Also known as: External placement, separation management

Outplacement is an additional voluntary service by the employer that he can make available to those employees he has to part with.

Due to the steadily increasing dynamism of the economy and the changes in the requirement profiles for employees, outplacement has become enormously important.

Objective of the outplacement

The offer of outplacement can be made voluntarily by the employer, but it can also be an offer as part of a social plan - especially in the case of company closures or mass layoffs.

The objective of ouptlacement is that the then former employee can accept a new professional challenge as quickly as possible and thus the previous achievements in finding a new position can be rewarded.

Phases of outplacement

In order to enable the smoothest possible transition to the new position, outplacement usually consists of different phases: the inventory, the creation of a search profile and, if necessary, of application documents and further training or the creation of further skills.

1. Inventory
One of the main advantages for the employee with outplacement is that leaving the previous professional task and reorientation is subject to a structured, tried-and-tested procedure. For example, the job reference is not recognized as a point to be dealt with just a few hours before leaving the company, but more timely.

In this first phase of the inventory, it is also about treating each other with respect and getting the process, which is unpleasant for all sides, over and done with as well as possible. Most of the time, both direct supervisors and employees are faced with the same problem: Most of the time, you would have liked to continue working together; often it is decisions by third parties that lead to the separation.

During this period, a detailed profile of the occupational skills and previous tasks of the job holder is created and a joint decision is made about the direction in which the employee would like to develop. The work-life balance can also be taken into account.

2. Search profile and future challenges
After this initial inventory, outplacement helps to find and implement a search strategy for the new professional challenge in good time.

This can include coaching discussions with which it can be worked out where the employee would like to develop and where potential and knowledge may also be found that has not yet been used.

3. Active improvement of application chances
Another essential component of outplacement is the lowering of hiring hurdles or skipping these hurdles for the next professional challenge.

For larger outplacement projects, this includes the classic transfer or employment company. Here, the time off from work with the previous employer is used to develop application strategies and, if necessary, to accumulate additional specialist knowledge.

With the new level of knowledge and professionally improved documents, it should be easier for employees to find a new task.

Advantages and disadvantages of outplacement

Outplacement is linked to a comprehensive range of services for employees, which takes away some of their worries about the right presentation, the right application documents or the path to be taken.

The reduction in uncertainty and a somewhat higher level of predictability reduce the stress factors, especially after the often very unexpected separation.

Criticism of outplacement is always loud when long-term employees are urged to switch to a transfer or employment company instead of a severance payment.

Perhaps older employees in particular would only like to work part-time and use the severance payment as a pillow or reserve. Then you would prefer a voluntary, higher severance payment instead of the costs associated with an employment company.


  • Measures to shorten the phase of professional reorientation
  • Mixture of advisory and activation components
  • Outplacement measures are part of the costs borne by the employer
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