This article was originally posted on LinkedIn.

Outplacement is not sexy. It is not a topic that people enjoy dwelling on and it’s certainly not as exciting to discuss as talent acquisition and employer branding.

It has never been a “social” or “mobile” endeavor—two buzz words that will get you plenty of clicks on Twitter—nor did it officially make the list of things HR must “blow up” in order to become more strategic.

Outplacement has “worked,” more or less, for the last half century or so…so why bother innovating? Because I believe, from firsthand experience, that your employees deserve better when they are let go from your company—and you, as an employer, deserve better as well.

For outplacement to be truly useful, effective, and beneficial to the user—and to the company—it has to provide actual results, and it has to provide them fast. And simply offering people a resume workshop, some online classes, and a link to a job board may help them get started, but that won’t help them meet the people who can help them get a job or know what to talk about when they’ve made contact.

Outplacement needs to be social and mobile. It needs to be “blown up,” as it were, and we need to think about it as a talent acquisition and employer branding tool.

That’s why, this week my company RiseSmart launched what we’re calling a “social outplacement” solution, RiseSmart Spotlight.

Social outplacement isn’t the next Twitter for displaced workers; it’s a way of helping your employees develop a flawless personal and professional brand (and know how to talk about it) and then putting them in contact with the people who can help them get a job, regardless of whether those people are already in their social networks.

It’s about catering to their mobile job search habits and also making suggestions of highly relevant and ranked job leads from all of the major job boards at once, so they don’t have to waste time searching.

Social outplacement is about more than just providing a coach for a phone call or two; it’s about showing your employees that you care by giving them each unlimited access to an individual team, comprising experts in coaching, personal branding/resume writing, and job sourcing, to ensure that they never feel alone or unsupported.

Social outplacement is strategic HR, because it’s not just an investment in benefits for your exiting employees; it’s an investment into your employer brand and personal hiring. It’s an investment into referrals and future rehires. It’s an investment into customer and partner relations.

Because social outplacement recognizes the nature of how people talk about your brand on social media and online review sites. It recognizes that you’ve made investments into your talent acquisition and want to see a return, even after a layoff. It recognizes that you want to be known as the great employer you are, even to those who no longer work there.

It’s time to start the conversation about outplacement. Layoffs will never be “sexy,” but how you handle them should be. HR is ready for social outplacement: it’s more than just another box to check off; it’s an investment in your strategy, your growth, and—perhaps most important—your people.

If you’d like to learn more about RiseSmart Spotlight, check out the press release announcing our launch.

22 September 2015

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