Outplacement Services: 4 Things You Should Know

by: Sarah Ballow
September 25, 2019

Business woman helping man with job search

No one wants to lay off employees, but it’s an unfortunate reality of managing a business in an ever-changing economy and necessary for companies who want to maintain a strategic and efficient workforce. To help mitigate the impact of downsizing – for both the affected employees and the company – more and more businesses are adding outplacement services to their severance packages. If you’re considering an outplacement solution, we’ve answered four key questions to cover the basics of outplacement and what it could mean for your company:

  • What are outplacement services?
  • What are the benefits of offering outplacement services?
  • How much do outplacement programs cost?
  • Should I offer outplacement services?

What are outplacement services?

Outplacement providers are third-party vendors that companies contract to help laid-off employees find a new job. Through services like career coaching, job matching, resume and cover letter writing, interview prepping, and networking, outplacement programs seek to get displaced employees hired as soon as possible and reduce the negative impact of downsizing.


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What are the benefits of offering outplacement services?

From human to human, the primary benefit of implementing an outplacement program is that you’re doing the right thing by your employees. While you can no longer offer them employment, you can treat them with compassion and set them up for success as they look for a new opportunity. Managing your layoff with care will also help send a positive message to your remaining employees who may be concerned about their own job security and questioning the values of the company.

From business to business, the bottom line is that you’re protecting your employer brand and saving yourself some money in the long term by reducing the impact of downsizing. Employees who feel they were supported and treated with respect after a layoff will be less likely to tarnish your employer brand with negative comments on sites like Glassdoor. They’ll also be less likely to sue your company for unlawful termination. And if your outplacement program is successful, they’ll find a job faster than they would on their own which could save you money on continued financial assistance associated with unemployment.

How much do outplacement programs cost?

The cost of offering outplacement services can vary a lot depending on the size of the outplacement company and the type of program you choose. Outplacement services could range from $550 to several thousand dollars per employee depending on the following factors:

  • Level of support – Some programs offer one-on-one support to job seekers from a dedicated career advisor while others offer group sessions. Outplacement programs may also include additional services, like resume writing and career management platforms.
  • Term limits and guarantees – You can provide your employees with assistance for a term of several months or until they are placed in a new job.
  • Employee’s role – Executives and upper management will likely need a different level of assistance than hourly employees.


Man giving career coaching to a group of professionals


Should I offer outplacement services?

There’s no question that an outplacement program can reap tremendous benefits for your employees and your company and help to alleviate the negative impact of downsizing. But ultimately, you will need to weigh the costs and benefits to determine whether your company should offer outplacement services. To help guide your decision, consider your company’s core values and strategic goals, trends in your industry, and the current state of your employer brand.