Why Workers Aren’t Using Your Outplacement Services

186059225While you may be no Donald Trump, saying the words “you’re fired!” is part of your job. Maybe an employee wasn’t performing well. Perhaps you’ve had to downsize. It could be possible that your company is moving in a different direction.

This is where outplacement comes into play. Outplacement, which is a service typically contracted by an employer to transition employees into new roles, is a step above a traditional severance package. These services usually provide job search tools to assist displaced workers. However, executives estimate about 40 percent of workers who were offered outplacement services don’t show up — they’d rather have money in their pocket instead.

Why wouldn’t someone want to use all the tools provided for them? More than likely, it’s because your outplacement service is either lacking or does not contain the right elements displaced workers need. Here’s why:

No defined timeline
Above all, your outplacement solution needs to have a defined timeline. Ultimately, if your displaced workers don’t know how long they have to use the service, they won’t be in a hurry to use it — especially if the timeline is unlimited.

Try this: During exit interviews, make sure outplacement timelines are clear. Many services range anywhere from one to three months. But since every program is different, adjust your program as necessary.

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Not customized
Every person has different needs. Some may have problems crafting the perfect resume, while others could benefit from interview tips and tricks. When outplacement programs aren’t customized towards the needs of your former workers, the true benefit of the service won’t be recognized.

Try this: Variety is the spice of any outplacement service. Along with traditional services, such as resume and interview prep, use alternative methods including job search management tools, career assessments, referrals to financial advisors, retraining strategies, and social networking advice.

Not mobile compatible
It’s no surprise that many people are attached to their mobile devices — and now, the job search is even conducted on them. Research shows that 68 percent of job seekers look for new opportunities on their mobile devices at least once a week. If your outplacement service isn’t mobile compatible, you’re shutting out the many job seekers who are on-the-go, don’t have access to a standing computer, or just want to use your service anytime, anywhere.

Try this: Since creating a mobile compatible outplacement service may take time, adjust some elements within to get the ball rolling. This includes mobile compatible job descriptions or easy-to-navigate interview prep tools.

No alumni connections
When you find out someone went to the same school as you, you immediately connect with them, right? The same can go for your outplacement solution. If your outplacement service doesn’t link your displaced workers with relevant alumni, you’re preventing them from finding those key connections who can really help them in their job search efforts.

Try this: Provide a list of company alumni who are willing to help newly laid-off workers. They can do this through mentorship or by providing a referral. The benefit is two-fold: Displaced workers get to network with alumni, who then may be able to introduce them to potential opportunities.

If you want displaced workers to use your outplacement service, you need to bring it up a notch and really cater to the needs of your former employees. Doing so will ensure increased usage and success of the program.

What do you think? What are some other reasons displaced workers may not use your outplacement service?

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Val Matta

Val Matta
Val Matta is 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 her and CareerShift on LinkedIn.

Val Matta

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