Generally in this situation , all get frustrated, minds full of questions etc. One better suggestion to you will be to try to get in touch with your known employers, companies of same field and ask them to hire your employees 9 this work out will let you gain the trust of your employees and have positive thinking about you .You can also help them in getting their resume forwarded to other employers or have their interviews conducted at some better companies .
the only ethical and moral thing is that " United we stand " concept should be followed as if you follow the legal or formal ways then both sides will have their say and the final conclusion will be dispute , loss of faith and the loss of trust you have built in years . you know it takes years to build trust and less than seconds to break . Many times it also happens that competitors try to malign your reputation by various ways .
so looking over the current scenario i would suggest you the following :
First try to grab the leaders/influences of the departments: Have proper meting with them and tell them your situation honestly but do promise them some time you require to settle their account . ask them to formally resign and be in touch with them regarding settlement of their account . You can see if what best you can help them and get their life and your brand identity saved well .
Many Business move in dormant stage for a while as business cycle do affects every business and it's undenying fact .
Then you need to ask them to convince their teams and tell that you will be settling their account in a period of time as the ways like termination, retrenchment ( you can check your performers and non performers and judge accordingly ) etc . may work out for you for a while .
Hope my suggestions would work for you . I wish you success .
10th January 2014 From India, Gurgaon