6 and 8 meetings available that adds up to a “hidden cost” of £300 and £480 in travel that they can’t claim back. So, the programme definitely isn’t “cost free”.

“The last thing I needed was an extra cost right now” one of them told me. “I just don’t understand why I can’t meet someone close to home – or even Skype”.

That made me realise there is another hidden benefit of using Chiumento. We don’t have offices so don’t drag people to locations that are convenient for us. Instead, wherever possible, we help people have meetings close to home. More convenient and low/no cost. If the best consultant lives miles away, they can always opt (and many do) to connect via the video conferencing facility in our Chiumento24 system.

We used to have offices too. Only by getting rid of them did it open our eyes to new and exciting ways of achieving outstanding results.

We’ve believed for some time now that outplacement is no longer about putting people together in rooms. It is about connecting people and resources in a digital world. It is still incredibly personal and tailored, just more immediate, more convenient and more flexible.

In both cases we could have helped these individuals meet someone within a few miles of home. That’s part of our “proximity promise”. Which, we think, is better for the environment too.

And do people like the difference? Well, they seem to going by our current Net Promoter Score (NPS) of +43.6.

Next time you are about to offer outplacement to a delegate just ask yourself this: can they afford to take it up?

If you’d like to know more about the benefits of outplacement or how the industry is changing why not read our other recent articles or follow us on LinkedIn and read all our other future musings on the world of work.  If you’re in need of outplacement support then please get in touch or find out more about the programmes we offer.

‘Outplacement is free, isn’t it?…’ was written by Ian Gooden, CEO, Chiumento Group. 

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