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How Outplacement Services has Evolved in India Over the last decade Modern outplacement firms are getting people back to work faster and with more

By Arpita Majumdar

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Reductions in force are a reality of today's inter-connected world. Volatile economic situations and business scenarios create an impact on all the stakeholders involved. As reported, India's $160 billion IT industry laid off more than 56,000 employees in 2017. During these difficult times, a lot of organisations made the news for their hasty and unprepared notification practices. In a few cases, the manner in which the companies let employees go and the lack of support and compassion for impacted employees resulted in public displays of anger and sparked criticism from the press and the community. Business decisions aimed at improving profitability and meeting business goals ended up hurting the corporate brand of those organizations that experienced layoffs and resulted in a loss of trust.

Downsizing might be inevitable however, organizations have the opportunity to change the outcome of laying off employees if communication is handled honestly and responsibly and employees are given the support they need to move past their negative feeling and start rebuilding their professional future quickly. Being laid off may be a reality of the ebbs and flows of the economic and business climates, but there is a way for companies and their employees to experience more positive outcomes.


In an effort to do the right thing for employees and to avoid negative repercussions, companies have started investing in outplacement services in times of layoffs and workforce restructuring events. Outplacement has been a known concept globally since the 1940s, but in 2008-2009 MNCs in India gradually started offering outplacement to their impacted employees- IT & banking sectors were the early adopters of this trend.

Over the years, businesses have evolved and started partnering with outplacement services providers to learn the best practices for handling layoffs and providing support to impacted employees. Outplacement experts also provide critical training for the managers who must deliver notifications to ensure they know the best practices for dealing with such scenarios – ensuring their practices are fair, transparent, and ethical. As part of a developing business strategy, businesses have now known the importance of being perceived as a good employer. As a result of this new trend toward offering outplacement to all impacted employees, organizations are creating goodwill among past, present, and future employees, the community, the press, and their customers and future customers.

As part of the evolution of companies in India, the role of HR has also changed in the last decade and evolved from an administrative function to a strategic business partner within the organization. Now, HR leaders are also the employer brand builder and protector of the company image. Positive brand initiatives -- like outplacement -- have helped HR to protect employer brands while helping guide employees at every level with coaching and mentoring support to land a new job quickly. Contemporary outplacement providers map each transitioning employee with a personal career coach, a professional resume writer, and innovative technology support to help manage their job search efforts.

Outplacement Service Providers

10 years ago, only MNCs would bring this best practice, but now even homegrown companies, irrespective of the industry they function in, are considering partnering with an outplacement services provider. Technological advancements that are replacing human labour and other workforce trends are the driving force behind the recent uptick in companies hiring outplacement services to help their employees reskill and upskill themselves. Outplacement services providers make the transition process of redundant workers less painful by providing them with the coaching they need to determine their transferable skills as well as areas where they may need to learn new skills to land a new job.

Contemporary outplacement providers are also developing a combination of high tech and touch solutions to address the needs of job seekers. By providing the latest in job search technology along with a personalized model of three career experts, modern outplacement firms are getting people back to work faster and with more ease.

Companies taking remarkable efforts in engaging with their employees and making sure they maintain the brand image of an employer of choice, we can say that outplacement firms are here to stay!

Arpita Majumdar

National Sales Manager, RiseSmart.

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