10 Questions to Ask an Outplacement Provider

There are plenty of outplacement providers out there, from international behemoths to local niche specialists. The choice of outplacement provider will depend on your specific needs – asking the following ten initial questions will give you a decent idea of what they can offer your departing employees.

How many clients have you worked with that match our profile? While outplacement providers may be able to boast an impressive client track record, it is important to focus on whether they have worked within your industry and at the right level of seniority. 

What is the average tenure of your coaches? Any outplacement provider should be proud of their seasoned coaches, so this is a great question. If their coaches have been with them a while you can be sure that the outplacement provider is winning plenty of work.

To what extent do you tailor your outplacement offering? Senior leaders will need a very different level of outplacement provision than their more junior colleagues. Outplacement support is horribly ineffective if it is not pitched at the correct level. 

How do you know what you do is effective? An outplacement provider who is continually assessing the results of their clients and tweaking their services is a partner that is at the top of their game. Ask them about their success criteria and job seeker metrics.

What happens if an employee does not secure a role? Not every employee will find a job during the course of the outplacement assistance, so what contingencies are available for difficult cases? Compassion and flexibility are essential remedies.

How much coaching time is involved in each programme? Most departing employees will need a certain amount of time to talk with an outplacement coach. No matter how bespoke the outplacement material, an element of individual coaching is essential.

How do you measure customer satisfaction? Most job seekers will find a job. Eventually. The true measure of outplacement is whether the customer feels that they have found a role that take them another couple of steps along their career path.

How can I track each employee’s progress? Employers should be actively involved in monitoring the progress of their employees. Regardless of their employment status, they need to feel that the employer still cares about their welfare.

How are the services delivered? Many outplacement providers will have weighted their services towards virtual provision over the past few years, so it is good to explore the technology that they use and how much of their offering is face-to-face.

What percentage of transitioning employees use your services? Not every departing employee will take advantage of the outplacement provision, so this percentage will be a good indicator of the perceived value. Job seekers don’t want to waste their time.