Why do employers buy outplacement services? At first glance it might seem counter-intuitive – ie spending money on people leaving the organisation. Especially if the root cause of redundancy is a need to cut costs.

We asked our Operations Manager, Lesley Colella why Chiumento clients buy outplacement. Here’s her thoughts:-

Protect your employer brand

As an ex-recruiter I know how hard it is to bring great talent into an organisation. That’s why employers invest a lot of money in developing their employer brand. It can take years to build your reputation as an employer of choice. By contrast your brand can be significantly damaged overnight.

It isn’t unusual for the same employer to be making redundancies and hiring simultaneously. Your hiring will be so much harder if candidates hear you have done a poor job of exiting others.

Being seen to look after your people, in bad times as well as good, is key to maintaining your reputation as a great place to work. That’s why many employers buy outplacement.

Many line managers find exiting people really tough. Often it’s team members they’ve hired, trained and developed. They often find it much easier to manage an exit when they know they can offer their people professional support.

Live your values

If your organisational values include things like caring and respect then outplacement is a great way of demonstrating you “walk the talk”. Redundancy is about ending a relationship and you need to do it with understanding and empathy.

Knowing you are going to get professional help with job search can take a lot of stress out of a difficult situation. I talk almost every day with people who are exiting organisations. Many haven’t been on the job market for years and just don’t know where to begin. My team and I can do a lot to allay that initial anxiety and plug people in to immediate practical help.

Ease the decision

Deciding whether or not to take voluntary redundancy can be a big decision. What can help that decision is knowing that you’ll get support to find a new job. In my experience employers get much stronger interest in voluntary redundancy schemes when outplacement is included in the package.

Move on

In redundancy situations, the focus is rightly on the people who are exiting. However you cannot underestimate the impact on those staying behind. They’ll be worried about colleagues leaving the organisation. The risk is that turns into a huge distraction which impacts everything from productivity to customer service.

Some employers buy outplacement as a way of reassuring those staying that they don’t need to worry about former colleagues. They will be well looked after. It helps everyone re-focus on the future.

Financial benefit

Chiumento have published more detailed articles on the “cash or outplacement” debate. Here I will just say that I’d urge employers to think very carefully about mitigating loss of earnings. Getting back into work faster, and getting back on salary, can mean a lot more financially than a small cash supplement to redundancy pay.

Remember too that outplacement is a non-taxable benefit in the UK.

Helping people get re-settled also helps them move on. And who knows they might tell friends and colleagues about how well you treated them.

In summary

There are many reasons why employers buy outplacement. If you’d like to discuss your situation get in touch.