Here’s Why You Can’t Afford Not to Offer Outplacement Assistance


We get it — laying off employees is supposed to be about cutting costs and downsizing so your company can survive. In the face of an economic downturn, outplacement assistance might seem like an expense you can’t afford, especially when you’re laying off a lot of people at once. But the truth is that it could save you a lot of money in the long run.

Outplacement assistance is a small expense compared to the costs incurred when a lot of displaced employees claim extended unemployment benefits. When you offer outplacement assistance, displaced employees can transition quickly into new positions, and that will protect your company’s reputation and reduce your legal liability. Here’s how offering outplacement services can help you keep costs down in the long term after layoffs.

Support Displaced Employees to Move into New Roles

Employees typically need some support after a layoff to get them focused on moving forward with a job hunt, rather than languishing on unemployment or muddling through a job hunt on their own. You want your newly displaced employees to be proactive about getting their application materials together, brushing up their interview skills, applying to positions, and giving interviews. The faster displaced employees move into new positions, the less unemployment they’ll claim, and the lower your unemployment-related costs will be. In the contemporary model, career coaching and outplacement services like the ones available at are scheduled within 24 hours of an employee’s displacement.

Employees who are cut loose without any kind of outplacement assistance are likely to flounder. Perhaps they’ll languish on unemployment for weeks or months, growing dispirited and disillusioned. Perhaps they’ll muddle through the job search, finding something eventually, but taking much longer than they otherwise might without guidance. When you offer outplacement assistance, you can motivate employees to start the job search sooner, and help them be more effective, too, so you can minimize unemployment claims from former employees.

Manage Your Liability 

When you’re downsizing, it’s important to handle the layoffs thoughtfully. When layoffs aren’t handled with care, and employees come through feeling disrespected, they can easily become disgruntled and can even decide to seek legal remedies. Offering outplacement services helps employees feel respected and supported as they transition out of the company, so they’re less likely to sue for wrongful termination — and if they do, your handling of the termination will work in your favor.

If you give your displaced employees the services and support they need to find new jobs, they’ll be too busy moving forward with their careers to want to sue — and they won’t feel the need to seek further financial compensation through a lawsuit. You’ll also protect your brand by showing your commitment to acknowledging the role employees have played in advancing your organization, even as they are leaving it.

Keep Your Remaining Employees Focused and Engaged 

When you’re conducting layoffs, productivity among those left behind can really take a hit. Your workforce probably doesn’t know which employees you plan to fire and which you plan to keep, so it can be super stressful for team members to go into work everyday not knowing if they’ll still have a job by the evening. Nor is it easy for them to say goodbye to colleagues, and see those friends and acquaintances struggling emotionally as they gather their things and leave the premises. 

But if your remaining employees see you treating the departing employees with respect and supporting them to succeed in the job market, they’ll feel more secure about their own positions. Sure, they might still worry that their jobs are next on the chopping block, but they’ll know that if they do lose their jobs, they’ll have the benefit of career counseling and guidance to find new opportunities and do well in a new round of interviews. For employees who may have been out of the job market for several years, it can be a big relief to know that they’ll have professional help to freshen up their materials, practice their interview skills, and discover the best opportunities for the career move they want to make.

When you’re considering layoffs, you want to keep costs down as much as you can. But it’s not worth it to skimp on outplacement assistance. Its value to your displaced employees and your company as a whole is just too high not to make it part of your standard severance package.