The Top 5 Myths About Outplacement

Posted  | 2 Comment(s)  |  by Kerry Simmons, Career Partners International - UK

Myth 1 - Outplacement services are just for junior employees.

Many, including senior executives themselves, may question what an outplacement provider can offer those with long, successful careers and strong networks. In our experience, most employees that involuntarily lose their job, regardless of their position in the organisational hierarchy, have feelings of insecurity and anxiety at some point. Senior executives often take longer to transition into their next role or career change, so many face these feelings of uncertainty for a longer period of time, quickly impacting their confidence and clouding their thinking. Effective career transition support can help employees at all levels in the organisation manage these feelings effectively and equip them with the confidence and ability to map out their future career path.

Myth 2 - If an employee has accessed career transition services previously, they do not need support if they experience another job loss.

Regardless of whether it is the first time an employee has involuntarily lost their job or the fifth time, the feelings of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety that often accompany redundancy surface. Combine these recurring feelings with a rapidly changing job market and shifting personal goals, and it’s clear why employees can derive great value from career transition support each and every time they experience a job loss.

Myth 3 - Employees who are not looking for another role do not benefit from outplacement support.

Outplacement is not just about finding another job. Leading outplacement providers do not prescribe or suggest what an individual should do next but facilitate a process whereby they feel empowered to make an informed decision on their next career stage. They will help participants put together a robust and well thought through action plan as to how to achieve a “successful landing.” This may be into a new role or may involve pursing a different route like self-employment, retirement, education, training, or a career break.

Myth 4 - Employees that have not lost their jobs during organisational change do not need career transition support.

It is very common for those remaining to be as profoundly impacted as those individuals who are made redundant through organisational restructures. These “stayers” suffer a wide range of emotions such as relief, guilt, envy and resentment. In addition, those that remain can feel insecure, demotivated and anxious - all of which have a big impact on performance, sickness absence and accountability. Many outplacement programmes can be tailored to meet the specific needs of organisations to help the “onlookers” of change effectively deal with the business and personal impacts and improve their resilience.

Myth 5 - Outplacement is only offered by larger organisations.

The benefits associated with offering career transition support are numerous and well documented. Whether it is improved employee morale, retention of existing staff, protecting corporate and employer brand and reputation, or reducing the risk of legal actions, each outcome provides business and commercial benefits to organisations, both large and small. With programmes costing from as little as a few hundred pounds, outplacement can deliver benefits for individuals and organisations, regardless of their size. 

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  1. Russ Knight's avatar
    Russ Knight
    | Permalink
    Good summary Kerry!

    The one myth I would add is that outplacement is only about large reductions.

    After pursuing a large, growing, healthy prospective client for a YEAR - passed from one person to the next - they finally told me "we don't anticipate any large scale reductions." Of course not. I know your business enough to know that. When I told them this was for those one-off situations when a good person no longer fits the team, an individual contributor erroneously promoted to manager, etc., she melted and said "I spend most of my time working with those bottom 1% employees!"

    Every departing employee brings their own unique situation that requires individualized support. Outplacement is for individual reductions too.
  2. Kerry Simmons's avatar
    Kerry Simmons
    | Permalink
    Thanks Russ. I totally agree with you so I'll add that myth to the list too when we use the article again.

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