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Talent Acquisition

Recruiters and Outplacement Firms: The New Oprah and Gayle?

When it comes to sourcing new, top talent, are outplacement firms the recruiter’s best friend? 

Several months ago, I wrote a post about how other companies’ losses can be a recruiter’s gain.  That is to say, the employee that one downsizing company is forced to let go can be another company’s next high performer.

Then today over on Fistful of Talent, recruiting and networking expert Jennifer McClure went one better, saying that recruiters should look to outplacement firms as a resource for finding these high performers. 

With more companies increasingly using outplacement firms to help laid off employees make the transition to a new career, recruiters should take advantage of the opportunity to connect with these outplacement firms. Not only do these firms have access to enough experienced professionals to make recruiters feel like Blossom and Six at a hat factory, but McClure points out two other major advantages:

  • Candidates going through outplacement services have typically spent the time getting an education and have real-life work experiences that can be shared and evaluated in considering them for opportunities.
  • Candidates going through outplacement services are actively involved in completing assessments, working with a coach or counselor and participating in networking activities to prepare themselves for “re-employment.”

Sure, there’s a valid argument for avoiding outplacement firms (“Why would I want someone else’s low perfomers?”)…or at least there is when layoffs aren’t an everyday occurrence, which unfortunately isn’t the case today. 

But while recruiters should still look for red flags – both on resumes and in interviews – when considering candidates, McClure is right to say they need to stop placing a stigma on candidates who’ve been laid off – lest they miss out on tapping into an otherwise experienced and skilled pool of candidates who are simply the victims of a struggling economy.  

Have you used outplacement services as a resource for sourcing candidates? If so, what has been your experience?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
7 comments
Tammy
Tammy

I've had success in working with one outplacement firm - they've been very helpful and give you the options to post jobs and search their resume database. I'm just curious to know if there is a complete list of outplacement firms any where? I'd like to try to partner with more if possible and share this information with my peers.

Tammy
Tammy

I've had success in working with one outplacement firm - they've been very helpful and give you the options to post jobs and search their resume database. I'm just curious to know if there is a complete list of outplacement firms any where? I'd like to try to partner with more if possible and share this information with my peers.

Mary
Mary

Hi Betsy,

That's interesting - I'd think outplacement firms would be more receptive to partnering up - especially given how you offered to return the favor. The fact that you experienced some success elsewhere, however, tells me it just depends on the company and how you approach them (not unlike a job seeker's experience with applying to jobs). I would suggest reaching out to other recruiters (via recruiter-specific blogs and forums) to find out who HAS had success and to gain or exchange ideas with them.

Mary

Mary
Mary

Hi Betsy,

That's interesting - I'd think outplacement firms would be more receptive to partnering up - especially given how you offered to return the favor. The fact that you experienced some success elsewhere, however, tells me it just depends on the company and how you approach them (not unlike a job seeker's experience with applying to jobs). I would suggest reaching out to other recruiters (via recruiter-specific blogs and forums) to find out who HAS had success and to gain or exchange ideas with them.

Mary

Betsy Jenkins
Betsy Jenkins

How would you suggest an in-house recruiter for a company that is hiring identify and contact the right outplacement service?

I have tried to reach out to outplacement a few times in the past with different results. Some outplacement services were not very helpful or welcoming despite accepting job opprtunity listings from us. In another scenario, a local defense contractor laying off many people had in-house outplacement that was very very helpful to us and resulted in some good hires.

Still any suggestions of how to find the right outplacement services to contact, or a list of them would be great.

Thank you.

Betsy Jenkins
Betsy Jenkins

How would you suggest an in-house recruiter for a company that is hiring identify and contact the right outplacement service?

I have tried to reach out to outplacement a few times in the past with different results. Some outplacement services were not very helpful or welcoming despite accepting job opprtunity listings from us. In another scenario, a local defense contractor laying off many people had in-house outplacement that was very very helpful to us and resulted in some good hires.

Still any suggestions of how to find the right outplacement services to contact, or a list of them would be great.

Thank you.

Vicki Weiss
Vicki Weiss

If you don't tell people how much the job will pay, you are eliminating a vast majority of applicants, what's the big secret????

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