Debunking Myths About Outplacement

Although outplacement has been around for decades, the nature of the service has changed alongside developments in technology, social media and the modern job search process.

Myths about outplacement therefore abound. 

Let’s debunk a few of them:

Outplacement is only for senior leaders.

Employers should seek to assist as many employees as possible terms of helping them make their next career move. No matter what the circumstances, outplacement support should be for everyone. Some providers will not be equipped to handle the scale that this entails, but those that use technology to scale their operation will thrive.

Outplacement is the same as recruitment.

Outplacement is candidate-centric, while recruitment is client-centric. Any recruiter who says that they are also experts in outplacement is likely pushing the limits of credibility. Outplacement providers see the job search process from a candidate perspective – they are best placed to accompany departing employees on their deeply personal job search journey.

Outplacement should produce a job offer.

Outplacement may not always result in a job offer during the period of assistance. The goal of is to set an employee on the path towards their desired career. It is the direction that matters, not the speed of the result. If the employee takes the advice to heart, they will benefit in the long run. Having said this, performance metrics are still important.

Outplacement only benefits departing employees.

When leavers are provided with effective outplacement there is an undeniable halo effect on those employees that remain. Their morale does not dip as they see their former colleagues eventually moving on to better things and productivity will not be dented by disgruntled leavers who don’t care anymore. Outplacement benefits everyone.

Internal HR teams can’t manage outplacement themselves.

Much of the reason to outsource outplacement lay in the fact that historically there was a need for face-to-face provision, but as outplacement becomes more virtual there is an opportunity for internal HR teams to become more involved. They may not be equipped to manage the entire service, but they can certainly take more ownership than previously.

Social media has made outplacement redundant.

Younger generations who live on social media may find that they can tap into their networks to find job opportunities, but there is so much about career transition that remains a mystery to them. Professional outplacement support is as important to Millennials as it is to their more senior colleagues. Thoughtful choices early in their career can prove pivotal.

Outplacement is not required when the economy is hot.

When the economy is running hot and there are lots of jobs around you might think that outplacement assistance is not required. This is a fallacy. Employees need help to find the right job, not just any job. The cost of making a rushed choice can be catastrophic for someone’s career – great outplacement facilitates deliberate and meaningful moves.

Outplacement is not for specialists (doctors, lawyers, scientists).

While the specifics of their career might differ from a marketing generalist or a team leader, industry specialists share the same career planning and job search concerns. Outplacement support will cover much of the same ground for a geneticist as it will for a graphic designer. They will be making many of the same choices and facing similar challenges.

Senior executives would rather manage their job search themselves.

While a generous severance package might buy an executive time to consider their options, their job search skills may be lacking. Advice from experienced outplacement experts will ensure that they are asking themselves the right questions and opening doors they didn’t know existed. Career transformation happens when you look beyond what you know.