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What to look for in outplacement services

Companies that lay off or fire employees can make the process a little easier is providing the best outplacement services they can get their hands on.

Outplacement services are used by organizations during the termination process. In addition to traditional services like severance packages, outplacement is a service that’s supplied by a company specializing in assisting an individual’s job search after a layoff or job loss. Using these services can also fight unemployment and decrease time spent job searching — according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average duration of unemployment is about 37 weeks.

When you’re looking for an outplacement service, there are several things to consider. Keep these outplacement service must-haves in mind:

Career management tools

When you fire an employee, they may not be expecting it. Those already on the job search may have a fine-tuned resume or an online personal brand, but others aren’t as prepared and may need career-management help.

What are some career-management tools? They include resume and cover-letter assistance, job-search management resources, career assessments, interview preparation, referrals to financial advisers and retraining strategies. All of these outplacement tools help people start the job search without feeling empty-handed.

Alumni services

Your connections are the most valuable resource in your job search. That’s why finding outplacement services that allow workers to easily connect with alumni can dramatically contribute to the job search.

Many educational institutions connect students with alumni. The same can go for your former employees. Outplacement services can provide a list of company alumni willing to assist newly laid-off workers in their search. There are two benefits to this: alumni outplacement services will foster a deeper network while introducing your former employees to new (and even unadvertised) opportunities.

Relocation assistance

While this may seem unconventional, look for outplacement services that include relocation assistance. A survey reported that 44% of workers say they’d relocate for the right job. Outplacement services can provide assistance to those who are looking outside the region, especially if opportunities in your area are bleak. Relocation benefits will obviously depend on your budget. However, you don’t have to hand former employees wads of cash. Consider helping them with relocation through a stipend or by connecting them to departments in other territories.

Mobile software

If you were conducting a job search in 2014, you’d understand that opportunities can pop up at the drop of a hat. With this in mind, choose a service that includes mobile options. This allows your displaced employees to use those career-management tools or the alumni directory through a laptop, smartphone or tablet.

While letting go of employees is never an easy process, bringing on innovative outplacement services will help displaced workers to find great opportunities. Use this list as a guide to find the right outplacement services for you.

Do you offer outplacement services? What elements do your outplacement services currently offer?

Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. Connect with Matta and CareerShift on LinkedIn.