Outplacement

An outplacement agency works with downsized/displaced employees to provide job hunting assistance to jobseekers. Outplacement firms are typically retained by employers to help terminated employees secure new employment. Fees for this service often range from a flat fee of several thousand pounds to a small percentage of the employee's total annual compensation, depending on the extent of services provided. Outplacement firms typically ease the separation by providing professional career assessment, coaching in job search techniques, interview techniques and helping to develop a CV. Some firms even provide office desk-space and telephone to assist the terminated worker in calling on prospective employers.

Because not all outplacement firms are the same and some have better track records than others, it is always advisable to obtain references from individuals and companies who have used the service. Carefully scrutinize all contracts with outplacement firms before appointing one and prepare written agreements. Discuss the circumstances under which additional fees may be incurred and resist these. If possible, try to structure a flat fee arrangement to limit costs and negotiate a discount in the event you terminate a number of employees who collectively wish to use the services of the firm.

Consider the possibility of offering outplacement services as a negotiating tool in specifying severance packages and securing an employee's acceptance of the terms of a Settlement Agreement.

Being seen to be concerned about employees whose employment is being terminated can help to build employer 'brand' and build goodwill.