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Are These 4 Myths Keeping Your Company from Benefiting from Outplacements?

By: Ryan Kidman


Friendly interview between Indian businessman hr director holding paper cv hiring for job female African American applicant manager sitting in contemporary office. Human resources recruitment concept.

Outplacement is the name given to the services provided to workers laid off from a company. The assistance is there to help them find a new job and is typically handled by a specialist firm or provided in-house by the employer.

With this term being around for decades now, some myths abound about what it is and how it works in our modern day and age. Here are some of the most common outplacement myths you should know about as a business owner, manager, or other leader.

Myth: It’s Not Worth Investing In

One of the most pervasive myths going around about outplacement is that it’s not worth the hassle of setting up nor the investment. Many people think there are too many other things to put time and money into and that supporting personnel should be far down on the list. However, outplacement services are more affordable and streamlined than most people realize and value for money, too, provided you choose the right firm.

Outplacement services are worth investing in because you will feel better and less stressed about letting people go when you know they have support to help them land an excellent new role. Plus, these services will help exiting employees feel valued and taken care of, which in turn helps to protect your employer brand from too many nasty comments being thrown around. After all, poorly handled layoffs can create many negative long-term financial and other impacts that you’ll want to try to avoid.

Also, organizations that lay off workers can be at higher risk of facing retaliatory lawsuits from disgruntled former employees. Utilizing outplacement services can help minimize cases of departing personnel feeling bitter, angry, or generally unfairly treated.

Myth: Outplacement is Only for Huge Companies

Another common outplacement myth is that this service is only for huge companies. This misconception comes back to the cost side of things, with many people expecting outplacement to be so prohibitively costly that only the largest firms can afford it. As mentioned, though, this isn’t the case, especially these days.

Even the smallest organizations should be able to find a service that works for their budget. One size does not fit all, and you need to shop around, but you should soon locate options that can be tailored to your needs and delivered in a way that works for you and the money you can outlay.

Myth: There’s No Need to Focus on Exiting Employees

Sometimes business owners and managers think there’s no need to focus on how exiting employees feel or what they do next because they’re leaving the company and therefore become irrelevant. However, it’s worth thinking bigger. You certainly do need to pay close attention to the team members you retain, as they typically feel unsettled and anxious in the wake of mass layoffs and may be wondering if they’re next or how they’ll handle taking over tasks from eliminated roles.

By fully supporting the people you let go, you show how much the organization cares about its workforce and believes in doing the right thing, being fair, and acting empathetically. In turn, remaining team members can start to feel more settled, motivated, and secure, and you shouldn’t have as many issues with poor productivity after all the changes.

Myth: Outplacement is for Executive Workers Only

Years ago, outplacement services were often only made available to executive workers who exited a firm. This means that today, there’s a misconception that outplacement is only for top-level workers in leadership positions and no one else. This myth needs busting, though.

Outplacement used to be offered to executives because they were generally the people who had been with an organization for the longest time. They were therefore seen as being owed more from the business they got laid off from. Now, tenures are much shorter for all employees within a company, and everyone moves around a lot more.

Plus, social media and other easily accessible online blogs, forums, and the like mean that how employees at every level of a firm get treated becomes public knowledge quickly. As such, businesses that want to retain “employer of choice” status need to take care of exiting staff, no matter what their roles were or how long they had worked with the organization.

These are just some of the most pervasive outplacement myths that continue to abound. It pays to learn about all of them and educate yourself and your team on the topic of outplacement so you can avoid making mistakes when laying off part of your workforce.

Published: November 22, 2021

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Ryan Kidman

Ryan Kidman is a startup-investor and serial entrepreneur. Founder of Catalyst For Business and contributor to search giants like Yahoo Finance, MSN. He is passionate about blogging and covering topics like big data, business intelligence, startups & entrepreneurship. Follow him on twitter: @ryankhgb

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