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7 questions to consider when choosing an outplacement services provider

18 August 2020

How to choose the right Outplacement Services / Career Transition Services provider for your organisation

Is your organisation considering making redundancies due to restructuring, downsizing or closing due to the coronavirus pandemic? Has or will the reduction in JobKeeper payments affect your business?

Laying off staff is never easy for the employer or the employee at any time but particularly more so now.

How you exit your staff is just as important as how you onboard your staff.

Leading organisations understand that providing outplacement services shows respect and empathy to their former employees, improves retention and engagement with those who remain, and protects their employer brand – and it doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective.

Choosing the right outplacement provider for your organisation and your exiting employees is an important decision and one that is often made under pressure and can be time sensitive.

Horner shares with you 7 key questions to ask or consider when choosing your Outplacement Services provider.

1. What services are provided?

Outplacement Services, also referred to as Career Transition Programs, typically help exiting employees for the next phase of their career giving them confidence to move forward and find suitable employment as quickly as possible after being made redundant.  Ask the potential provider what will be provided to the impacted employee/s as part of the coaching / consulting services.  Programs could include assistance with resumes, cover letters, job search and networking strategies, how to respond to selection criteria, interview preparation and techniques including video interviews, interview roles plays as well as advice on how to manage superannuation rollover.  These services are particularly beneficial to impacted employees that have been with the company for a long time as quite a lot has changed in how to job search particularly online job boards and utilising social media to find employment. Some providers can also offer psychometric testing as well as recommendations on training requirements to achieve their career objectives.

2. Are the services tailored or ‘off the shelf’?

A good outplacement provider will meet with you and take the time to get to know your organisation and understand your timeframe, budget and the needs of your departing employees to provide a customised solution. Every organisation and situation is different so a tailored solution will achieve the best outcome for you and the impacted employees.

3. How are services delivered?

Outplacement programs are generally delivered in person or by a virtual platform or a combination of both. Phone and other support can sometimes be provided too. Ideally services should be delivered in a way that is familiar and comfortable for your exiting employees. For instance, some non-office based or older employees who are not familiar with computers may feel even more anxious by undertaking the program online.  Although, online solutions offer a more ‘green’ solution and save time and unnecessary travel for participants.   A technologically savvy outplacement provider must also know and be able to advise participants on the latest job websites as well as how to set up a SEEK profile or set up or maximise LinkedIn to increase their chances of landing a new job.

4. Are they an Australian company?

This is an important factor as it will ensure that the information and materials provided are relevant to the local labour market.  For instance, using an Australian company will ensure that resume templates don’t have US zip codes included. An Australian provider will also know what job boards and social media employment seeking strategies are relevant to the participants.

5. Have they provided outplacement services before to your industry?

With the reputation of your brand and the future of your exiting employees both at stake, choosing an outplacement services provider with experience providing services in your industry or a similar industry is essential.  Testimonials and case studies can help demonstrate this.  Having experienced consultants with connections and knowledge of HR and the employment trends in your industry is also crucial combined with them having a caring and emphatic approach.

6. How long do the programs go for and how quickly can they commence?

Depending on the level of the exiting employee, program lengths could vary from a one day program with ongoing support for 90 days to up to 6 or even 12 months.  Ask the provider to breakdown the face to face time and the after care support. With the economic climate changing so quickly at present, it is vital that the outplacement provider can act swiftly if needed.  They should also be able to scale up and down as needed.

7. How much will the program cost?

Given the current economic times, the cost of the program could be an important consideration. Pricing can be per person or per project depending on the requirements.  You should not, however, immediately settle for the lowest price based only on dollar amounts.  Evaluate the provider in terms of how they best meets your objectives, your exiting employee needs and provides the best value.

By asking some or all of these questions of your potential provider you will assist you in making an informed decision to ensure the best fit.

Horner HR Services is an Australian organisation with over 45 years experience in the HR sector.  We provide a range of outplacement / career transition programs customised to the needs of your organisation and the impacted employees.  Programs range from entry level to executive as well as transition to retirement programs. From local government to manufacturing, Horner has provided customised outplacement program solutions to a broad range of sectors and we are agile enough to be able to scale up or down as required depending on the uptake of the programs by the impacted employees. Provided in a caring and empathetic manner, our programs can be delivered online or in person combined with ongoing help desk phone support after the session.

Find out more

To find out more about our Outplacement Programs / Career Transitions Services visit – Due to physical distancing restrictions, we have adapted our Outplacement Programs to be COVIDSafe and can provide them virtually in individual or group sessions.

To request further information on a customised solution for your organisation, submit your enquiry online or start a confidential discussion with us by calling 03 9604 2888.

We’re here to help you in these challenging times.

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