What is outplacement, and why is it important?

Outplacement is a benefit that many employers offer to help laid-off employees begin searching for new employment. Today, approximately 72 percent of employers offer some form of outplacement benefits.* Many companies use outside firms, such as RiseSmart, to provide outplacement.

Why is outplacement important?

Offering outplacement is more than just the "right thing to do" for your employees. Given that your departing employees are about to become your newest alumni, it's likely you'll encounter them again as prospective customers, partners or competitors. You might even think of outplacement as an insurance policy that benefits everyone concerned. RiseSmart’s outplacement solution drives significant value for employers, in the form of:

  • Faster time-to-land for displaced employees
  • Increased engagement and productivity of retained employees
  • Improved cost-per-hire
  • Reduced tax burdens
  • Mitigated risk
  • Protected employer brand
  • More employee referrals


* Source: Hewitt Associates, March 2009

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is a quantifiable measure of an employee's commitment to delivering his or her best performance contributing the extra time, effort, skill and creativity needed to help the organization succeed.High levels of employee engagement translate into superior business performance:

  • Organizations with high levels of engagement report 22% higher productivity (Gallup meta-analysis of 1.4 million employees, 2013)
  • Companies with 9.3 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee in 2010-2011 experienced 147% higher earnings per share on average in 2011-2012 vs. their competitors (Gallup State of the American Workplace: 2010-2012)

However, 70% of US workers are "not engaged" (52%) or "actively disengaged" (18%) in their work, according to Gallup. This is a costly problem any way you look at it. Beyond just lacking enthusiasm for their jobs or employers, these employees actually harm their organizations. They miss more work days, negatively influence their coworkers, and scare away potential customers. Actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity each year (Gallup State of the American Workplace: 2010-2012). 

Why is employee engagement so low?

Numerous factors contribute to the engagement problem, but the good news is that organizations can actually solve it. For example, committing to  a practice of internal mobility will help. Making opportunities visible to all employees and promoting from within will drive higher engagement.

To be fully engaged, managers and employees also want to be empowered to make a difference in their organizations, and this requires transparent processes and executives who set the right tone.

Managers also need appropriate training and incentives to cultivate high-performing, engaged employees. The importance of the employee-manager relationship cannot be overstated. 65% of Americans said replacing their bosses would make them happier than a salary increase, according to a 2012 study cited by Forbes.

Career development is also critical. If employees can develop new skills and pursue career paths of their own choosing, they'll be more engaged and retention rates will rise. A  2012 Randstad Employment Survey found that about 86% of employees who leave their jobs do so due to a lack of career development.

Do any of these issues hit a little too close to home? Not to worry, we've got an app for that.


What is RiseSmart Transition?

RiseSmart Transition, RiseSmart's flagship outplacement solution, creatively leverages technology to optimize time-to-placement for impacted employees. Powered by proprietary job-matching software, the solution delivers highly personalized job leads as well as other job search tools and resources to participants on a weekly basis. Participants also receive unlimited one-on-one support from trained Transition Coaches during every step of the job search process.

How is RiseSmart Transition different from other services?

RiseSmart Transition differs from other outplacement offerings in several respects:

  • Whereas other firms focus on grief counseling, group seminars and providing a soothing office environment for a job search, RiseSmart gets down in the trenches with employees to actually help find them a job
  • Unlike other services that offer automated job alerts, RiseSmart uses sophisticated aggregation and semantic search technology to match each employee’s job preferences against millions of active job listings across the Web, after which a dedicated career expert filters these results by hand to ensure that only pertinent leads are delivered to each employee
  • RiseSmart participants receive unlimited one-on-one coaching and support from veteran career professionals throughout the job search process, while other services provide only limited access to a career coach
  • RiseSmart Transition also designates a personal branding expert to create a new resume, cover letter and social media bio for each participant, unlike other services that offer templates or simply give advice about how the employee should update an existing resume

Who are your customers?

RiseSmart Transition customers include some of the most forward-looking corporations in the Fortune 1000, spanning industries such as technology, healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications and retail. All of our customers are available as references to organizations with a serious interest in RiseSmart Transition.

Do you work with laid-off employees nationwide?

Yes. We use phone, email and Web-based consultation to provide nationwide services cost-efficiently. This approach ensures a consistent outplacement process for organizations with multiple locations. And because we don’t waste money paying Grade-A office rents or flying consultants to group seminars, we are able to deliver a very high level of one-on-one outplacement support to transitioning employees.

How much does RiseSmart Transition cost?

The leading outplacement organizations charge exorbitant amounts for their outdated offerings. A survey by the Institute for Corporate Productivity shows the cost is typically between $5-6k per employee, and companies have been paying those costs because, to be honest, there were no other options. But now, RiseSmart has revolutionized the industry with lower costs and better results. We're much more effective and much more affordable than traditional outplacement vendors. To receive a price quote for your organization, please contact us.

Do you work with all employee levels?

Yes. We offer a variety of service packages covering the needs of all employee levels, from senior executives to hourly workers. Additionally, our programs include options for retirees, spouses, entrepreneurs and all levels of redeployed employees. We'll be pleased to work with you to create a customized program that meets your organization's specific needs.

How do transitioning employees access your services?

Employees access their RiseSmart Transition program through an interactive online portal customized with your corporate brand. To activate outplacement services:

  1. Employees begin by registering for their program online or by phone
  2. Upon registering, each employee is assigned a dedicated Transition Coach, who will provide one-on-one support for every aspect and stage of the job search process
  3. The Transition Coach has a 1:1 session with the employee to begin the job search process, starting with an initial assessment to get to know the employee and his or her priorities, and then sets the direction of the employee's job search


What kind of one-on-one support do employees receive?

We assemble a dedicated three-member team for each participant in the RiseSmart Transition program:

  • Transition Coach:  a veteran career professional with 8 – 10 years’ experience in career coaching, recruiting, and HR who will guide the employee through the entire job search process
  • Personal Branding Expert:  a Certified Professional Resume Writer who creates a new resume, cover letter, and social media bio for each participant based on his or her skills and specific job search objectives
  • Job Concierge:  a career expert who uses RiseSmart’s proprietary job-matching software to choose the most relevant job opportunities for each employee, along with recommended articles, blogs, events, videos, and webinars


How do employers measure results and track the success of RiseSmart Transition participants?

We provide a wealth of data to keep you aware of your former employees' progress and to help you better manage your outplacement investment. Within RiseSmart Transition, you can generate reports to track real-time program usage and monitor:

  • When employees register for RiseSmart Transition
  • When they access various services
  • How actively they use each service
  • How well they're progressing in their job searches (number of job leads and interviews secured)
  • When they find a new job

With RiseSmart Transition, you'll be able to see a clear return on investment and know that your departing employees are in excellent hands.

Why don't you provide group counseling sessions and the use of office space as part of your services?

It’s not our normal practice, but we can provide these services at our clients’ request. However, most laid-off employees today don’t want to be stroked or coddled; they simply want to find a new job quickly. In a country where nearly a third of workers telecommute*, few wish to set up shop in an outplacement firm’s offices to conduct their job search. They’d rather be at home, or out and about, networking on their laptops. The great majority of today’s workers want one thing above all others from outplacement:  a new job. Therefore, we focus our services where they can provide the highest value for the employee.

* Source:  Harris Interactive Poll, March 2013


How does RiseSmart Compass increase employee engagement?

In work, as in life, people are more fulfilled, productive and engaged when they have control over their own destiny. RiseSmart Compass gives employees that control to manage their own careers. Within RiseSmart Compass, employees can unlock tools, content and resources to:

  • Create an interactive career roadmap reflecting their vision for their career
  • Develop strong professional networks throughout the organization
  • Explore potential career paths within the organization privately through interactive activities
  • View and apply for jobs and gigs (short-term projects to sharpen their skills)
  • Find mentors who will guide them and/or volunteer to mentor others
  • Access a wealth of individualized career coaching
  • Receive valuable feedback from their peers

How do employees sign up to use RiseSmart Compass?

It couldn't be simpler. Organizations pass us certain employee information and job data as part of the implementation process, and employees need only log in with their company email addresses to access the application.

Why do employees like RiseSmart Compass?

In short, RiseSmart Compass breaks down barriers:  available opportunities are more visible and accessible, executive perks like career coaching are given to everyone, and employees are free to move about the company.

Employees also appreciate that RiseSmart Compass respects their privacy. What happens in RiseSmart Compass stays in RiseSmart Compass, unless employees choose to share their activities with part or all of their networks.

What does RiseSmart Compass provide to HR professionals?

At RiseSmart, we're committed to delivering measurable results and a quantifiable return on investment. To deliver on this promise, we enable detailed reporting and data analysis. HR professionals can track usage of the application, including skill development and coaching activity, at an aggregate level.

With RiseSmart Compass, the HR organization finally has complete visibility into employee skills, career aspirations and engagement. Using RiseSmart Compass, HR professionals can understand the skills of the employee base and thereby identify and fill skill gaps. Additionally, RiseSmart Compass provides a way for the HR organization to maximize employee potential, improve performance across the organization, and increase engagement and retention.

Who gets access to the information collected in RiseSmart Compass?

We're dedicated to helping HR professionals make a strategic contribution to their organization, but we're also employee-centric. The two philosophies actually go hand in hand:  as usage of RiseSmart Compass increases, so does engagement.
Individual activity within RiseSmart Compass remains confidential to  the employee, and employees can choose to share their activity with part or all of their networks or keep it to themselves. This privacy gives employees the freedom to explore career paths at a safe distance. Meanwhile, the HR organization can see application usage data in the aggregate, which makes it possible to track and report on key trends and have better visibility into the organization than ever before.

How much does RiseSmart Compass cost?

We charge a small amount per employee — very little, compared with what it costs to replace disengaged employees who leave your organization. Let's just say this: your investment will pay for itself...rapidly.

Consider this example:  If your organization were to lose 100 employees in a year, you'd incur serious costs to recruit and train replacements. Assuming a cost of $20,000 to recruit each employee and another $1,000 in training, that's a whopping $2,100,000. This is a very conservative estimate, given that direct replacement costs can be 50% to 60% of an employee’s annual salary, and total costs associated with turnover can be anywhere from 90% to 200% of annual salary, according to SHRM. These costs would increase to upwards of 250% of annual salary for more senior employees.

If by using RiseSmart Compass you were able to retain a small number of those employees, you would realize a full return on your investment.

Ready to get a quote? Call us! Still want to kick the tires some more? No worries, we've got you covered.

What support is available to our organization when rolling out RiseSmart Compass?

We're with you every step of the way, from day one. We've got this down to a science, and here are some of the ways we work with you to design and roll out your RiseSmart Compass program:

  • Organization cultural assessment
  • Rollout best practices
  • Career management workshops for employees at all levels
  • Individual assessment
  • Career coaching
  • Rollout metrics
  • Communications plan and content
  • Internal marketing and branding
  • Promotional items

Want to dig deeper? Learn about our implementation approach.

How are participation and success measured?

As part of the implementation process, your organization can select the desired metrics for success, and we'll work with you to design a program that will achieve those results. We provide ongoing metrics to you, and we also enable on-demand reporting so that you can track aggregate usage and engagement levels for the organization.