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I am a M.A. in industrial/organizational psychology. Most of my experience has been in human resources and change management. My passion lies in employee assessment, organizational development and employee opinions. Website: www.IanMondrow.com LinkedIn Profile: http://linkd.in/drBYoC

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Who said outplacement had to be expensive?

In today's rough economic times, corporations have had no choice but to decrease their workforce. This can leave terminated employees with feelings of uncertainty and no guidance in their job search. These individuals may also blame the organization for their termination and speak poorly of the company in the future. This can create hostility towards an organization.

Even if a corporation does not have sufficient funding to provide professional outplacement services, they are a variety of tasks that human resources can offer to assist those who are involuntarily terminated. Some may include:

  • Information on re-entering the Workforce. Composing handbooks that contain information about job searching, resume updating, interviewing tips and more can demonstrate to others that the organization wants to assist them in their job search. Once a booklet is composed, it can be mailed to terminated employees with a letter of support from the VP of Human Resources. Another option is to e-mail a digital copy upon notice of termination.
  • Resume and Cover Letter Proofing. Human Resources can offer to look at the resumes/cover letters of terminated. Depending on the size of the layoffs, this can produce a hefty amount of extra work. Therefore, schedule an hour a day where individuals can come into your office for 15 minute consultations. Inform employees that all appointments are first-come, first-serve. Encourage other HR staff to provide similar services.
  • List Organizations that Offer Career Counseling. Every city has several organizations that offers free career counseling and career placement. Although your company may not have a relationship with these organizations, there is nothing wrong with contacting these organizations and informing them of your lay-offs. They may be willing to come into your office and offer free outplacement or HR can provide terminated employees with a list of these organizations.
  • Offer a Reading List. As HR professionals, we are aware of the latest recruitment and hiring trends. However, this is not common knowledge to the topic. Therefore, providing a list of books about these trends can be extremely helpful. If possible, try to make sure these books are available at the local library or be willing to lend a copy.
Outplacement does not have to be expensive or challenging. Providing some sort of outplacement only reveals benefits, not downfalls. It protects the corporation name from being tainted and maintains a positive image of the organization. Terminated employees feel that the organization is empathetic to the situation and supportive. It can build positive relationships; creating the likelihood that terminated employees may return to the company (depending of the availability of future openings). Finally, the quicker these terminated individuals find jobs, the less unemployment the company has to pay. (but lets face it, we are more concerned about the well-being of people).

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