No business owner ever likes it when they have to lay people off. Whether those workers have been with your for two decades or two months, it is never fun. One way you can soften the blow and help your people move on it to hire an outplacement service company to assist them.
What is an outplacement services company?
These are firms that can help prepare your workers to reenter the job market. They provide a host of outplacement services that are designed to make the people you are laying off become more competitive in the job market.
1. Find out what outplacement services your employees need.
If you have a human resources department, you should work with them on this. Different people need different things from outplacement services companies. Workers may need help turning their resume into one that has a lot of impact and showcases their experience and expertise. They may also need help with interview skills. There may be training courses that you can offer so they are in the best position to find a new job. Ask your staff what they think they need and really listen when they answer you. This is one of the most important things you can do to get the right outplacement services company.
2. Talk to people you know.
Given the way the economy fluctuates, the chances are good that you know people who have been forced to lay off some of their workers. Ask other business owners in your industry about what they did when they had to do this. Did they use an outplacement consultant? If they did, ask them how they found the company, what the costs were and how they found the overall experience. Ask them if they have any tips for things they wish they had done differently. You may not want to publicize the fact that you are doing this but industry experts will know so you are not giving people information they do not already have. When you hire an outplacement services company, you only enhance your reputation so you should not worry about that.
3. Research a few outplacement consulting firms.
Look online for what people who have worked with the outplacement services companies say about them. They may have testimonials on their website. Do what you can to verify these. It is possible to make these up. Ask the firms you are considering to give you references. Reputable companies will have former and current clients that you can talk to.
When you look online for reviews you need to take some with a grain of salt. People are much more likely to complain than to compliment. This is especially true when people can leave their reviews without leaving their name. You should also make it a point to look at reviews from employees that have been helped by various outplacement services companies. You want to know that companies have been helped but you really want to find a firm that can help your employees move on and find new job opportunities.
4. Get the names of a few companies and make some comparisons.
Get quotes from at least three outplacement services companies. The price tag that is attached to the outplacement services firms should be one factor in your decision making process but it should not be the only factor. It may be tempting to go with the cheapest option but that may not be the best one for your company. By the same token, the most expensive services may not be the best. What you need to do is define what services are going to need to best help them find new jobs and then find outplacement services companies that can provide those. Ask the different firms that you are considering hiring what kinds of resources that you have to offer.
Ask also about their qualifications and experience with your industry. Some industries are very specific with their hiring needs so you may need to find an outplacement services company that has a track record of helping people in your industry.
You will do yourself and your staff a world of good by hiring the right outplacement services company.