What is Outplacement and why is it important for senior positions?

Table of Contents


The moment of dismissal is always very delicate, as this is a process that emotionally affects both the person who is fired and the person who fires. When the termination of a high-ranking professional, the situation can get even more difficult.

A tool used to minimize the damage of this situation is Outplacement, which we can define as a kind of humanization of the dismissal process.

To understand what Outplacement is and its benefits, check out this article we prepared!

Responsible dismissal concept

Dismissals affect those who leave and those who stay with the company in different ways. It is common for feelings of anguish and insecurity to appear and generate changes in the organizational climate. Therefore, managers must be prepared to maintain a good environment and make the climate as stable as possible.

Being prepared involves a concern and a care in how the dismissal process will be and how the remaining ones will receive the news. This care is known as responsible dismissal and Outplacement is a resource for its execution.

Definition of what is Outplacement

Outplacement was created in the United States, in the 60's. At the time, there was a crisis in the aerospace and electronics sector and this was a tool that the Human Resources area used to assist in the search for replacement in the job market for scientists and engineers laid off.

The programs were spread around the world and even some European countries made the practice mandatory by law.

In the 80s, the method arrived in the UK with the opening of the national economy, stimulated by the growing competitiveness in the market. Currently, it is known and used by large organizations in executive dismissals. This practice seeks to humanize terminations with a series of actions developed with the dismissed professional.

According to the Association of Outplacement Consultancy Firms International (AOCFI), the association responsible for internationally regulating the activity, Outplacement is a process that structures the professional bases to help the dismissed employee understand the job market in an organized and disciplined way to achieve in a short time and with minimal impact, a replacement or definition of a “B” career plan, for example, to undertake.

Outplacement in fiction

The film “Amor Sem Escalas” (Up In The Air, 2009), portrays the dramas of business relationships that worsen in a delicate economic moment. In the plot, an Outplacement program is run by the character of actor George Clooney, according to the American paradigm, at the height of the crisis in 2009.

As it is a film, some phases of the program are presented in an ironic way and we are also faced with the suffering that a fired professional lives, including extreme cases. Worth watching to reflect.

Individual or collective approach

Outplacement can be carried out individually or collectively. The individual aims to carry out customized and planned actions according to a specific need so that a professional can get to know their professional profile, reflect on their career and help them search for a replacement in the job market.

The collective is suitable for companies that are going through transitions, restructuring, among other similar situations. In such cases, both the organization and the professionals receive adequate support and opportunities.

Importance and benefits

The Outplacement method is welcomed by those who are advised by it and by the company in general. It demonstrates that there is respect and care for employees, in addition to being a form of social responsibility action.

Due to proper planning and communication, this tool offers several benefits to the organization, such as:

  • minimization of impacts caused by layoffs;
  • reduction of eventual labor liabilities that the dismissal process can generate;
  • preservation of the quality of the organizational climate;
  • strengthening of the corporate image vis-à-vis the internal and external public;
  • promotion of a competitive differential for the company in the market.

For professionals, the benefits are:

  • support to get another job quickly;
  • guidelines to identify career alternatives;
  • reflection on their professional trajectory;
  • networking enhancement.

Outplacement steps

This process is divided into 3 main steps. Check out:

1. Planning

The first phase begins before the actual dismissal. HR plans, together with a consulting firm specialized in Outplacement, how the termination will be carried out — this planning is done based on the professional's profile. In addition, it is defined how the process will be conducted in the best possible way.

The time of notification is also organized: which arguments will be addressed, what is the best date, how long the conversation will last and whether it will be carried out individually or collectively.

2. Useful information

The next step is to communicate the termination to the professional. HR has a duty to inform employees about their rights, how much they will receive and details about their transition process.

No information should be omitted, whether about the reason, how the shutdown will be carried out or the start and duration of the process.

3. Professional replacement

This is the last and most important step in the process. In this phase, the company specialized in consulting guides the professional on how to get a new opportunity, in addition to offering psychological support to face the moment.

The curriculum is analyzed and the necessary restructuring is carried out. The person receives tips and instructions to develop their performance, improve their networking, study their career and structure their professional goals and objectives. Lectures, training and workshops linked to the career and the market can also be part of the process.

After studying and monitoring the profile, the outplacement specialist company looks for companies that match the person being advised and their professional qualities. Then, it is placed on the market.

We can see, then, that Outplacement goes beyond a simple professional outplacement, which generally only aims to find a new job for the individual, without addressing the consequences of the transition and the emotional aspects involved in the process.

In this article, we talk about what Outplacement is and how this important organizational management tool offers a positive approach to such a difficult period that is unemployment. Study the most suitable option for your company and start to count on the benefits of this method.

Now that you understand the importance of responsible dismissal, contact us to learn about the collective and individual outplacement options we offer. Access our site!


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