Outplacement: Ever heard of it?

Outplacement refers to the help a company gives an employee who can no longer be employed to find a new job. As a rule, an external consulting firm is hired for this purpose. They accompany and support the former employee on the way to a new job. The consultancy service is usually part of a severance agreement. But why should a company do this? Outplacement is not only a cost factor – outplacement consulting has many advantages.

  • First of all, the employee is caught up. For employees at all hierarchical levels, a dismissal is a painful process. It’s at least as stressful as, for example, a separation from a partner. In terms of professional reorientation, this stress leads to hasty “snap decisions” or even to lethargy – neither of which is conducive.
  • Outplacement prevents internal loss of reputation of the employer and corresponding uncertainty among the remaining employees. This significantly reduces productivity losses.
  • Litigation and damaging disputes are avoided. You can concentrate on the challenges ahead.
  • Appreciative separation management is clearly perceived internally and externally. You will be perceived as a responsible employer, even in difficult times.

Outplacement guidance has the following benefits for the company:

  • Employer branding: The social responsibility and appreciation shown have a positive effect on the employer image of the company.
  • Employee retention: The remaining employees experience the company as fair, they remain motivated and loyal. Top performers stay with the company
  • Improved image among customers, suppliers, service providers and competitors.
  • Cost savings through avoidance of costly dismissal and labour court proceedings as well as shorter length of service of employees.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: The company’s own claim to a value-oriented corporate culture is put into practice.

Causes for companies to reduce their staff and lay off employees are company takeovers, insolvencies, relocation of jobs to other locations, sales difficulties and downsizing.

Source: Wanner GmbH


Outplacement guidance is usually divided into six phases:

  1. An initial analysis focuses on the employee’s professional and private situation. It also includes a realistic assessment of his or her career prospects.
  2. The professional and personal qualifications and the particular potential of the person being dismissed are the focus of the second phase. Outplacement counsellors draw up a qualification profile and determine the need for further training. If necessary, they recommend individual qualification measures independent of educational institutions.
  3. In this phase, outplacement counsellors develop an individual application strategy together with the jobseeker. This determines the career objective and the procedure for applications.
  4. The application phase includes the development of application documents and the implementation of applications. Also the preparation of interviews and the assessment of job offers are covered through this phase. In this process, outplacement counsellors support the jobseeker to write a meaningful, individual CV as well as to formulate a suitable written application. This is to prepare him/her for an effective self-presentation at the interview with interview training (if necessary by video).
  5. In this phase, the employee is supported in agreeing on a new employment contract.
  6. Lastly, the employee is coached in the first phase in the new company to secure the probationary period.

What are the costs?

There are different programs for different cases and staff groups: Short-term programs last 3 months and start from about €3,500 up to permanent programs that can cost up to €30,000. In summary, separating from an employee should be done with the same care as hiring and staff development. If such and similar topics interest you, why not sign up for our newsletter, which we send out once a month?