Out Placement Firms Shorten Job Seeker’s Search by 61%

If you’ve spent any amount of time working in human resources, you’ve likely had to break the news to an employee or group of employees that they’ve been laid off. These conversations are difficult because they create a level of uncertainty in the employee’s lives and the lives of their families. And trust me, no one likes delivering this kind of bad news.

My most recent experience communicating a workplace layoff came back to me after checking out RiseSmart‘s infographic shown below. Not too long ago I had to layoff a group of 85 employees as we went through a location and position restructure. I sat in a room full of friends and people I knew that depended on their job to pay their bills and announced that their jobs would be ending in just 30 days. After the meeting was over, I went into my office and cried.

How to Layoff Employees

It’s a best practice when communicating layoff messages to employees like this, that you come to the meeting full prepared with the agenda rehearsed. We provided our employees the following resources and information during the meeting:

  • A list of common FAQ’s that they or their family members mights have. 
  • Information on COBRA and insurance coverage information including costs once medical, optical and dental coverage ended.
  • Career and out placement information including job coaching and resume writing services paid by the employer not the employee.
  • Severance paperwork, information and submission deadlines as well as office hours impacted employees could schedule time with members of HR to discuss.

The True Value of Out Placement

Many of our employees being laid off were tenured employees who hadn’t been in the job market for a long period of time. With recent technology changes including social media as well as video interviewing, employees were most concerned about their job search. Thankfully, our out placement company provided personalized support and career coaching to help them shorten their job search by a reported sixty-one percent. And finding work 61% faster is key. It’s the difference between making a mortgage payment or buying groceries for our kids. The job market remains extremely competitive and only 47% of US adults are currently working full time. Keep in mind the US added 195,000 jobs in June 2013.

Out placement does more than help job seekers find work. It helps ease life transitions making for a better exiting employee and employer experience as well as employer branding. A happy transitioned employee who finds work quickly is less likely to talk negatively about their previously employer both in person and electronically in peer rating sites like Glassdoor.com making a better future experience for everyone.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

Reader Interactions


  1. Nanette says

    True outplacement would have been a boon for me when I lost my job. What my former employer called their “outplacement services” was the research department of the company’s EAP. A researcher generated a list of local temp agencies and regional headhunters who he/she had confirmed did place people in my specialty. I could have just as easily collected this information in a 5-minute Google search. It was a weak, outdated list.

    If you are not truly offering your terminated employees outplacement services, don’t insult their intelligence by saying you are. Offer the real thing, as described in this post.

    – Still looking, 3 months later

    • Jessica Miller-Merrell says


      I’m so sorry for your experience. I’ve never run across EAP offer outplacement. There are a lot of other moving parts that help elevate the job search using the services which are typically paid for by the employer as a benefit to the employee.


  2. Michael says

    Outplacement offering was standard practice at my last two employers when we laid off employees. The level of service varied by the level with employee,with more personal touch coming to higher level employees.
    My current company does not offer it, but as a non profit, even a larger one, they tend to try and cut costs.
    I do think it is an important offering for any level employee, even basic résumé counseling



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