If you get the impression that I am just a tad frustrated over this topic… well, you’d be right!

I’ve been a Talent Acquisition Professional for almost 18 years and like the majority of “people” professionals reading this, we’ve all spent countless hours offering resume advice for friends and family or taking that first call from your executive client that just got canned.

I receive a majority of calls and requests from recently “exited-employees” that have been offered traditional outplacement services by their former employer. After literally hundreds of hours of listening and providing advice, I’ve come to a conclusion; traditional outplacement isn’t meaningful, it’s not pragmatic, it’s ridiculously expensive and the majority of time it simply doesn’t work.


It all starts out well and good. The outplacement counsellor is more than happy to book your initial session in a VERY timely manner. Ever wonder why they’re so initially enthusiastic? Because whether you take one phone call or 6 months’ worth of sessions, the client is getting billed the entire fee as of the moment you engage.

Unfortunately, I’ve been told far too many times that the enthusiasm of your counsellor doesn’t last long at all. On average, an exiting-employee is offered 3-6 months of outplacement support, but the format and parameters for engagement are less than desirable. Yes, they will meet with you, but only at a certain time and location. Often the location is their office and the format is a classroom packed with other recently exited-employees. I was once told it felt more like grief counselling or a 12-Step Program.

The result; you quickly become frustrated and disillusioned. You drop out of the program early and the profit margins skyrocket for the outplacement provider. It’s a scheme designed around attrition, not getting to the finish line.

For the counsellors that do provide one-to-one service, they are held to strict guidelines around the use of their time. An in-depth Wall Street Journal report found that counsellors were terminated for speaking to clients too long, or providing additional support on their own time.

While there are some great counsellors out there doing their very best, the vast majority of them haven’t screened a resume or conducted a real job interview in the last 10 years. They’re teachers, not doers. I have 214 Outplacement professionals in my immediate LinkedIn network and I was on page 5 before I found someone with a recruitment or HR background. An executive once told me that her female outplacement counsellor offered this gem of advice; “You should wear lipstick to interviews.” Yep, that happened.


By and large, it’s the program, content and approach that do not work. The outplacement industry is 30+ years old and came to prominence in the 80’s. I recently got my hands on the employee pamphlet for the leading Canadian provider and I would like to suggest that they haven’t changed a thing since the 80’s! There are 10 pages of black text and dribble that vaguely addresses how to deal with your concerns and feelings…“How do I tell my family?”

I’ve been fired twice and I am all about empathy, but here is a news flash for you; THERE IS NO PLACE FOR SYMPATHY IN YOUR JOB SEARCH! It’s almost cliché to say that; no one cares about your feelings in business. It’s not 100% true, but its damn close. Bottom line, your job search is about getting on with it! Getting the right advice, tools and getting you to the finish line ASAP!


After too many years of hearing, “I didn’t get anything out of Outplacement”, I decided to put my money where my mouth was.

In October 2016 after cries and demand from several clients, AugmentHR launched AcquPlacement – where Outplacement and Talent Acquisition collide. Who better to coach and mentor you on your journey, than the same professionals that will facilitate your next employment opportunity…The Recruiter.

That’s right, no Outplacement, Executive Coaches or Career Counsellors. Only senior consultants with significant corporate recruitment experience support our clients. With AcquPlacement – We fight fire with fire!

AcquPlacement is a meaningful, affordable and pragmatic approach to supporting your exiting employees on the journey towards their next role over six sessions/hours.

In the first 15 minutes of the first conversation our clients are shocked to learn that HR and Recruitment professionals look for reasons to exclude candidate’s from the hiring process rather than include them! Cover letters don’t get read (in most cases), and less than 30 seconds is devoted to your resume pass/fail.

The AcquPlacement consultant knows what resume screeners are attracted to and what content persuades them to read a little further. Our “insider” approach promises to catch eyes and ensure that the resume is actually read and not sent to the recycling bin.

And that’s just the beginning!

I look forward to hearing opinion, perspective and some great stories from industry professionals and past and present outplacement clients alike!

Bruce Powell

Bruce Powell