Returners: an untapped source of talent for Irish employers

Returners offer employers the opportunity to tap into a rich source of expertise and experience.  With some support returners can quickly come back up to speed in their area of expertise.

Career Returners is conducting the first research into the Irish returner market and is gathering data both from employers and potential returners.   This research is being used to customise the services we offer to employers.

Preliminary analysis of this research indicates that Irish employers see that returners give them an opportunity to rapidly acquire high calibre skills and expertise, combined with maturity and commitment.  “I found returners always come back with a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard,” noted one employer.  “We often employ returners and usually give them extra marks in the selection process for wanting to return, ” said another.

The scale of the returner market is set to grow, because of increasing interest on the part of the employer and also because it is considered a Government priority, which has been called out under the National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020  which has set a goal to increase the number of women returners in the market.

What we do

Career Returners is committed to supporting employers to access and ‘onboard’ returner talent.  We do this by:

  • Advising employers on where returners fit into their talent strategies
  • Conducting audits of recruitment and other processes to establish if employers are “returner-friendly”
  • Designing bespoke return-to-work programmes to meet the talent requirements of employer organisations and to address particular requirements of returner candidates
  • Delivering such return-to-work programmes through a combination of training, coaching, mentoring and potentially work placements, or “returnships”
  • Providing coaching on confidence building and personal development with new employees who have recently returned to work
  • Providing training and other supports to line managers and team members, who are critical to the successful “onboarding” of returners
  • Evaluating returner initiatives to ensure they fully support employers‘ talent strategies

Initial consultation

Career Returners offers employers an initial complimentary consultation session designed to:

  • Familiarise them with the opportunities in the returner market
  • Review trends and insights emerging from our returner research
  • Understand employers’ particular talent requirements and where returners may help meet particular skills shortages
  • Consider how potential programmes and other interventions can add most value to employers’ talent strategies