The Rise of Outplacement Services
Images of executives filing out of corporate buildings with boxes of their possessions dominated the media in October and November 2008, with the collapse of Lehman Brothers being particularly poignant. These images, alongside interviews with recession victims, have installed job insecurity in executives throughout the world.

Career Coach Patti Wilson rightly points out that it is essential to remain flexible and adaptive to changes in corporate culture, and this is especially true when those changes come at the hands of large cuts in the work-force. However, as executives struggle to adapt at the same time as working longer hours to cover those made redundant, what can employers do to help those executives affected by these hard times? Increasingly HR departments are turning to executive outplacement services.

Group of executives meeting over coffee

Executive outplacement services provide a multi-faceted service that guide executives from redundancy to their next opportunity. Their services include resume writing, career coaching and executive training and exposure to executive job opportunities. In most cases the HR department hires the outplacement firm to assist those executives that are leaving their employment. The outplacement service is generally offered for six to twelve months, although some firms even offer a service that is valid until the executive begins their next position. There are many executive outplacement firms operating in this field. Some of the largest firms include; Drake Beam Morin (DBM), Right Management and Lee Hecht Harrison.

Benefits to the Workforce
Outplacement services can cost thousands of dollars per employee, but considering the effect on the individual it is often deemed worthwhile. This is particularly true considering the enormous amount of stress caused by losing the safety net of a regular salary. Furthermore, as mentioned above, having a comprehensive executive outplacement service in place can ease the insecurity of those workers that are not made redundant. No longer does losing your job seem like the end of the world as there are accomplished professionals there to guide you to your next opportunity.


BlueSteps is the career management service of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

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