Caring and enlightened employers will certainly be familiar with the term, normally applicable in circumstances when a company has to ‘release’ employees and chooses to try and mitigate the impact on their people with ‘assistance’ to help manage the transition, with the process often commencing before anyone actually leaves.
The word ‘outplacement’ has no direct Czech language equivalent, but the rationale, actions and objectives are familiar in any business culture.
It’s also fair to say that outplacement policies tend to be prevalent in those companies which value their human capital and their reputation, and where outplacement assistance is enshrined in the employment contract terms and conditions which they offer their employees.
Some companies are large enough to make their own outplacement arrangements, usually through their HR department, but it is becoming increasingly the case for employers to outsource this service from a specialist Outplacement consultancy.
A typical outsourced ‘outplacement’ package of support and assistance for employees being laid off will include seminars about the current job market, advice on where to go to register for benefits and how to qualify if they are available, how to write an effective CV, how to get your CV in front of the right prospective employers, and most importantly, how to present yourself.
Many companies also offer so-called “Test Interview”, practice interview sessions, where those being released can gain experience of how they may feel and perform during a real interview. From this exercise it is possible to then coach individuals to respond appropriately to what recruiters are likely to ask them and to pinpoint areas for improvement or behaviours to avoid.
Sometimes these practice sessions are recorded on video and an experienced recruiter brought in to analyse the entire interview with the ‘candidate’.
These enhanced coaching sessions focus on how to respond positively and constructively to questions and how to behave in situations that can be difficult and uncomfortable.
These sessions may even include how to work with gestures and body language, avoid jumping into speech or, conversely, how to conjure up something to say, or gently disagree, explain and expand on subjects.
In the case of a large number of simultaneous redundancies, there will very likely be people who are going to be tricky to re-employ on the labour market, and in these cases specific, bespoke assistance such as psychological support can be brought in and directed.
As an experienced Outplacement Consultant, one of my particular strategies is to work with local government departments.
They often share the same objective to help employees transition, with minimum adverse impact, into a new phase of ‘economic occupation’.
And in addition I always seek to get Headhunters and Recruitment Agencies involved, sharing CVs and mediating communications with employers and those facing an imminent loss of their regular employment.
In fact my approach is to leave ‘no stone unturned’ in pursuit of positive outcomes for all parties involved; opening connections with other friendly companies, and even with competitors (you will already know each other), offering laid-off employees as potential recruits for their business.
Naturally, not everyone will help, but at least you did something for those people. And of course there’s social media, in particular #LinkedIN, but given the sensitivity of the whole subject of loss of employment, any outplacement consultant needs to consider most carefully how to communicate using this medium.
Companies that choose to address the outplacement option for their employees can access a variety of packages to assist them. And it need not be a daunting and depressing exercise.
With a professionally run and well structured Outplacement plan, employees due to be laid off can also discover many interesting alternatives to how they could adapt to a new life free from orthodox employment ties.
For example: further study options, language training, skills retraining, personal development courses or access to support and expertise about how to start your own company, are just a few examples of options a good Outplacement Consultant will bring to the table.
Engaging the services of a professional Outsourcing consultant of course costs money,which should be regarded as an investment, particularly if mitigating any potential disruption to business continuity and goodwill are factors for survival.
A company that, even in a situation where it is laying off workers, offers its employees specific help or "buys" them a package of targeted assistance from a specialised Outplacement company, is certainly deserving of being regarded as a truly enlightened employer.
Above all, if the company balance sheet is to be protected, adopting an Outplacement approach cleverly adds lustre to the Company brand and an increase in the reputation and consequent financial value of the entire company.
The text of my Article was kindly adapted into "proper" English language by Mr. Steven Lord, Founder of IBB Praha. Thanks a lot, Steven, for your great help. Very much appreciated!
And if you are thinking about a Workshop for your Employees, you can meet myself and my Business Partner, Mr. Tomas Drazny, Founder of executivejob.cz. More information, see below.