An employee exit is a difficult situation to navigate, whether you’re the employer or employee. Employers have to find replacements or manage the backlash of a layoff, and recently separated employees need to find new positions. An employee who has been let go by the company, however, may not be as equipped to enter the job market as job seekers who are still employed. Not only may terminated workers lack fresh application materials, but they may also have to cope with emotions such as “humiliation, failure and vulnerability, to anxiety, resentment and self-pity,” as Forbes points out.
The time period while terminated employees are on the job hunt can be stressful and disheartening. To ease the transition, many organizations today offer outplacement to former employees to help them find new positions.
What is outplacement counseling?
Outplacement counseling can simply be described as career transition support. Outplacement is an employee benefitafforded to workers who have been laid off from their jobs to help transition them back into the workforce.
When this kind of benefit is provided by an employer, it can serve as a sign of good faith and intention, helping to prevent negative employer reviews or comments across job sites and your company’s social media pages. Outplacement can also help protect your organization legally by deterring employees from pursuing wrongful termination lawsuits.
Outplacement can also soften negative feelings between the employee and employer, allowing all parties move forward more quickly. But what does this benefit really offer on a tangible level? Here’s how outplacement counseling helps with the job hunt:
1. Outplacement counseling can help underprepared individuals find and evaluate open positions.
Entering the job market after an involuntary termination can be very overwhelming. In such cases, outplacement services can help job seekers better identify the positions that are potential good fits by providing them with a career coach who can evaluate their skill sets and help them match their experience to posted jobs.
In addition, some outplacement programs offer career fairs, which can make for ideal opportunities to connect with new employers. Plus, these kinds of services typically provide access to information and research about target companies in specialized fields. This can be very helpful to people who find themselves on the hunt for a new position.
2. Career transition coaches can review application materials.
A strong resume and portfolio is often what makes a job candidate stand out. If these materials are attractive and comprehensive, a job seeker will most likely be given an interview or screening. Career transition coaches provided by outplacement counseling programs review and edit application materials up to high standards, optimizing them so individuals have the best chances at landing the positions they want.
3. Outplacement counseling can help terminated employees brush up on interview skills.
Often, people’s interview skills can be a bit rusty and in need of refining. Some people may also not be comfortable talking about themselves and their accomplishments, especially if they are feeling down after a recent termination. Outplacement counselors can help develop job seekers’ interview skill sets by helping them practice talking points and evaluating conversational strengths and weaknesses, as well as providing tips on tone and body language.
4. Outplacement counseling can help candidates evaluate job-related skills and areas for improvement.
In the case where an employee was let go because of underperformance in their previous role, outplacement counseling can help the terminated employee work through this feedback, especially with the help of skills assessment tests that provide unbiased evaluations. An outplacement career coach can also point individuals toward resources like webinars or classes to better their skill sets and strengthen their understanding.
5. Outplacement counseling can boost confidence.
No matter how well an employee takes the news at a termination meeting, it is more than likely the worker who has been let go will feel some sense of failure or discouragement. In these cases, with the help of career coaching, networking tips, and personal branding advice, outplacement can encourage terminated employees to focus on the positive opportunities ahead.
A quality outplacement program lasts at least six months, allowing job seekers to work continuously with a career coach until the land a desired position. This kind of continued, consistent emotional support can help keep job seekers motivated to face the job hunt head on, instead of feeling intimidated or underprepared in the face of any setbacks or challenges.
Employee separations don’t have to end on a negative note. While there will likely be a level of tension during these circumstances, outplacement can lessen the blow for all parties. If your organization is preparing for workforce changes, Intoo’s outplacement solution can help. Our services include unlimited, on-demand outplacement counseling with experienced career coaches, resume optimization, and video interview coaching. Schedule a demo today to learn more.
INTOO staff writers come from diverse backgrounds and have extensive experience writing about topics that matter to the HR and business communities, including outplacement, layoffs, career development, internal mobility, candidate experience, succession planning, talent acquisition, and more.