Outplacement Services Industry. Some New Statistics

March 12, 2008
Over the past five to 10 years, the outplacement industry has experienced the effects of "belt-tightening" by many companies. Shifting financial priorities for such companies coupled with commoditization within the outplacement industry seemingly have brought forth this period of economization.
Are tides changing? Consider the statistics from the recent research study The Value of Outplacement:
  • The number of individuals receiving outplacement support has increased by 50% over the past two years
  • More than 50% of employers surveyed, reported that outplacement support had been offered for at least 85% of those separated from the organization
  • Approximately 50% of employers surveyed utilize exclusively external outplacement providers

  • 81% of employers surveyed utilize some help from external outplacement providers
Why are companies providing outplacement support?

Beyond minimizing potential litigation from displaced employees, more and more companies are crediting outplacement with a wide array of other benefits. The Value of Outplacement study reported:
  • 65% of employers believe that providing outplacement improves staff morale, motivation and productivity
  • 78% of employers felt the provision of outplacement could improve the organisation's reputation
  • 55% of employers believed outplacement could help it to be seen as an employer of choice
Another 2003 study of over 1,200 HR executives in North America found:
  • 78% believe that outplacement consulting and career transition services improve the organizations' image, both internally and externally
  • 72% said outplacement and career transition services help reduce litigation

Is outplacement linked to retention?

Beyond improving staff morale, motivation and productivity, many employers further credit outplacement with increased employee retention. At first glance, this statement seems contradictory . . . how can services for terminated employees actually affect the "survivors?" Consider the following from The Value of Outplacement study:
  • 55% of employers agreed that providing employment support for staff no longer needed, helped the organization retain those staff deemed necessary
  • More than 70% of employers believe that offering outplacement helps line managers to shed staff with a clearer conscience, making their jobs easier
  • 87% of those managers interviewed felt that it eased the pressure on them, making their jobs easier.
    The 2003 study of over 1,200 HR executives in North America found:
  • 66% said outplacement reduces stress on managers implementing organizational changes, again, making their jobs easier

What are the most valuable components of outplacement?

According to research from the The Value of Outplacement study, the 3 most highly rated components of outplacement support by employers are:
  • Quality of one-to-one consultancy
  • Interviews and assessment training

  • CV/Resume development
And what does the future hold?

The Reed Consulting study reported:
  • 78% of employers surveyed felt the need for outplacement would increase or stay at the current levels for the coming year
  • 22% of employers surveyed felt the need for outplacement would fall in the coming year
A look back . . . An in-depth historical compilation of research documenting the continuously evolving outplacement industry can be found in " A History of the Outplacement Industry 1960-1997 From Job Search Counseling to Career Management a New Curriculum of Adult Learning," by Martha A. Redstrom-Plourd.

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