It pays to be nice to exciting employees
Outplacement offers benefits for all
by Michael Carrillo
Another merger, another downsizing, another round of layoffs. Or maybe
things just haven’t worked out. But regardless of why you’re parting
company with a terminated employee, helping them find their next job is
good human resources practice, good business, and almost always the
right thing to do.
Being laid off is one of life’s biggest challenges and can send shock
waves through your company, too. It impacts everyone around the
terminated employee, including their co-workers, spouse and children.
Outplacement assistance eases the transition for both your company and
the employee. And the true test of a program’s success is how quickly
your employee finds new work.
Get them hired, fast!
Today most HR experts recognize that a majority of terminations are “no
fault” separations. But whatever the reason -- the job doesn’t fit the
employee, the employee doesn’t fit the organization, or there is a lack
of suitable work -- there is no reason to part on bad terms with these
A comprehensive outplacement program has several elements but one
overriding goal – getting the employee hired. I recommend that
companies hire an outside service provider to provide outplacements.
Firms like Drake Beam Morin, Lee Hecht Harrison and RL Stevens &
Associates, Inc. specialize in outplacement services and offer
something you can’t – distance.
Disgruntled employees will often accept outplacement assistance from an
outside source quicker than the company that’s just laid them off.
Because HR departments are often associated with the termination
process, a third-party offers a better environment for a fresh start.
I also recommend that companies use their outside recruitment resources
to help the new candidate find work. The purpose of outplacement is to
get your former employee hired fast. Outside resources -- CPGjoblist is
just one -- can do this quickly and efficiently because it’s our
business. We know the industry and we know what’s out there. Because of
our wide range of contacts in the industry, we can help an employee’s
job search get off to a running start. Getting the candidate real
interviews and real leads is the best medicine there is. When it comes
to outplacement, there’s really no substitute for a new job.
The benefits to you
Providing outplacement services offers a lot of value for little risk.
It tells departing employees that you value them as a person, sending a
powerful signal to remaining co-workers that your organization has a
heart and you won’t leave them in the lurch.
Not offering outplacement services can lead to more than just hard
feelings. Experts say that companies without outplacement plans often
suffer higher rates of layoff pains such as lawsuits, bad publicity,
vandalism, theft and higher workers comp and unemployment claims. The
surest way to reduce these problems is getting your employees hired
somewhere else as soon as possible.
Helping an employee write a good resume is just the beginning of an
outplacement process that leads to the next job. A good outplacement
program may also include skills assessment, interviewing and
negotiation techniques and financial planning assistance.
Counseling is another service you may wish to offer. Departing
candidates – and their spouses – may find the emotional going difficult
at first. And don’t neglect spouses! In many cases the spouse may take
the termination hardest – and be the one pushing for litigation.
Any employee who is qualified to work should qualify for your
outplacement program. Arbitrarily excluding employees from your program
could count against you in a legal proceeding. Make sure you publish
your outplacement guidelines in your employee handbook and make sure
you follow them to the letter.
But no outplacement program is successful if the departing employee
doesn’t find work. The centerpiece of any outplacement program is
getting the employee hired. A third-party candidate referral system
like CPGjoblist is one of the quickest and most effective ways to
transform your outplacement program from a bureaucratic process to a
dynamic program that gets results.
Michael Carrillo is president of
CPGjoblist, the CPG industry’s leading candidate referral system for HR
professionals and employers. You may contact him at
Michael@cpgjoblist.com or call (626) 398-5381.
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