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Evaluating Outplacement Firms - Key Factors to Consider

by Quest Outplacement

In today’s economy, more and more organizations are finding themselves faced with having to reduce headcount to remain competitive.  Here are several key factors to consider when evaluating potential outplacement firms if your organization is faced with planning for a reduction in force.

  1. Type of Outplacement Support.  One decision you will need to make regarding outplacement is whether you feel your displaced workers would benefit most from group or individual one-on-one outplacement.  With one-on-one outplacement, the displaced employee would receive personalized, one-on-one support with a career coach to help them move forward.  With group outplacement, the displaced employee would receive support through attending group seminars.

If one-on-one support is desired, can it be provided virtually or remotely to reduce costs or would it need to be provided face-to-face in an office setting?

  1. Availability of Online Outplacement Tools.  Another factor to consider when selecting an outplacement provider is if you would want the provider to offer access to online job search tools.  The benefit of online tools is that they can be accessed 24/7 from any location at a displaced employee’s convenience.  Online tools that an outplacement company can offer include a proprietary, password-protected career portal covering the different steps in the job search process, career assessment tools, interview prep tools, and salary survey resources.

  2. Type of Resume and Cover Letter Support.  Some outplacement providers actually develop a resume and cover letter for the displaced employee.  Other outplacement companies provide a workbook or online tools to help the displaced employee create their resume and cover letter for themselves.  You will need to decide which type of support best benefits your displaced employees. 

  3. Experience with Current Job Search Practices.  How important is it to you that the outplacement firm be experienced with Internet job search techniques?  Is it likely that the Internet will play a key role in your displaced employees’ job search strategy?

If you determine that Internet savvy is an important evaluation point for an outplacement firm, check to see whether the outplacement firm recognizes the importance of the Internet by having a web site. Are they aware of the top online career sites?  Do they offer a service to post displaced employees resumes on these top online career sites?  Do they have the ability to distribution resumes electronically to a select group of employers and recruiters?

  1. Length of Time Outplacement Support is Provided.  Another factor to consider when selecting outplacement services is the amount of time you feel the displaced employee would require outplacement support.  In general, the more senior-level the position, the longer it will take the displaced employee to find suitable employment.

    In today’s economy, it takes jobseekers longer to find a suitable position.  Most jobseekers would likely benefit from a minimum of three months of outplacement support.

  2. Outplacement Costs.  Outplacement costs must be considered when selecting an outplacement firm.  Check to see whether outplacement costs are clearly defined and stated on the outplacement firm’s web site and in their marketing materials.  Are there affordable outplacement packages available that provide the services you feel your displaced employees would gain the most benefit from?

Does the outplacement firm have a minimum fee or minimum headcount requirement?  Will your organization only be charged for those displaced employees that elect to utilize outplacement services?  

By considering each of these factors you can develop effective selection criteria for deciding on an outplacement firm to best meet the needs of your displaced employees while adhering to your budget constraints.

Copyright 2001-2011 Quest Outplacement.  All Rights Reserved.  Reproduction of this article is prohibited without the written consent of Quest Outplacement.

Quest Outplacement provides individual, one-on-one outplacement services at a price point below many group seminar outplacement options, enabling employers to make the benefits of personalized career transition services available to all displaced employees within their organization.  Contact Quest Outplacement by phone at 1-888-430-2637 or by email at info@questoutplacement.com


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Contact Information
Quest Outplacement
A Division of Quest Career    Services, LLC
11436 Marketplace Dr. N, Ste 217
Champlin, MN 55316
Toll Free: 1-888-430-2637
Fax: 763-447-3379