Supporting returners

How to support returners to restart their careers

Some employers choose to run specific work placement programmes for returners.  Others choose to offer direct entry support for returners. Career Returners works with employers to design and implement either of these approaches and customise them to meet specific needs.

Work placement programmes

Some employers choose to set up specific work placement programmes targeted at potential returners.  These are often known as “returnships” and in some respects are similar to graduate internship programmes.  Generally such programmes involve taking in a group of returners for a paid internship of 3-6 months.

As part of the programme the returners benefit from:

  • Coaching
  • A buddy or mentor from within the organisation who can assist them with the transition
  • The support of their peer group
  • Technical retraining in their area of expertise to bring them back up to speed
  • On-the-job paid work experience.

Direct entry returner support

Some employers choose not to run specific programmes. Instead, they adapt their standard recruiting and HR policies and procedures to attract and support returners on an ongoing basis.

From a recruiting perspective, this may mean:

  • Using alternative channels for identifying returner candidates
  • Updating candidate screening criteria
  • Updating online testing
  • Training interviewers on how to assess candidates who have been out of the conventional workplace for an extended period.

Once returners have been recruited they may be offered supports such as coaching sessions, a buddy or mentor, and some technical retraining for the initial period of employment.