If you find yourself in the position to need to lay off people and downsize your workforce, you may also be in a position to help your people move on with their careers. There are a lot of good reasons for you to do this. By maintaining a good relationship with these staff members, you do a lot to help keep your network strong for when you want to expand later and you show yourself as a good company to work for. Hiring an outplacement service company can be one way to make sure you do all you can for your staff but how do you find the right one? Here are some tips to help you find the right outplacement consulting company:
- Talk to other people in your industry. You know other people who run organizations in your industry. They may have used an outplacement service company at one point or another. Not only is it a good idea to look for personal recommendations for such services, this is the best way to find a good quality product or service, but it is a way to avoid companies that offer substandard advice or services.
- Get your employees involved in the process. You may think you know what your staff’s needs are when it comes to various outplacement service but not really understand them. Before you hire an outplacement service company, communicate with your employees. Find out what their concerns are about getting back into the job market and what they may need to make this process easier. Some may need more training on newer technology. Others may need help with the interview process. Some staff just need help getting their paperwork such as resumes and cover letters together. Work with your staff to determine what services you will want to get from the outplacement service company and everyone will have a much better experience.
- Go with an outplacement service company that has a proven track record. Look at companies and consultants who have a lot of experience and a track record of success. Here are some questions you should ask:
- How long have you been around? A newer company may be good if the people they have working for them have experience. A company is only as good as the people who work for it. You may even find you are going with a company whose name has been around but has all new workers who do not have the experience you need.
- How big is your operation? Keep in mind, a small outplacement services company can do a good job, you just need to know they have the resources they will need to get you and your staff the help you need.
- What is your experience in the industry my company is in? You may have workers who have very specific skill sets and experience, you need the company you hire to help them understand the industry and what your people do.
- What kinds of companies have you worked with in the past? You want to work with a company that has experience with companies that are the same size as yours.
- How many staff will be working on my project? There may be different staff members assigned to the different needs of your staff. Some of the outplacement experts may be there for resume creation or interview prep. Know who is going to do what and how much support your people will get.
- What kind of time can your people devote to this project?
- What is your success rate for companies like this?
- Get references. A reputable outsource service company is going to have no problem giving your references. They should have current and former clients that you can talk to about the services they provide. This is the best way to learn about what it is like to work with the company. Ask about more than if the references liked working with the outplacement consulting service. Ask what it was like to work with them and if they would do anything differently.
Doing everything that you can to help your employees when you have to lay people off is good for your karma, your employees’ future and your company’s bottom line.