Outlined below are key factors to consider when selecting an outplacement firm.



Types of Services Provided


One decision you will need to make regarding outplacement is whether staff involved would benefit most from group or individual one-on-one outplacement support. Where there is adequate budget, individual outplacement is usually preferred - because, as a personalised support, it can better help people to move forward more quickly.



Areas of Specialty


Review the outplacement firms web site and marketing materials to see what their specialty is or ask them directly. If a firm's expertise lies in serving large companies and supporting administrative staff and your business is small and is displacing senior managers, then that outplacement firm may not be the best one for you.



Length of Time Support is Sought For


An important factor to consider is the amount of time you feel the departing employees will require support for. In general, the more senior-level a person, the longer it will take them to get fixed up. Individual firms are often at their best with particular levels of seniority and with programmes of a matching length.


Associated with this is what type of support will be provided, going forward. For instance, will it be ongoing one-on-one sessions with a counsellor - or something less such as just job search support facilities and materials.





An important factor that varies greatly according to the level of support required. Most firms facilitate you to select services ‘a la carte’ to meet your needs. Ask whether the outplacement firm has a minimum fee requirement.


Another important query is will you be charged only if a departing employee actually uses the firm for support - or will you be charged regardless? You may also want to ask are there packages available with just services you feel particular departing employees would benefit from - without unwanted services included.





How important is it that the outplacement firm is exploiting the internet and new technology in its job search strategies? Is it likely that the internet can assist departing employees in opportunity search? If you judge these is an important matter, check how much importance the firm places on the Internet by reviewing their web site. Check too are they linked up with top online career sites? Do they post client CV’s on to these sites? Do they distribute CV’s electronically to select employers and recruiters?




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





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