When faced with layoffs, no organization wants to let go of its valued employees. Top employers understand the importance of supporting a successful transition for impacted individuals. By embracing people-first values, empathetic employers offer outplacement services to help departing employees land their next role significantly faster than they would on their own.

Following a layoff or workforce restructuring, outplacement services are provided at no cost to employees. Outplacement services provide individuals with freshly written resumes and social profiles, personalized career coaching and highly targeted job leads. 

In addition to helping employees find re-employment, offering outplacement support can help organizations reduce costs, protect their employer brand, retain employees, and drive productivity among remaining staff, along with other benefits.

Outplacement is typically offered through a third-party provider, and while there are many options and partners available to employers, it’s important to know what to look for in an effective outplacement program.

This guide will help you explore steps your organization can take to find the right outplacement solutions to help you ease your employees’ transition and mitigate risk during layoffs and reductions in force (RIF).

  1. what is outplacement?
  2. why outplacement matters.
  3. how organizations benefit from outplacement.
  4. how employees benefit from outplacement.
  5. what to look for in an outplacement provider.
  6. the costs and ROI of outplacement.
  7. how to prepare for outplacement.
  8. how randstad risesmart delivers excellence in outplacement.

what is outplacement?

Outplacement solutions are typically provided by a third-party firm and encompass people and technology resources to facilitate, speed and optimize the re-employment process.

Outplacement services include a variety of resources to ease your employees’ career transition:

  • Career coaching to improve interviewing, networking, job searching and salary negotiation
  • Professional branding services to prepare resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles
  • Technology resources to enable online job searches, assessments, webinars and courses
  • Customized job leads through a network of recruiters and referrals
  • Emotional support and resilience training for impacted and remaining employees
  • Career resources and skilling to future-proof employees’ capabilities

Outplacement is not a one-size-fits-all solution and service providers offer customized solutions to meet specific employer needs.

  • Timeframes run from weeks to months to lifetime memberships
  • Employees served range from executive leadership to junior staff
  • Geographies and companies include global enterprises and businesses of every size

Learn more: what is outplacement? everything you need to know about outplacement services

why outplacement matters.

When layoffs occur, treating employees with care and compassion is more than just the right thing to do – it’s good business. Your actions during the disruption will affect everything from morale and productivity to recruitment and retention.

The pitfalls of layoffs can include negative media coverage, scathing social media reviews, stalled recruitment and costly legal liability. Remaining employees will also feel the impact, which may result in reduced productivity, lower engagement and higher churn rates. Additionally, your consumer brand is at risk, which can impact revenue and bottom-line results.

Layoffs expose your organization to significant risks, but outplacement services help mitigate these risks.

Companies that value their employees know it’s vital to take care of them at every stage of the talent life cycle, including at departure. So, with layoffs, you are considering far more than how to let people go in the best possible way. You’re protecting your employer brand.

how to plan and conduct employee transitions with compassion and ease.


how organizations benefit from outplacement.

Outplacement services can be your first line of defense when your organization faces the repercussions of layoffs. While outplacement meets your immediate needs during a turbulent time, it also has a long-lasting effect on your future business success. It’s important to evaluate repercussions that can result from layoffs and to consider how outplacement can mitigate those risks.

how outplacement helps your employees.

Top outplacement firms deliver robust ‘tech-and-touch’ resources. A blend of expert career coaches, personal branding writers, recruiters and technology innovations help impacted employees find targeted opportunities and the best fit with speed, efficiency and confidence.

Outplacement provides job candidates with numerous advantages to improve their search:

  • Accelerated market-readiness – Quick coaching and resume writing to speed time to land a new position
  • Improved networking capabilities – Technology and coaching resources to optimize networking best practices
  • Increased confidence – Supportive career transition solution to reduce anxiety and improve well-being
  • Improved satisfaction rates – Helping affected employees land equal- or better-paying jobs

executive-level options

When layoffs affect senior leadership, some outplacement firms provide executive-level services to meet the unique challenges of executive departures. For example, executives may face longer search times and fewer viable opportunities. Additionally, executive searches often require elevated service levels due to higher visibility and broader demands. If leadership teams are affected by layoffs, it’s essential to have expert coaches, writers and recruiters to meet their complex needs and requirements.

Learn more: what are the benefits of outplacement services?

what to look for in an outplacement provider.

Not all outplacement services are created equal. In choosing the best outplacement provider, you will be choosing a partner in facilitating a strategic business decision that will have far-reaching implications for your people and your business. It’s also important to note that your partnership with an outplacement services provider is likely to be long-term as your business needs ebb and flow in a shifting economy.

You’ll want to evaluate all aspects of your outplacement needs and how the outplacement services provider can meet your requirements. This will encompass consideration of the professionals that will support you, the scope of services and technology resources available, and the organization’s ability to scale in terms of size and geographies.

The best outplacement firms offer ‘tech-and-touch’ solutions that combine the latest technology with the support of top-performing professionals. When evaluating outplacement companies, look for providers that align with your company’s values, offer flexible, personalized services and use up-to-date and accessible technology.

Learn more: choosing the best outplacement provider: the essential guide

the costs and ROI of outplacement.

It’s critical to partner with an outplacement firm that delivers return on investment (ROI) with measurable results.

how to prepare for outplacement.

A reduction in force (RIF) can be a daunting task. 

No one wants layoffs to happen, but when they do, you’ll be glad you had a plan in place. Your preparation will enable you to manage the process with transparency and professionalism, leaving your employees supported and your employer brand is intact. Additionally, preparing an RIF process checklist will help ensure a smooth transition. 

Getting started requires assembling a team, building a business case, creating timelines and preparing communications. Randstad RiseSmart’s 10 tips for doing layoffs right provides a comprehensive overview of what you’ll need to do. Some key takeaways to ensure successful outcomes include:

  • Transparency. A clear communications plan will keep your workforce informed and reassured. Otherwise, you risk disruption that can damage your employer brand.
  • Reskilling and redeployment. The help you provide to employees is the lifeline of your entire plan. If reskilling is available, promote learning and development. If outplacement is the only option, consider how firms like Randstad RiseSmart can help affected employees seek new opportunities at other organizations. 
  • Emotional support. Counseling and other support systems will help laid-off employees. But retained workers may struggle to cope, too. Trained HR professionals can help provide emotional support
  • Leadership. Leading by example is especially important during times of crisis. Professionalism, empathy and respect from senior leadership will set the tone for your entire organization. 
  • Brand values. Your actions and how you communicate convey your brand values. Let employees know they can count on your help when they need it most.

Taking care of your remaining employees will also be a top priority for your organization. Layoffs can lead to a decline in morale, engagement and productivity among remaining employees. Some employees may lose focus on their current roles and seek opportunities elsewhere.

The empathy and people-first values you show by helping departing employees land their next role will go a long way toward elevating your employer brand, but there are also additional services to support your remaining employees.

RiseSmart offers worklife coaching services for your remaining employees to help you increase engagement and retention through an innovative coaching solution that is expert-led, employee-driven and accessible to all employees. Coaching services can have a powerful impact on retention because they empower your employees to learn and grow with your business and achieve their highest potential.

Randstad RiseSmart’s “worklife coaching report”, based on global research in 2022, lays out why coaching is a critical driver of employee engagement and retention – which is all the more critical during times of upheaval.

10 tips on how to prevent making a bad situation worse.


how randstad risesmart can help you with outplacement.

At Randstad RiseSmart, we partner with organizations every step of the way to help them navigate talent mobility with confidence and ease. In addition to a suite of solutions to support the entire talent mobility life cycle, our customized outplacement services are expert-led and technology-centered to ensure smooth transitions, optimal ROI and industry-leading results.

Learn more

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