What Is Outplacement?

If you’re new to outplacement, you likely have a lot of questions about it. What is outplacement? Who is it for? How can it help my company? Read on for answers to these and other frequently asked questions.

A new female employee is onboarded with her new team

In the age of social media and employer review sites, the employee-employer relationship has changed tremendously. Gone are the days when employees stayed with an employer for decades, building their careers within a single company. Today, people switch jobs often and publicly share their opinions about their employers on Glassdoor, Facebook, and Twitter, especially when exiting the company.

This has made company transitions, such as layoffs and other involuntary employee exits, critical moments for companies concerned about brand protection.

To forestall negative ratings and reviews, forward-thinking companies seek to create a positive offboarding experience for affected employees so that they depart with a healthy attitude towards the company. Outplacement can play a key part in these efforts.

Learn more about our outplacement solution.

What Is Outplacement?

Outplacement is an employee benefit provided by a company to workers who have recently been laid off. The service involves employers helping their exiting employees to find new work and transition smoothly back into the workforce.

Generally, a company will enlist the help of an outplacement firm to deliver such niche services, including but not limited to career coaching, resume help, and job search support, to affected employees.

Although outplacement has always been used as a strategy to support employees, the way this service is provided has shifted significantly in recent years to meet companies’ changing needs.

When outplacement first emerged in the 1960s, companies typically offered career assistance primarily to executives and upper-level employees, providing them with a satellite office, phone and assistant to aid in looking for employment. Today, companies seek to offer outplacement not just to a select few, but to all affected employees across every level of an organization. The aim is to better protect brand reputation and support the employees who have historically been underserved in times of transition.

In addition, in today’s digital age, employees have come to expect convenience from any service they engage with, and outplacement is no different. Modern outplacement services can offer coaching and resources that are easily accessible and on-demand through the click of a button.

Outplacement services can be used by companies who are looking to downsize, thinking about restructuring or making layoffs for monetary reasons.


    • Outplacement is for employees who have been laid off

    • The service can help them to find another job

    • It can protect your brand reputation during difficult times, such as during layoffs

    • It is for all employees at all levels of a business

What is outplacement counseling?

Outplacement counseling helps employees to assess their skills and identify their strengths, while also training them to market themselves to future employers. It is sometimes known as career coaching, and it can help your employees to find their next job more quickly. It is just one part of the overall outplacement process.

What is outplacement assistance?

Outplacement assistance involves making sure your employees are as prepared as possible for their next job search. It involves coaching them for interviews, improving or writing their resume, helping them network with relevant people, and navigate job boards to find their next role as quickly as possible.

What are outplacement services?

Outplacement services refer to the wide range of resources you can provide for your employees in the event of a layoff or reduction in force. Under the wider definition of “outplacement,” there are the following outplacement features you could offer to your employees:

  • One-on-one career coaching
  • Cover letter and resume-building tools
  • Resume review, editing and writing
  • Job interview practice and coaching
  • Career interests and skills assessments
  • Social media profile writing and optimization
  • Guides on job search-related topics, such as networking and personal branding
  • Access to information about target companies to support research

Different outplacement programs offer different services, and the quality of the programs can vary widely. When choosing an outplacement program, you should ensure that it is from a trustworthy and reputable company and that the program includes everything you require. For example, an outplacement program that offers one-on-one coaching with an experienced career development specialist and hands-on resume reviews by a professional editor is likely to be much more effective for the job seeker than a program that offers only group coaching with generic job search advice.

INTOO outplacement helps job seekers land new roles in an average of 10 weeks by providing key services, such as unlimited career coaching on networking, interview preparation and more, even on a weekend. We support HR leaders by providing a dedicated client success manager to oversee your account and support you and your team.

Outplacement Cost And Other Factors

Not all outplacement firms are created equal. Before selecting one, make sure to evaluate the outplacement program against your company’s specific requirements. The cost of service is important to consider, of course, but investing in a cheap program that doesn’t meet your workforce’s needs will still be money poorly spent. Here are the main questions to ask when choosing an outplacement program.


Are the career transition services offered by this outplacement program the types of services that will be useful to your workforce? Does the program offer individualized services such as one-on-one career coaching and resume review, or does it take a one-size-fits-all approach, offering only a job board and generic career advice? Can the services be tailored for different types of employees, such as hourly workers or executives?


What is the length of the outplacement program, considering the fact that many people require significant time to find a job that best suits their talents? Can the length of service be extended at a reasonable cost for senior-level and executive employees who often take longer to find positions that match their skills and interests?


Does the outplacement firm have a strong record of success? Does it have experience providing executive outplacement as well as outplacement counseling to entry-, mid- and senior-level employees? Who are some past and existing clients, and what industries are they in? What is the landing rate for users of this outplacement program? What are the qualifications of the program’s career coaches?


Can users access the services at their convenience through a virtual platform, or do they have to go to an office to receive help? Do the virtual services offer personalized, premium benefits, such as one-on-one coaching with a professional career development expert, or hands-on resume review and editing? Does a virtual program offer more value per dollar spent than a traditional brick-and-mortar outplacement program?

Ultimately, your choice of an outplacement firm should take into account both your company’s financial resources and your workforce’s needs. Skimping on outplacement services can lead to low landing rates for your exiting employees—resulting in a low or negative return for your investment.

On the other hand, investing in an expensive traditional program that requires employees to commute to an office to access outplacement services and resources, like meeting with a career advisor, can mean paying high prices for services your employees may decide not to use due to a lack of convenience and accessibility.

An easy-to-use, tech-savvy solution like INTOO’s can address both issues, allowing you to offer premium, easily accessible services to your workforce at competitive costs for the company.

Learn how INTOO Outplacement can protect your brand and bottom line.

Not ready for a demo yet? Click here for more information about our program.