From dealing with an employee’s poor performance to diffusing a tense situation, HR is usually called in when the stakes are high. As such, it’s important that HR leaders not only feel confident engaging in tough conversations, but also recognize them as an opportunity to positively influence their organization.
6 Tips for Choosing the Right Outplacement Firm
October 10, 2023
Selecting the right outplacement firm can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re committed to maintaining a people-first culture in the midst of transitions. But with a little insider knowledge and some actionable steps, you can confidently make a choice that reflects both your organization's and your employees' best interests.
1. Prioritize expert coaches.
Did you know the magic behind a top-notch outplacement service is its career coaches? Career coaches can significantly elevate your employee’s transition experience by equipping them with the tools and insights to quickly and confidently secure their next role. A few hours with an expert coach beats endless hours with an average one. Look for an outplacement firm where coaches have rich professional backgrounds and deep industry expertise and that will quickly connect your employees to them.
Insider Tip: Ask firms for a sneak peek of their coach bios, and find out how easily employees can book a session.
2. Look for tailored packages.
Your entry-level IC and your seasoned exec have different needs. Avoid the one-size-fits-all trap. The ideal outplacement partner will offer a variety of packages that allow you to tailor support for different employee groups. Dreaming of specialized services like coding interview prep or compensation consults? Make sure they're on the menu.
Insider Tip: Inquire about package flexibility and pinpoint which services will be most beneficial for your different employee groups.
3. Ensure authentic outreach.
Career transitions are tough. The last thing employees need is an impersonal, automated email. A great outplacement partner understands the impacted employee’s journey and is genuine in their outreach. A warm phone call and email message can make your employees feel valued and have the power to provide encouragement and hope.
Insider Tip: Ask firms to describe their objectives for employee outreach and the process and channels used to achieve it.
4. Insist on clear reporting.
You're investing in people, and you deserve to see the results. It's essential to partner with a firm that offers clear reporting on enrollment rates, engagement, and employee feedback. For instance, enrolling in service is not enough—you want to see that participants are engaging and continuing to find value in the services versus dropping out.
Insider Tip: Request a demo of the provider’s reporting and ask about the firm’s average metrics across their clients.
5. Avoid surprises.
No one likes hidden costs. Pick a firm that bills only for participant enrollments, without any confusing fine print. Also, look for a partner that is easy to work with and will not require a new agreement for each event. Put simply, the terms of an agreement offer a preview to the integrity of the future partnership.
Insider Tip: A quick look at the firm's standard agreement can save future headaches. Don't shy away from asking.
6. Leverage your network.
Glowing testimonials on a website are great, but insider stories from trusted sources? Priceless. Hearing referrals, from clients or the individuals they've supported, often paints the most accurate picture of the kind of partnership you can anticipate.
Insider Tip: Tap into your network of HR and People leaders for feedback on potential outplacement partners.
In the end, choosing the right outplacement firm is a strategic move, demonstrating your commitment to both your employees and your organizational culture, even during transitional periods. It’s not just about the now; it's about ensuring everyone who has been part of the company’s story continues to thrive, adding value to the company’s brand and morale.
Looking for a people-first outplacement partner? Let's chat! Slate’s dedicated Career team has worked with companies ranging from venture-backed startups to the Fortune 1000, and we're ready to align with your goals.