“Should we spend money on outplacement when there are more jobs available? Aren’t people going to find it much easier to get another job?” Both fair questions. We’ve just seen that unemployment reach a six year low. And vacancies are unquestionably on the increase. Reed’s vacancy index shows that there are 30% more vacancies now than this time last year. It seems to be generally accepted that we are well beyond the ‘green shoots’ phase and are now into a fully-fledged recovery with the IMF reporting that the UK is the fastest growing economy. This is all good news for UK PLC and positive for those who are looking for a new role.
But back to the question, with all this optimism is there still a business case for providing outplacement support when the economic outlook is so positive? I can think of five compelling reasons why employers should invest in supporting the people exiting their businesses.
1. Your reputation is just as important now
Whether your priority is CSR, employer brand or customer reputation, it’s important that people leave your business feeling they’ve been treated well. That way, they will say good things about you during and after the redundancy process. Outplacement is a cost-effective and hugely impactful way to influence how people feel about you.
2. More jobs, more competition
Whilst there are definitely more jobs out there, there will also be more applicants. As people feel more confident about the economy, they are far more likely to make a move. Your people will face more competition at a time when their confidence and self-esteem may have taken a knock. Outplacement is all about rebuilding confidence; giving people a sense of purpose and helping them achieve their next role, whatever the competition.
3. Not everyone is looking for another job
More and more of the people we work with are choosing the self-employed route. For some, it may be a decision borne out of necessity but for increasing numbers it is a life style choice. Outplacement is tailor-made for those who are looking at a career transition like this.
4. You want to avoid any disruption to BAU
Now more than ever, you need people to be performing and delivering consistently. Protecting productivity during times of change has to be a priority and if people feel they are going to be well supported when they leave they are far more likely to continue to contribute to the business during the consultation process.
5. You need everybody to be engaged, including those who are not departing
It’s not just about the people who are leaving. Your commitment to those departing will have a knock on positive effect on those who are staying. They see the organisation looking after people at a difficult time. It’s reassuring and builds engagement and commitment.
Outplacement can take on many guises and needn’t cost the earth. As someone who has personally seen the benefits of outplacement I now sell it with a genuine passion and belief. It really does make a difference.