What Companies Are Saying About Their Partnership with Path Forward

Path Forward works with everyone from recruiters to hiring managers and department heads to help make returnships at our partner companies a success. We talked to some of our partners about their experiences with returnships at their companies. Read their stories for insights into how other companies started returnship programs, the ways Path Forward helped them set their program up for success and recruit and manage their returnees, and how returnships changed the way they view talent.

Partner Spotlights

Patricia Boothe, a senior vice president at Trimble, facilitated Trimble’s returnship program launch this year, in partnership with Path Forward.

“Working with Path forward, we are creating opportunity for an overlooked, extremely qualified, and deserving talent pool.” 

Audible’s Director of Human Resources Programs Supriya Mimani explains why she launched their Next Chapter Returnship program:
“Here you have this tremendous pool of talent, and all that is being held against them is that they took a few years of career break to care for a loved one.” Read more about the amazing talent Audible found through their program here.

Grubhub’s Reconnect Returnship Program manager talks about why they chose to partner with Path Forward to launch their program.
“We are partnering with Path Forward for multiple reasons. The first is that we are very new to this space and haven’t run a program like this before. Path Forward is a leader in the space and has already built out a very robust and scalable framework. They also have outreach and networking capabilities which are very valuable,” says Padmaja Ayyagari, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team Lead.
Read her reflections on the success of the program here.

VMware Senior Recruiter Minal Verma helped launch VMware’s returnship program and has taken part in three successful program rounds.
“[Managers] were really amazed with the quality of [returnees]. They don’t think there was a big gap in skills and they couldn’t really differentiate the returnees from others on the team…Path Forward is a great way to access an amazing, untapped talent pool.

Red Ventures Recruiting Manager Caroline Adams launched the company’s returnship program fully remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Path Forward brings in the expertise that we don’t have, and the network of talented people
who want to return to work. It was a true partnership, where Path Forward advised us in areas where they had subject matter expertise, but also let us be the drivers in what was critical to us, like candidate assessment.”

Cloudflare Head of Solutions Engineering Trey Guinn managed his first cohort of returnees in 2018 and has watched them grow into leadership roles since.
“The returnship program provides you with a source of employees who have humility, curiosity, empathy, and grit, a diversity of experience, and an eagerness to learn. If you’re not getting candidates with these qualities from your traditional hiring sources, then you need to broaden your sources to places like returnship programs.”

VMware Senior Director of Engineering Lilit Div helped kickstart the returnship program at her company.
“As a hiring manager, it’s always a challenge to find good people. Oftentimes, people who come from nontraditional backgrounds had to work harder to get to where they are, and because of that are more appreciative of the role, are hungry to learn, show a lot of potential, and bring different perspectives to the team.”

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Total Customer Experience and Quality Manager John Marlia successfully managed his first returnee from a different state.
“During the program, the Path Forward team worked with me and my returnee to offer support and make sure we were both on track for a successful returnship… I think that the success I saw in the program was due to a combination of the strong caliber of applicants from among the Path Forward audience, the returnship program structure, coaching, and support provided to my returnee.” 

Bobbie Grafeld, VP of Human Resources at Walmart e-Commerce, says, “[In 2018], we had more than 30 women successfully complete returnships in our Silicon Valley office and retained three quarters of them in full-time roles.” After the success of that program, Walmart expanded their 2019 returnship program to nearly all of their Walmart Labs locations across America.

Eva Woo, global vice president of Solution Management at SAP, observed notable traits that SAP’s returnship participants brought to SAP. She found that their caregiving experience made them especially skilled in self-motivation, navigating uncertainty, and emotional intelligence. Read Eva’s first-hand reflections on managing a returnee here.

For Janet VanHuysse, Head of People at Cloudflare, “the Path Forward program is indeed a two-way street. Yes, it helps people return to the workforce, but participants also bring a ton of value to their respective companies. Men and women who’ve taken time off to care for their families bring the kind of maturity and professionalism that only come with life experience.”

Hear about best practices for return to work programs in this recap of our Grace Hopper panel, Innovating Talent Acquisition with Returnships