Outplacement and managing the employer brand

We work in an environment of near-constant change where the attraction, retention and ongoing engagement of experienced talent is critical to organisational success.

At 10Eighty we expect that many organisations will need to make hard decisions with regards to manpower planning in the year ahead. Many will need to restructure and make changes to top management teams as part of their people strategy. Outplacement carries a strong message that the intention is to treat former employees with respect.

Outplacement does more than showing that the organisation is concerned about the proper treatment of those they make redundant. It also goes a long way to reassuring others that the organisation will do what they can to help them should further change be necessary, and reassures those left. Morale and motivation are sure to be affected by redundancies but, handled well, the effects can be mitigated and that protects your employer brand intact.


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Protect your image

Protecting the organisational image and employer brand are crucial when HR need to start hiring, particularly when it is for senior level roles. It’s all too easy for disaffected staff to do harm to your employer brand online. People who air their grievances about the organisation or ex-colleagues may seriously affect your employer reputation, impacting both current staff and future recruitment activity.

It is also important to maintain positive relationships with talented people whom you may want to rehire at some point. And face it, your top talent will be talking to headhunters, competitors, clients and suppliers and it is better for you if the portray the organisation favourably. It is more than likely that some may be a potential future customer. The executive you let go today may be tomorrow’s decision maker in a customer or client organisation.

Employer brand really matters so it pays to give serious thought to the support provided to departing employees. If your employment brand is damaged it could give rise to serious repercussions when you seek new staff. Candidates care about your reputation in the employment marketplace, they will do their research and will discount the organisation if they don’t like what they find.

Why employer brand matters

  • Talent acquisition – organisations with a robust employer brand are 250% more likely to rate their overall talent acquisition efforts as highly effective, according to
  • LinkedIn research shows that 83% agree an employer brand has a significant impact on the ability to hire talent, reduce staff turnover by up to 28% and is twice as likely to drive job consideration as the company brand.
  • Candidate quality – in 2014 CEB found that employers who invested in employer branding reported a 54% increase in high-quality candidates.
  • Employee engagement – the investment leads to a 130% increase in employee engagement, according to a Gallup survey.
  • According to Harvard Business Review, a minimum 10 percent pay increase is necessary to convince a candidate to take on a job at a company with a poor employer brand.

It is plain that outplacement is more than an ethical responsibility, it is an important factor in protecting the organisational brand, performance and profitability.

The future-proof career

At 10Eighty we advocate an employee-centred approach to managing employee career pathways. Using meaningful career conversations to facilitate career management has the added value that when it comes to restructuring the organisation is better placed to transition employees to new roles and negate the loss of productivity, engagement, and loyalty that may affect the remaining workforce.

Structured career planning and feedback puts a focus on understanding the aspirations and values of employees and that means management can position the individual, with tangible, practical support and advice, for a career move if redundancy becomes an issue.

With a clear understanding of the employee, the organisation may, in fact, save some redundancy and outplacement expenditure. 10Eighty maintain that aligning employee motivation and aspiration with organisational needs affords improved workforce agility and adaptability in response to a complex and evolving marketplace.

Career management is about accruing experience so that the employee is encouraged to appreciate as an asset. Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn points out that prospective new hires are asked “What are you going to do when you leave LinkedIn?” because they are committed to the idea that as an employer they are going to be transformative in the prospective employee’s career. When managers and team members spend time talking and thinking creatively about career pathways and networking effectively within and beyond the organisation then staff are enabled to shape a future career in a competitive and dynamic environment.

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Michael Moran – CEO 10Eighty

A blog about career and talent management, things that might help you with your career and in your job.