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How to ensure a smooth outplacement process

outplacement career coaching

How do HR Directors and Consultants facilitate a smooth exit for staff affected by redundancy, in terms of outplacement career coaching?

Outplacement; Defined as the provision of assistance to redundant employees in finding new employment, either as a benefit provided by the employer directly, or through a specialist service.

To the subject of outplacement, I’d like to hopefully offer something new to think about, especially for HR Directors and HR Consultants who are working with organizations going through a downturn or re-structure (hence redundancies are on the cards).

Buy In

It can sometimes be the case that staff will not buy-in to the outplacement process because they don’t feel a sense of ownership of the process; a feeling of being ‘done to’ can be present, but I think this is only natural to an extent. Nevertheless, this situation and the required mind set shift can be a challenge.

Early Stages

Allowing an outplacement provider (if one is being engaged) to give a brief overview to a group of affected staff early in the process can mitigate this sense of negativity, which is understandable in the circumstances.


The ‘Ostrich syndrome’ (head in the sand, ignoring impending circumstances) can also be an issue for HR to manage; you want a great outcome for your exiting staff I am sure, but a reality check is often the only way forward. I suggest internal processes include a full update of what’s happening in today’s recruitment market, including the most up to date search techniques, personal branding strategies, together with the need to be ultra-proactive in the job search process.

Reflect and Act

Redundancy is a time for reflection – and action through a time of change. People rarely change unless there’s a compelling reason to do so (career change is a serious piece of change management of course, although strangely, rarely seen as such).

The danger of not changing is all too obvious; the market is competitive, very competitive, and candidates need to be tuned in to what is going on in their sector (if indeed they wish to remain in the same sector), as well as understand the way that recruiters view them as candidates.

The changing jobs market

We always talk with our career coaching clients about the Hidden Jobs market. Nothing new there, but why do candidates still seem to focus on advertised roles, when 70% of the best roles just never reach the open market? It requires effort, and a change of thinking to embrace some new strategies is a shift that some people are just not prepared to take.


It does require a form of faith for any job seeker to make this shift into the intangible ‘networking towards a new role’ approach, rather than visiting the jobs boards and signing up for email notifications about new roles. Our Be Found approach, while being unique to the market, more importantly focusses in on this new required job seeking mind set, where expressing ones thought leadership through the medium of social and digital

A guidance model which can be applied to outplacement

As part of my early training as a careers advisor (some 20 years ago) I learned Gerard Egan’s three stage helping model, which I still use to this day in many circumstances, whether in business, working with staff or clients. This helping model lends itself well to outplacement, as often, sincere and full exploration is missed or diluted in the process of career coaching & outplacement support.

This is of course just one methodology that can be used when helping staff affected by redundancy, but it’s important that whatever process methods are used there is a transparent process with a pragmatic but also caring approach.

If you’d like to discuss how we can affect a positive outcome for those affected by redundancy at your organisation, let’s connect on LinkedIn or drop me a line direct at [email protected]

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