Returnships Signal There is a Way Back Should Employees Need to Take a Career Break

Employees like to work for companies that provide programs and resources that support their needs and facilitate growth and success. Research also shows that younger employees want to work for companies that demonstrate a sense of community and global responsibility.  

In other words, people want to work for companies that do the right thing. 

Returnship programs are just one way for companies to demonstrate that they value doing the right thing.  

Individuals who take time off to raise kids or care for loved ones often get overlooked when trying to return to the workforce. The result is talented individuals not being considered for roles they would otherwise accel at. Most agree that this is unjust and needs to be fixed. 

A Returnship Program is a way for companies to fix this.  

Returnships are essentially a 16 to 26 week “internship” that provides career opportunities for individuals who have taken time off from the workforce for any variety of reasons. While these individuals can be men or women, they are typically women who are experienced professionals and have taken time off to raise children or care for loved ones who may need help or have fallen ill. They are often referred to as “Returners”.   

(Read: A Comprehensive Guide to Implementing a Successful Returnship, or Return-to-Work, Program

A typical Returnship hires Returners into positions that are commensurate with their professional experience with a corresponding salary. The main reason for this is that the typical recruiting process underestimates their capabilities due to the gap in their work history and forces them into positions that are below their skill level, if they consider them at all. This results in Returners, who are mostly women, struggling to reach Manager, Director, VP, or Executive level roles.   

Returnships also offer extra training, nurturing, and mentorship to help Returners reacquaint themselves with the workplace and improve any skills, including soft skills, that may have become rusty. 

Proud Employees 
We’ve seen time and again how proud employees are when their company announces their Returnship Program on social media. The number of comments and shares of Returnship posts by employees is truly moving. The Returnship Program sends the message that the company values their employees’ life choices and provides a way back to the workforce should they need to take a career break.