7 Reasons to Start a Returnship Program

More business leaders who need skilled and engaged talent are driving their companies forward in a powerful way — by embracing professionals who have paused.

By starting a returnship program, your business can immediately tap into a skilled, eager, and often overlooked pool of candidates — experienced workers who have taken a career break to provide care for others.

Today, returnship programs are bringing eye-opening business benefits to more than 200 forward-thinking companies in the United States.

Here are 7 reasons why you should consider bringing a returnship program to your company.

Access an untapped talent pool.

The hardest talent to hire is experienced talent. Get access to a huge number of people who aren’t captured by the traditional hiring process due to bias related to their employment gap and caregiver status. Given an opportunity, they’re making existing teams even better.

Welcome experienced pros with past experience and fresh perspectives.

Returners are standout workers with high motivation. They average 11 years of prior professional experience; 94 percent have a bachelor’s degree, and 49 percent have an advanced degree. Companies crave not just their technical skills, but also their soft skills — time management, attention to detail, eagerness to learn, and service level.

Bolster workplace diversity.

Women are 12 times more likely to put their careers on hold for caregiving reasons. Live out your diversity goals by providing a new on-ramp for experienced female talent, along with other workers of different ages, backgrounds, and life perspectives.

Accelerate the pipeline of women into leadership positions.

Help break down systemic barriers preventing highly talented women from advancing into leadership roles. Women represent nearly 60 percent of the US workforce but only hold 35 percent of senior leadership positions. For many companies, returnships offer an on-ramp for female leaders to return to the workforce and thrive.

Show your culture of support for working parents and other caregivers.

A returnship program is ideal for organizations with a culture of inclusivity. Boost your corporate brand as one that supports your employees’ career through all of their life stages. By offering returnships for caregivers, companies demonstrate to high value talent that yours is a company that cares.

Create lasting, positive change in staff development.

Create meaningful change in the way your company approaches hiring. Take the opportunity to examine and modify your recruitment, onboarding, and learning and development practices, while also giving current team members new mentorship opportunities.

Benefit from high employee engagement, high retention rates, and low risk.

More than 80 percent of caregivers who complete a returnship powered by Path Forward convert to full-time positions. Those alumni have a 90 percent retention rate at the two-year mark of employment. Get and retain high-level talent with low-level risk.