Best Outplacement Services and Software – August 2020

The best outplacement services companies help your ex-employees to get on the right track with their careers.  This is a huge benefit to any individual who has lost their job.  Outplacement done right will also have meaningful impacts on employee moral, the risk of lawsuits, and your employer brand.

In this guide, we’re going to walk through the top outplacement vendors that we’ve uncovered through our research, along with best practices to keep in mind when conducting layoffs – either on a large scale or one off.

We spend hundreds of hours researching the best HR and recruiting software so you don’t have to.  We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on practitioners and experts to help us recommend the right software.  Most of the vendors featured on our site have no commercial relationship with us, we want to feature the best software for our readers regardless. Learn more

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Top Outplacement Services

We looked at a broad swath of outplacement services and software firms to build our list of the best vendors. While you may have a regional player, or someone specific to your industry that is a good match for your firm, these are the outplacement programs that impressed us the most.

Challenger Grey brings 50 years of experience to help transitioning professionals to find and get the right next job.  From resumes and LinkedIn profiles to negotiating the offer, Challenger Grey can help your eligible employees.

Keystone provides in depth 1:1 in person coaching for mostly white collar workers who are let go as part of layoffs or one off separations.  They also have a group called Essex which specifically focuses on the unique needs of senior level executives.

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CareerArc’s outplacement offering is powered by proprietary technology that allows them to deliver a great service at a low price.  This means ex-employees can get connected immediately with a vetted coach (90% of which have PhDs or Masters).  It also means they can provide HR with in depth insights into employee activation rates, utilization of resources like resume review, and much more.

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Rise Smart can help your ex-employees with networking, resume updates, job search (via a proprietary job search engine), and of course has a wide array of 1:1 coaching options.

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Rise Smart

Careerminds provides virtual coaching to ex-employees through 150 coaches across North America.  They are unique in that they will continue to help an employee until they land a new position.

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CMP offers in person and virtual coaching for newly separated employees. In addition, their tech allows people to search for jobs, and understand how their resume will be parsed by an ATS.

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Owned by Manpower Group, Right Management has helped transition over 3.5 million employees globally.

Part of the staffing giant Adecco, LHH offers transition services for employees who have been recently let go through 4,000coaches spread across 60 different countries.

GetFive is a tech-enabled outplacement and career development platform that allows HR teams to engage employees at critical points in the employee life cycle.  Specifically, G5's software allows impacted employees to connect 1:1 with career coaches, and generally systematize their job search (resume writing, job applications/alerts, interview prep, networking, etc).  This is a great solution for companies who want to do more than just check the box on outplacement.

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Best Practices

There are a few best practices to keep in mind when doing a reduction in force (RIF):

Story telling: Help separated employees tell their story in a way that maintains dignity.  Story telling is important for talking to family and friends in addition to professional interactions while networking and interviewing.  Lastly, storytelling is important for one’s own sense of self.

Transparency: Have your outplacement provider help you communicate why and when this layoff will be happening.  You don’t want people to stress out for two weeks between and announcement and the actual event.  But, giving a pre-announcement with the logic behind a reduction in force lets people know you aren’t playing games and are trying your best to make this an easy process.

Cultivate hope: Outplacement solutions that allow employees to cultivate hope are giving people their best possible chance of success, and also engendering a sense of camaraderie.

Align incentives: Separated employees who sue their ex-employer, or go on social media rants are shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to their future career.  Both company and employee should have the same goal of getting this person to the next phase of their career.

Final Advice

If your company is contemplating a layoff, or maybe just has recurring terminations, you should consider how an appropriate outplacement package can help drive value to your business, and the individuals you’re parting ways with.

Some of these programs are very expensive.  However, with the advent of technology, it’s become more and more attainable for companies to offer these services to exited employees.

The bottom line is that any separation is going to be a bad day.  The top outplacement firms make it less bad, and hopefully allow all parties to have a happy ending.

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