Redundancy outplacement services and support explained

What are redundancy outplacement services? Discover the answers to your most frequently asked questions about outplacement support services here.

Outplacement Services Guide


It’s likely that you’re reading this after someone suggested outplacement services could support your business through the next few months of redundancies. But are you wondering what exactly outplacement support services are? Or if your business even needs such a service? If you’re unsure what these are, you’re not alone. Let’s delve into some frequently asked questions to clarify not just the definition, but also the value, of these services. 

What is outplacement support?

As with most things in life, there is the simple definition – the one you’d offer your 9-year-old – and then there’s the description you’d discuss at length with your 20-year-old. The simple answer is that outplacement services are practical support services offered by organisations to exiting employees. The concept sounds easy, but the practical side is much more involved. Quality outplacement providers work in partnership with exiting employees, and with managers, to ensure morale and positivity is maintained in your business in the long-term.

Providing outplacement services can be challenging. Supporting people who have recently been retrenched can be emotionally demanding, so a quality provider invests one-on-one time in building rapport, obtaining a clear understanding of the client’s needs and tailoring services to fit. 

What type of redundancy outplacement services are available?

Although outplacement services are flexible, a typical first session will involve a meeting (online or face-to face) to determine the exiting employee’s needs. Every individual has diverse needs when it comes to supporting them through a redundancy, and requirements can change depending on personal circumstance or even how recently the retrenchment occurred. Keeping this in mind, specific support varies but can be placed into two broad categories: personal development and career focused. 

The personal development category incorporates support and skill building to help individuals regain or maintain confidence and resilience when attempting to re-enter the workforce. Topics include:

  • Coping with emotions
  • Recognising and dealing with anger, grief and denial 
  • Managing personal change and taking control of change
  • Maintaining a positive attitude
  • Building emotional and physical resilience
  • Managing stress through eating well, sleep, exercise and meditation

The career – or professional – focus of the second category gives exiting employees clear, concise and practical advice to assist them in gaining employment. The support offered here includes tips and tricks for making an application stand out from the crowd, while also ensuring a tailored approach that takes personal preferences and experience into account. Topics include:

  • Resume and cover letter writing
  • Interview practice
  • Networking
  • Techniques for responding to selection criteria 

Some people may find they need support and services aligned predominantly with one category, others may move between the personal and professional ranges at different times. A quality outplacement service provider will not only be able to provide a selection of sessions to support individuals, but will also be able to recognise what an individual needs at each stage in their redundancy journey and customise their services to suit.

What is outplacement counselling?

Outplacement counselling has a slightly different focus from standard outplacement support. While many exiting employees are keen to obtain their next job in the same (or similar) industry or role, a redundancy may be the clean sweep others have been waiting for. The period following a redundancy can provide the time and financial opportunity to reconsider personal skills and strengths, professional goals and career plans. An outplacement provider worth its salt will be able to recognise these individuals and will have the skill set to support their differing needs. Outplacement counselling often includes sessions that fall under the personal development and career categories (such as writing resumes, selection criteria and cover letters, developing professional networks, and dealing with change), but this particular counselling will move from focusing purely on past experience and skills to concentrating on transferable skills. One-on-one sessions provide the opportunity to examine communication, project management or leadership skills gained in one role and determine how they can be useful in another – and specialist outplacement providers will recommend the appropriate language and tone to best highlight these skills.

Outplacement counselling assists individuals to view experience and skills gained in previous roles and industries as stepping stones for their dream job. Exiting employees looking to move industries may also need to consider upskilling in a certain area; a skilled outplacement counsellor can help to match an individual with the necessary courses or training to improve future career prospects.

What do the best outplacement companies provide? 

Outplacement providers may seem similar in terms of the ‘products’ they list– so how do you know which company will offer your business the best service? A superior outplacement provider will present a team incorporating different backgrounds and skills – all the better to suit your individual needs. The more varied the team composition, the more likely the provider will include services that are flexible and diverse enough to suit all of your business needs. This Melbourne team offers years of experience gained in diverse private sector industries underpinned with qualifications in various topic areas.

Consider a provider that understands the big picture: while it’s not a cheap exercise to provide an outplacement service for your exiting employees, the investment in your business is a long-term one. By engaging a redundancy support service provider, you demonstrate care and concern for your outgoing employees and remind those ‘left behind’ of your commitment to them and to the business. A quality outplacement provider recognises the support they provide to exiting employees is just one part of the master plan. The effect of redundancies in a business is far-reaching, and colleagues as well as human resource managers and senior executives all encounter their own reactions to the changed work environment. Expert support from outplacement specialists can help diminish potential negative consequences associated with loss of employment, such as survivor syndrome.

The best outplacement companies also provide flexible, quality advice that focuses on the client. The only tried and true way to verify the ability and integrity of your provider is to review previous clients’ comments. The Let’s Talk Career testimonials are one recommendation after another – a sure sign that you will receive the best outplacement service available.

What about executive outplacement … how does that work?

Unfortunately, even those in upper management jobs are not immune to economic consequences, and someone in an executive role facing a redundancy is just as likely to need outplacement services support as someone in a lower-paid role. With every outplacement service, support differs depending on the individual’s needs; however, when considering support for executives, the assistance may resemble outplacement counselling more than a standard outplacement service. Executive outplacement support puts an emphasis on the transferable skills and experience the individual has gained in previous roles. Leadership experience and project management, in particular, are skills that can be easily moved between industries, and outplacement support will assist exiting executives to view this shift as an opportunity for career growth and advancement. 

How much will executive outplacement costs set you back?

You may assume executive outplacement costs are prohibitive, but all Let’s Talk Career pricing packages are based on the number of hourly sessions per client not the hierarchy of the exiting employees. As we touched on earlier, outplacement support services are a long-term investment in your business; the benefits won’t be immediately apparent but the positive influence on your remaining employees will continue to be felt in the months and years to come.

Discuss your outplacement needs with our Melbourne team

Our outplacement teams are here to help. Contact our Melbourne office to book an outplacement session or discuss your business needs.

Dana Flannery

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