As one of the leading Lynchburg staffing agencies, Adams & Garth knows that despite high unemployment, many employers out there are struggling to find candidates with high growth potential. One solution to this dilemma that has been increasingly popular in the recent past is offering a returnship program.
“Returnships” (a term actually trademarked in 2008 by Goldman Sachs), also known as “return to work” programs, are short-term, non-binding, paid arrangements that are similar to internships, except they’re for more experienced workers.
They give mature workers who have been out of the workforce for a period of time the chance to:
- Sharpen their skills;
- Make important connections;
- Learn new technology; and ultimately
- Gain the preparation they need to get back into the workforce.
For the employer, they also offer a host of benefits.
For instance, they allow companies to access candidates with more experience than what is typically found in younger recruits. These are typically people who have more than 10 years of experience – they may simply have taken some time off to care for young children or aging parents.
As a result, when an employer brings a candidate on board through a returnship program, they can gain access to a higher caliber of talent, and then are able to test them on the job before committing to a full-time hiring decision.
So how can you set up a returnship program at your company?
- Use your internship program as a starting off point. If your company has an internship program, there are many elements – e.g. your application process and orientation program – that you can re-use for your returnship program, rather than reinventing the wheel.
- Keep in open mind. Hiring managers can often aim to make a perfect “paper match” – in other words, matching a candidate’s skill set to the job. However, in the process, personality, soft skills and work styles go by the wayside. Instead, keep an open mind with your returnship program to ensure you don’t discount a candidate who would actually be a great fit for your company.
- Offer some flexibility with your program. Not all participants in your returnship program are going to have the same needs. That’s why it’s important to let them have somewhat of a say in the process. For instance, it’s important to understand what specific skills or abilities they feel they need to improve upon or learn about the most.
- Match participants with a mentor. Just as you would with an internship program, pair each program participant with a veteran member of the company. This person can not only serve as a sounding board and adviser, but they can also educate the participant about the internal dynamics of the company, so the returnship participant feels more comfortable there.
Are you one of those companies having a hard time finding talent for critical positions?
If you are, give Adams & Garth a call. As one of the leading Lynchburg staffing agencies, we can give you access to talented individuals who can increase productivity and deliver the solutions you need. Contact us today to learn more.