The global pandemic has taught employers, among many other lessons, to be ready for anything. Although you can’t always plan, you can look ahead and ensure you have measures in place to prepare your business for the future. Since you need your employees for your company to run, it’s smart to invest in them throughout their entire lifecycle of employment – including the end of it.
Outplacement services provide support and job search guidance for employees you let go so that they can smoothly transition into new roles. Outplacement is a huge benefit for your staff members, and it’s an effective way to safeguard three critical components of your business: your employer brand, candidate pipeline, and employee retention.
Your employer brand is how job seekers and potential employees perceive your company as a place to work. In other words, it’s the reason employees work for you instead of the competitor down the street. Employee sentiment, your community involvement, your presence online and on social media, and employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor all contribute to your employer brand. And when your employer brand is damaged, it makes attracting qualified applicants for your job openings more difficult.
That’s why it’s important to think about the lasting impact a layoff could have on your brand as you prepare your business for successful hiring in the future. When you hit hard times – due to something as powerful as a pandemic – reducing your workforce is often out of your control. However, you can control how you treat your employees during the process, which affects your employer brand.
When you’re ready to rebuild your team, how you handled layoffs may influence whether qualified candidates are interested in applying to your jobs. Providing outplacement services is a great example of how you can create positive sentiment among former and remaining employees in an otherwise negative situation. As a result, your employer brand will come out stronger and won’t hinder your ability to hire down the road.
After COVID-19 forced employers to reduce their workforces temporarily, we heard many stories of employees feeling reluctant to return to their companies due to the way they were treated during layoffs. Former employees are essential parts of your candidate pipeline – your list of job seekers who are qualified and ready to fill open positions – so it’s in your best interest not to burn bridges with them.
Offering outplacement services is an effective way to maintain positive relationships with former team members to prepare your business for the future. Employees who were let go but given support in finding another job will be far more willing to return than those who were not. When you’re ready to hire again, you’ll be able to reach out to previous employees who may be interested in rejoining your team instead of spending time and money recruiting and onboarding new applicants.
Offering outplacement services can also help you keep remaining staff members. In any economy, your employees want to know their job is secure. During something as jarring as a global pandemic, people are looking for safety more than ever. Employees who remain after a layoff will question the security of their own job, especially in a time of uncertainty, and may search for another position if they don’t feel confident in their situation.
Providing outplacement services lets employees know that they’ll be taken care of no matter what happens, and it takes away the anxiety of potentially being left high and dry without a job. Plus, giving your departing staff members support during a difficult time will help you maintain trust and goodwill with your current team – this is particularly true of small businesses, where colleagues tend to have closer relationships and layoffs are more impactful.
As employers and business leaders, we all understand that the future holds uncertainty, but we can do a great deal to set ourselves up for success even when things don’t go according to plan. Adding outplacement services to your employee benefits package is one way to prepare your business for the future and ensure you’re able to come back strong when you hit hard times.
If you’re interested in an outplacement solution for your organization, you’re welcome to consider iHire’s services and reach out if you’d like to learn more.