What is outplacement and how can it help at the time of a layoff?

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What is outplacement and how can it help at the time of a layoff?

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The dismissal of employees is always a complicated and delicate process for any company. Bureaucratic, it can involve stress for both sides and can impact the performance of the other team members. Therefore, all care and professionalism is essential to carry out it with respect and empathy.

Outplacement is a method that can help in this difficult time, as it aims to help the disconnected professional to get back to the job market more quickly.

Currently, the outplacement is used by many HRs, as it helps to make the dismissal a more humanized process, without harming the professional who will be fired.

Does your company use this process? Continue reading this post to find out how this method works, what its benefits are and how to perform it successfully. Good reading!

What is outplacement?

Outplacement is a method that aims to help the dismissed professional to deal with this situation and get back into the job market.

The companies that carry out this process offer guidance, training lectures, workshops, analysis of resume, among other tips so that the professional knows where to start looking for another job.

This method, in addition to help the former employee on his new journey, is an excellent strategy to maintain a good image of the company. The outplacement demonstrates that the organization cares about its former employees, not leaving them totally helpless after the termination.

Outplacement is an excellent tool to assist professionals who have been with the same company for many years and are out of date on the current selection and recruitment processes.

Thus, the companies that offer this process, help precisely in this point, offering all the necessary support so that these people are able to face the new demands of the market.

What are its differentials and benefits?

Contrary to what many may think, the concept of outplacement is not new. It emerged around the 1980s at a time of social and economic crises that sparked many mass layoffs.

In the beginning, the function of this process was just to “put out the fire” caused by so many layoffs so as not to damage the image of organizations. However, over the years, he acquired several differentials and benefits.

Companies came to understand that outplacement was more than a crisis manager, it was an important issue for the relationship and humanization of work relationships.

Therefore, currently, outplacement offers several differentials and benefits, such as:

  • Emotional and psychological support for employees, to minimize the trauma of dismissal;
  • Guidance on the entire dismissal process, so the employee knows how to act, what are their rights, benefits and can better understand the termination of the contract;
  • Consultancy for the creation and formatting of new curricula and portfolios;
  • Career Coaching;
  • Ex-employee career analysis, to create a new career path;
  • Offering networking and personal marketing;
  • Training for future interviews;
  • Support when looking for new vacancies and opportunities.

In addition to all these benefits for disconnected professionals, outplacement is also very advantageous for the organizations that offer it. It improves the overall organizational climate of the company. After all, other employees always observe how the organization acts in the event of a termination.

When the process is carried out in a humanized way, the team sees this in a positive way, as they know that if they are eventually targeted, they will be treated in the same way.

In addition, offering outplacement shows that the company cares about its employees even when they are leaving, reinforcing their values ​​and reputation in the face of the entire market.

How to perform the outplacement?

For the process to be carried out correctly, companies need to follow the following steps:

1. Plan the outplacement

It is necessary to plan the whole process even before dismissal. Thus, in case it is necessary to terminate an employee, the company already knows exactly how to act.

To do this, you need to hire an outplacement specialist or another company that provides the service on an outsourced basis. The person responsible for the process will previously evaluate the professional's profile to determine how the dismissal will be conducted, including the duration of the process and the arguments that will be used to explain the reasons for the dismissal.

This first step is essential for all outplacement to occur smoothly and in an organized manner.

2. Announce the resignation

Then, it was time to inform the employee about his termination. For this, the manager must meet with the employee to talk about the dismissal, explain the reasons and also inform the details of the outplacement – the start date, how it is carried out, etc.

At that time, all important information about termination of contract, benefits and employee rights must be informed. That is why it is necessary to be transparent and objective.

3. Directing career relocation or transition

It is at this point that the outplacement is actually put into practice. However, the previous steps are crucial for the whole process to be carried out in the best possible way.

After the termination process is completed, the outplacement professional or the company hired to carry out the process will initiate all the resources offered.

At that moment, the relocation or career transition phase begins. To begin with, the curriculum is analyzed to improve it and also to understand the objectives of the former employee.

Whatever the professional's intention, the person responsible for the outplacement is to promote a reflection on the career in order to offer a personalized plan to the professional.

4. Provide emotional support

Emotional support is critical during outplacement. The employee must be referred to a conversation with the consultant or even a psychologist to deal with the negative emotions and anxiety of that moment.

5. Build the professional's personal brand

Especially those employees who spent many years in the company may be completely out of date. So they need support to be able to stand out again in the job market.

Some steps for that moment are:

  • Support to update curriculum, portfolio and website with its own and professional identity;
  • Create or update an attractive profile on Linkedin;
  • Produce personal blog content to show the authority of the professional in your area;
  • Networking in the digital environment, workshops and other events.

6. Offer career coaching

Another important step towards a successful outplacement is to offer career coaching.

O coaching will be able to help the former employee to develop his potential, find the best paths in his area and prepare to get the best vacancies.

7. Assist in finding vacancies

Many companies that offer outplacement even help in the search for new jobs. In such cases, the consultant creates personalized job alerts for the employee, recommends the best platforms, recommends the person to other companies and even grants subscriptions on paid job sites.

There are several online platforms, such as Catho, which features ads from large companies. Thus, it becomes easier to find opportunities for the former employee.

8. Prepare for the interview

Finally, after the whole process, when the employee has already applied for new vacancies, the outplacement consultant helps him to prepare for the interviews.

In this way, the former employee will have in his hands all the resources to be successful in new opportunities.

What are the differences between: Outplacement x Headhunters x Replacement?

In the world of HR, there are several terms used to assist professionals who are looking for replacement in the market.

Now that you know the outplacement, which is the help given to the former employee when looking for new opportunities, it is time to meet two others: Replacement and Headhunters. So you will know the difference between the three.

Replacement is also a professional replacement but, unlike the outplacement that is provided by the organization that carried out the dismissal, it is a sort of paid consultancy. It has the objective of advising the professional who wants to re-enter the market through interviews, searching for compatible vacancies and other actions aimed at professional re-placement.

Meanwhile, the Headhunter is a type of talent scout. This professional is hired by companies to seek and recruit professionals who meet all the requirements of the organization. He is responsible for selecting the professionals with the most appropriate profiles for each type of position.

Headhunter can be an excellent tool for companies that are looking for talent in the market. Are you interested in the subject? Find out how to hire this professional correctly in this other article.


Returning to the main subject of this text, which is outplacement, it is important that companies know that it is fundamental to humanize the shutdown process. We are living through a period of many uncertainties and financial crisis and, we know that several layoffs need to be made.

For this reason, offering outplacement can be an excellent way of not leaving former employees helpless in the face of the current professional market.

Do you know someone who is going through a layoff? Share this post on your social networks so that more people know about outplacement and its benefits!


HR Consultant UK can help if you have any questions about What is outplacement and how can it help at the time of a layoff?
. Our HR consultant in London can assist you if you live in London. Suppose you live further afield thats not an issue! Visit our HR Consultants Near Me page to find the best consultancy nearest to you.
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