What is Outplacement?

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  • Written By: H. Bliss
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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Outplacement services can also be known as career transition services. These types of services are used when a company that is downsizing offers career help to assist laid-off employees to find new work. Services include career counseling, job hunting help, and assistance in creating a job portfolio. Usually, these services are provided either by the company's human resources department or by a hired career services organization.

Employees who are laid off when a company downsizes can have problems finding a new job. Sometimes, an unemployed person can lack office access, computer access, or job hunt knowledge, which can make the hunt for a new career difficult. Career services agencies handling outplacement for a company give coaching, computer help, and office assistance to help laid-off employees find new employment.

These types of services are particularly helpful for unemployed people who lack regular access to email or telephone. In business, including during the job hunt, many communications are conducted by email or telephone. For a laid-off employee with no telephone, an outplacement agency can offer secretarial services, like message taking, that give the appearance of an administrative staff.

In the age of online marketing, getting a public profile up for prospective employers can be important in standing out from a large pool of employees. Likewise, online mistakes like an unprofessional social networking profile can hurt a job seeker's chances of landing a position. Career services organizations can also assist job seekers in managing their online reputations.


Outplacement services help downsized employees with job seeking services. Depending on the scope of services offered, they make provide anything from secretarial help to behavioral coaching for job interviews. An outplacer might also help a laid-off employee identify career choices, choose a new career and search for job listings. Outplacement usually offers an office with a telephone and computer access that can be used for job seeking, in addition to administrative and job-coaching services.

When considering hiring an outplacement organization to assist with layoffs, a company should be wary of the quality of services supplied by career services groups offering outplacement help. Hired career services can come with a hefty price tag, so it is important to research the reputation and past performance of any company chosen to outplace employees who have been laid off. Ensure that career advice is given by professional, credentialed career counselors with a proven track record for getting displaced employees set up in new careers.


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