Outplacement in the media usually focuses on the benefit it brings to employees. The benefit is easily proven through clients’ feedback which tends to include two major aspects: landing or success rate and process evaluation.
It is, however, far more difficult to prove the economic benefit outplacement contributes as equally qualified groups would have to be observed in the transition situation and their decision as to whether they make use of outplacement services or not.
Another aspect to be considered in the assessment of outplacement consulting is the reason why employers contract outplacement providers. The Outplacement Division of the BDU (Association of German Consulting Firms) conducted a survey among more than 600 HR decision makers in Germany. 16.5% participated in the survey and provided comprehensive feedback.
One of the main questions raised was: To what extent offer employers outplacement programs to leaving employees today and how do they expect this service to develop in the future? The survey results give reason to hope for a positive market development in the medium term. 50% of the HR managers assume that the use of outplacement programs will remain at its current level whereas 46% expect the use of outplacement programs to rise in the future.
HR decision makers were also asked why they offer outplacement programs to redundantees and what they expect from outplacement providers.
So what are the motives for choosing outplacement? 90% of the respondents confirm that outplacement programs are a well-proven tool to avoid law suits which could seriously harm the company, not only economically. For 89% it is important to signal fairness to those leaving the company and send a sign of social responsibility to those surviving whereas 62% believe that outplacement programs avoid damaging the company’s reputation.
Employers expect outplacement providers to deliver fast landings (95% of respondents), to support during the transition process and guarantee reliable processes (87% of respondents) and provide high quality (86% of respondents). Regular reporting and global reach is very important for 59% of the HR decision makers.
While the survey was conducted in Germany it can probably be assumed that the results regarding motives, expectations and future use of outplacement services are representative for other countries as well.
Mühlenhoff + Partner
Arbora Partner in Germany