If you’ve taken a break from your career, you may feel intimidated by the prospect of returning to the workforce. Fortunately, The concept has been around for over a decade. However, returnships are trending again due to the surge of people re-entering the workforce after leaving their jobs during the early days of the pandemic. A growing number of companies have also started to offer returnships as a way to attract additional talent. This trend in hiring that’s making it easier for people who have taken a break to re-enter the workforce. It’s called a returnship.
In this blog, we will explore what returnships are, why they are becoming increasingly popular, how they work, and what benefits they offer.
What is a Returnship?
A returnship is a type of internship designed for individuals who have taken a career break and are looking to re-enter the workforce. Unlike traditional internships, returnships are aimed at experienced professionals who have taken a break from their careers, such as stay-at-home parents, caregivers, or those who have taken time off due to illness.
Returnships usually last from a few months to a year and provide a supportive environment that allows individuals to reacclimate to the workforce. They are often offered by large companies, such as IBM, Goldman Sachs, and Johnson & Johnson, and can lead to permanent employment opportunities.
Why are Returnships Becoming Increasingly Popular?
Returnships are becoming increasingly popular for several reasons. First, they provide a solution to the talent shortage that many companies are facing. Second, they help to address the gender pay gap by providing women with an opportunity to re-enter the workforce after taking time off for caregiving responsibilities. Third, they provide a low-risk way for companies to evaluate potential employees.
Returnships are also beneficial for individuals looking to re-enter the workforce. They provide an opportunity to update skills, learn about new industries, and make valuable connections. They also help to address the confidence gap that many people experience after taking a career break.
How do Returnships Work?
The structure of a returnship can vary from one company to another, but most programs follow a similar structure. Here is what you can expect from a returnship:
Application Process: Like any job, you’ll need to submit an application to be considered for a returnship. Companies that offer returnships typically have an online application process that requires you to submit your resume, cover letter, and any other relevant information.
Interview: If your application is selected, you’ll be invited to interview for the returnship. The interview process can vary from company to company, but you should expect to answer questions about your experience, skills, and why you’re interested in the program.
Program Start: Once you’re accepted into the program, you’ll typically begin the returnship at the same time as other interns. You’ll be given a mentor, and you’ll work on real projects for the company.
Evaluation: At the end of the program, you’ll be evaluated based on your performance during the returnship. If you perform well, you may be offered a full-time position at the company.
Why Do Companies Offer Returnships?
Companies offer returnships for several reasons. One reason is to help address the skills gap that exists in certain industries. Returnships provide a way for companies to attract and retain talented professionals who have taken a career break. Additionally, companies can use returnships to build a pipeline of diverse candidates who have different perspectives and experiences.
Benefits of a Returnship Program
Returnship programs are beneficial to both employers and employees. Here are some of the benefits:
1. Access to Experienced Talent
Returnship programs allow organizations to tap into a vast pool of experienced professionals who took a break from their careers. These professionals bring a wealth of knowledge, skills, and experience to the table, which can benefit the organization.
2. Enhanced Diversity and Inclusion
Returnship programs promote diversity and inclusion by providing opportunities to individuals who may have taken a break from their careers due to caregiving, medical reasons, or pursuing higher education. These programs provide a level playing field and help create a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.
Returnship programs are a cost-effective way to attract experienced professionals. These programs are typically shorter in duration and provide opportunities for individuals to refresh their skills and gain new knowledge.
Implementing a Successful Returnship Program
Implementing a successful Returnship program requires careful planning and execution. Here are some key steps to consider:
1. Define the Program Goals and Objectives
It’s essential to define the goals and objectives of the Returnship program before implementation. This will help you create a clear roadmap and measure the program’s success.
2. Create a Clear and Concise Program Structure
Creating a clear and concise program structure is critical to the success of a Returnship program. The program should provide opportunities for individuals to refresh their skills and gain new knowledge in a structured and supportive environment.
3. Develop a Comprehensive Curriculum
A comprehensive curriculum is critical to the success of a Returnship program. The curriculum should be designed to meet the needs of the individuals participating in the program and provide opportunities to refresh their skills and gain new knowledge.
4. Provide Mentorship and Support
Providing mentorship and support is critical to the success of a Returnship program. It’s essential to provide participants with a supportive environment that encourages them to learn and grow.
5. Evaluate and Measure the Program’s Success
Evaluation and measurement are critical components of a successful Returnship program. It’s essential to track and evaluate the program’s success, identify areas for improvement, and make necessary adjustments.
A Returnship program is a unique initiative aimed at tapping into the vast pool of experienced professionals who took a break from their careers for various reasons. Returnships provide opportunities for individuals to refresh their skills, gain new knowledge, and transition back into the workforce. By implementing a successful returnship program, organizations can access experienced talent, enhance diversity and inclusion, and create a cost-effective way to attract experienced professionals. With careful planning and execution, a Returnship program can benefit both employers and employees, creating a win-win situation for all parties involved.
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