procurement's guide to creating an RFP for outplacement services

If your organization must restructure your workforce, it’s crucial to help impacted employees exit the business in a compassionate and supportive way. By partnering with the right outplacement provider, you can help ensure a smooth transition for team members that sets them up for future success.

As a procurement manager, you know the value of a request for proposal (RFP) when securing new services or evaluating an existing vendor – and you know a generic RFP template for every service won’t suffice. If you’ve been tasked with creating an outplacement RFP, your proposal should help you:

  • source an outplacement provider with the compassion, resources and processes outgoing team members need
  • retain and drive productivity among remaining employees
  • find an outplacement partner that saves your organization money and protects your brand

what are outplacement services?

Outplacement is a service companies use to support workers impacted by restructuring or a reduction in force as they move on to the next step in their careers. Businesses typically hire specialist outplacement providers such as Randstad RiseSmart to deliver outplacement to employees (individuals or groups) as they transition outside the organization.

Outplacement is no longer limited to only senior and upper-level staff members within a firm. Today, outplacement is often offered to employees across all levels and business functions.

With the right outplacement partner, services include (but are not limited to):

  • resume writing and keyword optimization
  • personalized career coaching
  • job search assistance and targeted job leads
  • LinkedIn profile development
  • interview training
  • online assessments, webinars and related resources

when do procurement managers need to develop an RFP for outplacement services?

An outplacement services RFP should be created when you’re planning a layoff, restructuring, or reduction in force (RIF). At this time, your business will be looking to make the transition smoother for impacted employees, while avoiding potential litigation and backlash. The right outplacement provider can help you achieve the best results possible. 

Many organizations are getting ahead and sourcing an outplacement provider before any planned layoffs or RIFs and it’s always beneficial to be prepared.

how long should an RFP be for outplacement services?

There’s no set length for this type of RFP, so make it as detailed as necessary to ensure outplacement vendors understand your specific criteria. It pays to involve C-suite colleagues in the process of developing your RFP, so they can provide context to ensure you get the most insightful responses possible from outplacement firms.

what should procurement managers include in an outplacement RFP?

There are many elements your request for proposal needs to be effective. Our guide contains top tips for building an RFP, focusing on key areas such as:

  • project overview, scope, timeline, and budget
  • your submission and selection process
  • establishing metrics for proposal evaluation
  • possible roadblocks
  • detailed questions to ask vendors

top 10 questions to ask outplacement providers in an RFP

When it comes to outplacement, there are many questions you’ll want to include in your RFP to ensure you’re picking the right partner. Here are the top 10:

  • do you offer help with pre-notification and logistics planning?
  • how do you ensure a great outplacement participant experience?
  • what is your retention rate?
  • what is your net promoter score?
  • how do you incorporate cutting-edge technology in your outplacement approach?
  • are your career coaches certified?
  • how are participants matched to coaches?
  • what is your participant to coach ratio?
  • who helps the participants with their resumes and cover letters? How do they ensure they’re effective?
  • what is the average job landing rate for those who get hired through your outplacement services?

Download the guide for the full list.

what materials should I ask for?

To best evaluate proposals, the list could include:

  • demos of outplacement providers’ technology and solutions
  • proposed cost to provide outplacement services
  • case studies and results that proves success with similar companies of your size and in your industry

your budget for the project

Without sharing your budget, you’ll be inundated with proposals. Letting vendors know how much you have available to spend can weed out potential vendors who can’t work with your budget and saves time spent looking through numerous proposals that are the wrong fit.

If you are unable to provide a budget, share as much detail as you can on the number of employees to be impacted, desired services and current costs associated with outplacement or employee layoffs.

what mistakes should I avoid when building an outplacement RFP?

Even if you’ve written a request for proposal for outplacement services before, it’s easy to make mistakes that have a negative impact on the quality of the proposals you receive. Such errors will affect the level of outplacement support you end up being able to provide impacted workers.

It’s vital, then, to avoid as many potential problems as possible. The downloadable eBook examines some of the main mistakes for procurement managers to avoid, such as asking basic ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions and focusing solely on costs.

how do I choose an outplacement provider?

Once you receive proposals back from vendors, it’s important  to choose the best outplacement services provider possible. Making this decision can be difficult, so you need to consider multiple criteria, including:

  • how and where companies deliver services
  • which vendors prioritizes security
  • the expertise of the coaching team providing services
  • how  providers use the latest technology
  • familiarity with your organization’s specific niche or industry
  • transparency on outplacement service delivery and results

On average, RiseSmart helped transitioning employees find new jobs in less than two months and achieved a 94% overall satisfaction rate among people who used its services. Download the guide today and see how you can create the best outplacement RFP for your needs. 

download the procurement manager’s guide to outplacement RFPs today

Learn more about creating the perfect outplacement RFP with our downloadable guide. It covers:

  • the number of vendors to invite to submit proposals
  • 5 tips for building an RFP for outplacement services
  • what to expect from outplacement services
  • how much you should pay, and some of the main factors affecting costs
  • how to evaluate RFP responses
  • what sets RiseSmart apart from other outplacement providers
  • a relevant case study

Use this eBook as a guide to develop your RFP today and save yourself time and effort. You’ll also drive cost savings for your company by producing an RFP that gets the right results the first time.


the guide


risesmart marketing

staff contributor

30 June 2021

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