Is ‘Outplacement’ worth it, really?? – An Open Letter from Our President

By Louise Hack

To our HR colleagues,

I recently came across an article that was not exactly glowing about the Outplacement profession. It claimed that Outplacement is an outdated concept, too expensive with little effect for the job seekers that are provided with it.  Most concerning was the intonation that Outplacement companies are not honest and do not provide the services that they promise, for which they are paid a fee.

As President of CMS, I was both taken a back by the negative tones, but also quite pleased to know that the values that CMS has always stood for, were miles away from the outplacement firms characterized by the article.

Perhaps it is because we are a 30+ year old, family run, wholly Canadian business, where our hearts and souls are tied to our reputation; or perhaps it is because we are people-people, who truly cherish the personal relationships we build with our HR customers and the success of our job seeking clients. Whichever, CMS is very different from its competitors.  A difference, that I am motivated to qualify here for anyone interested in truly assisting the valued employees that they must part ways with.

First, Our People.  The folks at CMS who work with your outgoing employees, aren’t just non-descript ‘consultants’.  Ours our Professional Coaches with qualifications in life, strategic, career coaching and human resources.  Our people look at our job seekers (their clients), from a holistic approach.  The lines between home, work and play are often blurred and interconnected, so to be successful in ones job search LONG TERM, we must look at the person and their families, as a whole.  We also appreciated that there is a very emotional component to job loss, and candidates are not likely to be successful if they don’t adequately move towards acceptance.  ‘Change management’ is also part of our job.

In addition, we have the added advantage of looking at ones job search from a Recruiters and HR Professionals perspective, giving our job seekers an extra leg up when it comes to presenting their skills effectively – we know what they want and how to present it!

Second, Our Program.  The content of the CMS program is broad, in-depth, and online for all our clients to use 24/7.  It includes a PRACTICAL approach to the following four modules: personal and career goal setting, resume writing, interview preparation and resume marketing.   Once our Coaches have ‘connected’ with their clients, they are charged with implementing a meaningful, practical job search – not just to provide advice and comment, but to provide world reknown assessment tools, customized documents, useable lists of prospective employers and recruiters etc., etc.  Our programs get results.  Our Coaches view themselves as partners to their clients in a job search that can often be a stressful and unpredictable time for their families. We will do whatever we can to help alleviate that uncertainty.  And, because it is online, our program content is continually and easily updated to match the fast-paced technological advancements in looking for work today.  In addition, our comprehensive, online program can be delivered to any location across this great country – and, job seekers in more remote areas can also be supported by Skype and telephone coaching.

Third, Our Structure.  CMS is not your typical ‘outplacement’ company and honestly, we have always been years ahead of our time!  We aren’t an organization which maintains vast amounts of expensive office/’career centre’ space, where job seekers are invited to enjoy a good cup of coffee, use the computer systems and compete or commiserate with their fellow job seekers!  No sir.  CMS job seekers meet with their coaches and counsellors on an individual, appointment basis which means that we can keep our office space smaller and our overhead low, resulting in cost effective prices for you.  This is imperative to the success of CMS, because one of our beliefs is that EVERYONE deserves job search help, regardless of their job level.  Keeping our over heads and our program costs low, means they are affordable enough to be offered to everyone within an organization!

Fourth, Our Accountability.  This topic is close to my heart.  What do you have if you do not have the trust and respect of your clientele? Nothing! Businesses cannot sustain themselves for long if their clients don’t trust them, or feel taken advantage of by them.  It is my personal mission at CMS to maintain close contact with our valued HR clients.  I work on the front lines, ensuring that their needs are met, that their HR departments feel supported, and that their employees are being provided with the services that we, that I, have promised to them!   As a new initiative this year, I am ensuring that our HR clients receive an Employee Progress report so that they can be confident that we are working with their people and that their dollars are being well spent.  (all while maintaining the privacy policy we have in place with our job seekers).   My next point, should not need to be made but, as it turns out, there are companies out there that charge their HR clients for services that are never initiated. Hard to believe I know! Rest assured, CMS will only ever bill for job seekers who have actually initiated the program with their coach – not simply because their names are on a list or in a pending file…

We are not your typical Outplacement company. We never have been.  In fact, I wish we could replace that word ‘outplacement’ with something more positive, like “Practical, Personal & Cost Effective Career Management & Marketing Strategists”.  Although admittedly wordy, perhaps, in addition to our recent corporate rebranding, we need to build our own category of HR Support Services along those lines!

By the way, CMS goes beyond ‘outplacement’ in our service offerings.  Our qualified coaches can help with the performance and career direction of your current staff.  We can also direct you to other great HR resources that we have already vetted, so you don’t have to. Please ask me about those, and any other customized HR support options that you may need.  Please think of CMS, as an extension to your HR team – ready and willing to help in any way we can.  In the meantime, please learn more about us at, including our Company Values page, which reiterates much of the above,

Best Regards,

Louise Hack