Choosing an Outplacement Company


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What is outplacement?

If you are leaving your company, whether it is as a result of redundancy or an agreed parting of the ways, then outplacement services can be of great benefit in supporting your transition into a new job.

Outplacement services typically include helping explore your career options, devising your CV, interview preparation and job search strategies.  Networking opportunities and information resources are also provided.

In a job market where employers are spoilt for choice, working with an outplacement company can make the fundamental difference between getting the job offer you want or failing to even get on the shortlist.

How do I choose the best outplacement company?

Here is some advice on what to look for:


Ask around to see if anyone you know has a recommendation for an outplacement company to use.  Organisations like your professional institute or other trusted authorities may also have recommendations.  Make sure that the outplacement company also follows a recognised Code of Practice such as the Career Development Institutes.

Think about the career support you need

Some companies are stronger in some areas than others e.g. some will offer a full career management service encompassing a full career assessment and career review as well as practical job search support. Others may provide little more than a CV writing service. It’s helpful if you have an idea of what you think your support needs are in order to find the outplacement company that is right for you.

Compare and contrast

Check out at least 2 to 3 outplacement companies so that you can draw comparisons.  Look through their websites and telephone them for more information. Most outplacement companies offer a free initial meeting so go visit the ones that sound suitable. It’s an excellent opportunity for you to find out more about the company, its outplacement services, its career coaching staff and how the company operates. Reputable companies will provide full written information about the services on offer, the resources available, the costs involved and any terms and conditions.

Your coach

Check the credentials of the coaching team and the coach you will be working with. They should have a minimum of the following:

  • high-level coaching qualifications ideally in career coaching
  • substantial experience of working as an outplacement specialist or career coach
  • expert knowledge of recruitment and job-searching
  • experience of working at a senior level within an organisation

Ask how a coach will be selected for you. Is it just who happens to be available on the day you turn up or is there careful matching being undertaken?  A good working relationship with your coach is essential so ensure that there is the possibility to change your coach if you don’t hit it off.

Decision Making

Make sure that you are crystal clear about the services that are being provided, the costs, the venue, any time limits or restrictions, what is included and what is not. This should be confirmed in a written contract which you should read through carefully.

Unfortunately, there are a small number of companies who use high-pressure sales tactics to win customers. These tactics can include flattery, cast-iron guarantees of success, evasiveness about price, and even intimidation.

So, unless you are absolutely sure you wish to proceed, always give yourself some clear thinking time outside of the meeting to consider your decision and any further questions you may want to ask before going ahead.  It’s important that you feel entirely comfortable with the company with whom you are going to be working.  Fortunately, it is easy to find companies who operate in an ethical way.

What can Personal Career Management offer?

We provide a range of outplacement services that can help you with your job search campaign. We follow the CDI Code of Practice and have been described as the “best in the business” by the Guardian, CV Library and many other recruitment websites. We have an excellent reputation in the industry and a 98% client approval rating.

We offer a free initial meeting for you to come and find out more about our services.

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