Some of the biggest headlines in business in 2023 have come from layoffs – companies such as Amazon, Meta, Google, Walmart, Morgan Stanley, and McKinsey have all had major reductions in force this year. Quite a few companies provide outplacement support, or services to laid-off employees to help prepare them for next steps. But what exactly are outplacement services, and what might be included in an outplacement package? Here are some common services that might be part of an outplacement deal.
Probably the most important item for the modern job search is an updated resume. Therefore, a key component of most outplacement services is a resume update for the laid off employees. This could take a variety of shapes. Outplacement providers could provide editing based on existing documents, send out surveys to obtain information for the update, or hold meetings with the new job seekers to gain a better understanding of their skills and achievements. The number of revisions and support for the resume update could vary, but some kind of a general resume review should be a key element for outplacement recipients.
Cover Letter + Thank You Letter
While cover letters are less important now than they were 20, 15, or even 10 years ago, many companies still require them. Therefore, another common item in an outplacement package is a cover letter service, usually the provision of an adjustable (though targeted) template that the recipients can use going forward for various applications. Another similar and even more simple service could be a thank you letter to use after interviews or at different stages of the job application process.
Perhaps the most popular current job board in the United States is LinkedIn, which is of course useful for networking, connections, and communications as well. Therefore, helping people update their LinkedIn profile to be more searchable and in line with modern best practices is yet another standard outplacement service. In addition to providing guidance on what to include or not include, and specific content to add, LinkedIn support could be as comprehensive as in-depth coaching on how to best utilize the site for networking and job searching.
Job Search Coaching
Along those lines, job search advice coaching can be extraordinarily beneficial for outplacement recipients. This is especially true for employees who have been in their roles for a while and haven’t needed to look for jobs for a long time, as things have certainly changed over the past 10+ years. Job Search Advice coaching usually ranges from 30 to 60 minutes and encompasses what job boards to use, how to connect with recruiters and head hunters, how to navigate job applications, and what steps should be taken for the job search writ large. This can often be a particularly huge help and confidence booster for older employees in this digital age, but is useful for all.
Interview Preparation is another popular coaching service provided for outplacement recipients. Interviews are stressful for most people, and interview preparation coaching is all about mitigating that stress by answering questions about the interview process, delivering tips and tricks, and coordinating tailoring answers to common questions both broadly and industry specific. Interview coaching could also include full-length mock interview sessions to really get the laid off employees ready for their next true interview and have them fully confident they can answer questions and present themselves thoughtfully and in a polished manner.
Other Job Support
While those are the most common outplacement services, there are other support offerings as well. Some companies might offer personal branding or social media audits to help candidates feel secure in their digital presence. Others might provide offer selection and negotiation coaching to help recipients get the best possible offer and make tough decisions. There could also be pre-recorded video content libraries covering a wide array of career, job search, and employment topics. For high-end outplacement services, recipient needs are met with a white-glove service mentality, with other support including the creation of professional biographies, proofreading of documents, and career planning advice.
Outplacement services are critical for businesses to protect their reputation and do right by their employees, and can offer a wide range of support to ensure that recipients land on their feet quickly and painlessly after layoffs.