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Traditionally, organizations have provided outplacement services mainly to executives and some mid-level managers. After all, such services, which relied heavily on a brick and mortar location and face-to-face interactions with career professionals, could cost into the tens of thousands of dollars per employee.
Therefore, organizations had to be judicious as to how they invested this budget, usually choosing to allocate it to helping those former employees that had a high profile or extensive professional networks where bad word-of-mouth could be devastating.
Yet, as the dynamics of workforce mobility have changed over the years – certainly more people change jobs more often – and the infrastructure of career outplacement services have evolved, relying more on technology and virtual networking, employers have begun to consider the advantages of providing such services to all transitioning employees, even entry-level workers.
Some of these benefits include:
1. Feelings of altruism. In many cases, employees are transitioning from your organization are doing so because of forces totally beyond their control, like a reduction in force.
Helping them manage a difficult period in their lives and locate their next career opportunity can promote positive energies and underscore your organizational values. In fact, in a recent survey of HR professionals, one of the top reasons cited for providing outplacement services is that it is “the right thing to do.”
2. Improved employee morale. For existing employees, there is a level of comfort in knowing that your organization provides effective outplacement services for all employees. Such an investment in their long-term career trajectories can boost feelings of optimism and improve overall employee morale.
3. Insulation from legal action. Transitioning employees who do not receive outplacement services to “soften the blow” and help them find their next job may be more likely to initiate a lawsuit against your organization, perhaps for wrongful termination or for another related issue.
Employees who do receive these kinds of services may feel better about your organization and less inclined to seek revenge in a court of law.
4. Brand protection and promotion. Unfettered access to social media by a disgruntled former employee can do untold damage to your organization’s brand. Such former employees can post scathing remarks on well-read sites like Twitter, Glassdoor and Facebook – in some cases, they can even do this anonymously.
Moreover, their networks and readership don’t just represent potential employees – they are all your potential customers as well.
5. Investment in potential future employees. In those instances where a reduction in force has led you to have to let go of an employee who has a bright future ahead of him or her, facilitating their transition with outplacement services can help build goodwill and promote your employment brand.
Therefore, when your organization is in a place to add new headcount again, you have not burned any bridges with high-potential individuals with experience in your industry, and that former employee may consider a new career opportunity with you.
For all of these reasons, employers today should consider offering outplacement services to all transitioned employees, regardless of position. Doing so can offer your organization a number of key benefits and strengthen your overall employment brand.
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The HireRight Blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and is not a substitute for and should not be construed as legal advice. HireRight does not warrant any statements in the HireRight Blog. Any statutes or laws cited herein should be read in their entirety. You should direct to your own experienced legal counsel questions involving your organization's compliance with or interpretation or application of laws or regulations and any additional legal requirements that may apply.
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