Role of HR Consulting Firm During Termination and Outplacement

Termination of employment simply means the ending of employment in a particular organization. Termination of employment is inevitable in any employment relationship and it may happen either voluntarily or involuntarily.

  1. Voluntary termination may come through resignation, retirement or death of the employee.

  2. Involuntary termination of employment can take place by employee dismissal or lay-off. Dismissals and lay-offs often result in hampering the terminated employee’s chances of finding a new job. Moreover, such employees do avoid mentioning such jobs in their resume which create unexplainable gaps in their career profile. On the part of employer, it is mandatory to follow proper termination rules and policies while applying dismissals or lay-offs as the terminated employees may opt for legal recourse. Also, such terminating activities are taken in negative sense among the workforce market, which adversely impacts the reputation of the organization as an employer.

It is during such situations that an organization decides for outplacement and career transition services. A carefully handled termination along with proper severance package and outplacement service helps the organization in avoiding legal action from employee’s side.

Actually, outplacement is the service offered by the former employer to help the terminated employee in locating a new job. The former employer, in this case, covers all the costs to facilitate the employee with the new job. This minimizes the impact of termination on employee and prevents him from the pressure of being jobless/finding a new job. Such services also alleviate the standing of the organization as an employee-centered organization. Moreover, by taking up outplacement services, an organization diminishes the risk of lawsuit.

The organization generally calls for the services of an HR Consulting Firm in cases of termination and outplacement to deal with the whole process in a professional and dignified manner. The HR Consulting Firm works along with both, the employee and the employer, so as to make the event of separation strategically fitting to the needs of both the parties.

The service of HR Consulting Firm runs in three phases as follows:

  • Pre-termination phase which involves a detailed planning of employee termination and outplacement with the organization.

  • Termination phase which includes the actual declaration of termination to the employee. This phase covers the support and guidance provided to the employee in dealing with termination and locating for a new job.

  • Post-termination phase includes focus on two groups - one group is the organization and it’s the retained employees, and the other group is that of the terminated employees. It is essential for an organization to retain the trust of the retained employees in such cases. Hence, the HR Consulting Firm needs to deal with the anxiety created among the existing employees by properly coaching them. The terminated employee, at this stage, requires career guidance and support to manage change as the new job is being provided with.

Throughout these three broad phases of termination and outplacement, an HR Consulting Firm generally provides following individual services to the organization and retained/ terminated employees:

  • Career evaluation
  • Planning the career continuation and development process
  • Career guidance
  • Resume writing
  • Interview preparation
  • Network development
  • Job search, and research on the same
  • Job market analysis
  • Administrative assistance - preparation of concerned documents and letters, etc.
  • Handling exit meeting
  • Skill development programs
  • Workshops to deal with the period of transition
  • Checking legal compliances
  • Preparing severance packages

Besides, an HR Consulting Firm also guides the concerned managers handling the termination meetings in carefully communicating the news to the terminated employees as well as to the staff, so as to maintain the dignity of the terminated employee and negate the concern among the retained employees. A detailed plan about the sequence and content of the meeting is chalked out to make it more definitive and justified.

Hence, the HR Consulting Firm aims at making the process of termination and outplacement manageable and respectful for the organization and the terminated employee.


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Human Resource Management