With any business investment, it's important to take time to consider your options against your needs. Selecting an outplacement provider is no different. It's easy to feel the pressure of choosing which company will partner with you in helping your transitioning employees and protecting your brand—but you don't need to be overwhelmed. The first step in the selection process is to take a step back. Ask yourself: What would my organization like to get from an outplacement solution?

Here are few aspects of a solution or service you may want to consider:

Job searching tools

Put yourself in the position of the transitioning employee. What features and functions would benefit a job seeker? Not every outplacement solution is created equal. Some providers offer capabilities that others do not. Do you want impacted employees to have an online portal for job searching? Does the job search return keyword-based matches, or does it use semantic search and intelligent ranking for higher quality job leads? What specific functions would you like in addition to the job search? Job seekers can benefit from various tools for setting goals, building a resume, and organizing the job searching process. Your employees may also be interested in knowing if and how they can leverage their social networks for their job search.

Counseling and support

There is more to the outplacement process than simply providing basic resources to transitioning employees, so take note of which providers can offer your organization support on various fronts: manager notification training, webinars, resume services, job search coaching, etc. For example, you might consider what type of counseling an outplacement provider offers your impacted employees. Employees stand to gain a lot from the support of experienced professionals who can coach them through the emotional transition into their job search, in conjunction with expert-designed transition methodology and career-mapping.

Your organization's ROI

Traditional outplacement solutions have a reputation for being very costly. Modern solutions, however, are making enormous strides in maximizing the return on investment (ROI). When selecting a provider, understand what value your investment will truly deliver. How does the provider stack up in reducing unemployment taxes and lowering litigation risk? Can the provider offer you measurable stats that demonstrate outplacement progress and success? Are there varying packages available that can help you to meet your budget while scaling to help employees across levels and functions?

Provider track record

Every provider will tout the ROI of their solution—but don't just take their word for it. Ask for the providers' placement rates to see which solutions may be a better option. You may also ask for customer retention rates and satisfaction scores for a better understanding on whether or not providers are truly meeting customer expectations and needs. Do your homework up front to ensure that your investment achieves the best outcomes for the entire company.

How your organization handles a layoff speaks volumes to both remaining and transitioning employees, as well as to the public. This is why choosing the right partner in outplacement is such a critical endeavor. It may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. Understand your needs from the start and evaluate your prospects carefully.

To learn more about what to look for in an outplacement provider, read our free whitepaper, "Why Outplacement?"

11 November 2015

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