In recent years the concept of Returnships has taken hold very successfully in the UK and delivered a powerful new profile to early adopters.
Led originally by the London financial services sector, including JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Barclays Bank, Lloyd’s Bank, Macquarie and RBS, the Professional Services firms have followed suit with KPMG, PWC, Deloitte and EY now running back to work programmes as a permanent fixture of their recruitment calendar. In addition, Shell, O2, Vodafone and Mastercard have recently, or are currently, running a returner programme.
The success of these programmes has translated well across sectors and allowed organisations to both innovatively acquire top talent from hidden sources, support that talent to quickly reach peak performance and just as importantly signal to the labour market that they value diversity of experience and new ways of working.
Take a look at Inclusivity’s case studies below to see exactly how we have helped our clients.
Nomura leadership is committed to the benefits of having a diverse workforce. In particular it was felt the balance of males and females in the technology division was not where it should be. Nomura recognised that it was missing out on many candidates and that a returner programme would be a great way to tap into hidden talent pools. Our overall goal was to create a year 1 pilot and hire 4 Returners.
When Nomura has had to recruit for our technology team we have struggled to attract diverse shortlists. In particular we were not finding female talent, nor were our traditional recruitment providers presenting us with female talent. We were looking for new ideas and solutions to our diversity challenges.
Inclusivity demonstrated success with Virgin and Shell, and a have strong technical knowledge of why we need to adapt our sourcing strategies and interview approach for Returners. They offered a full service solution including attraction, training of line managers, through to coaching and support of the returners once commenced.
Inclusivity also demonstrated a real understanding of the types of roles we had to fill. In addition to that, we were really impressed with the knowledge they had about each of the candidates. They had met them and really assessed them on characteristics that were right for the role. The summary page at the front of each CV was enormously helpful and every interview candidate had been very well prepared.
As a result of the programme we have brought in four highly capable and talented women with terrific technology backgrounds. The programme has been really well received by line managers who have now had their eyes opened to the terrific talent that is on offer.
We would definitely recommend an Inclusivity Returner programme as it has been critical in helping us reach the pool of talent that is constantly overlooked during normal recruitment cycles. Nomura are planning their 2020 Returner programme and we look forward to working with Inclusivity again.
Earlier this year International Women’s Day celebrated the 2019 theme of Balance for Better. In the words of the organisation:
“Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage…
Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.”
A need for balance in a work environment is something Shell has embraced for a number of years and was one of the drivers behind their Returner programme which launched in 2018.
One of the reasons Shell gave as they introduced the programme in September 2018 was:
“Right from the top, there’s a firmly held view at Shell that diversity isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s at the very heart of the way we work: it enriches our culture, informs our ideas and shapes the connections we make, all over the world.”
The programme was designed to target professionals who had taken a career break of at least a year. It was certainly perfect for one of the successful candidates, Jutta Swaeb, who had been on a five-year career break whilst raising her young family.
She was initially contacted about the programme via LinkedIn by Stephanie Dillon from Inclusivity Partners.
Prior to the programme starting she wasn’t entirely sure what to expect and had concerns the work wouldn’t be that interesting or would be lacking in responsibility.
But as soon as she started she ‘absolutely loved it’. Over the course of the 6 month, 4 day a week programme she got to do real work which has been extremely interesting, with helpful colleagues.
And as the programme draws to an end there is a very real possibility there will be a job at the end of it for her.
When asked whether she would recommend it to others, Jutta’s reply is glowing:
“Absolutely. I still pinch myself that after a 5 -year career break I am back into a proper job and am thriving.”
One element that has been crucial in getting Jutta to this stage is the support she has had from the team at Inclusivity Partners. Jutta is equally as effusive about their role in the process, adding they were:
“Amazing! I couldn’t have done this without their encouragement; hand holding during the recruitment process and brilliant coaching during the programme.”
If you are interested in learning about any Returner programmes please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at Inclusivity Partners.
(c) Rebecca Danner
Inclusivity Partners helped us successfully deliver our first ReCareer Programme in 2017.
Inclusivity expertly helped us shape our programme and we were delighted to find four experienced and talented women to take part in our programme.
What stands them apart is their commitment to preparing the candidates and developing their confidence so that they get the most out of the opportunity.
From finessing their CVs to providing interview coaching, they fully prepared the candidates who came to our selection event.
Stephanie & Jessica delivered some memorable development and support sessions for the participants and their line managers which have been highly beneficial to their progress and enjoyment of the programme.
I don’t believe we would have been able to deliver such a successful programme without their support and we would not have accessed the incredible talent that is hidden in the returners market.
When I was looking for a new project and portfolio manager, I was very keen to find someone who was highly capable and was keen to get involved in growing our innovative, challenger brand. But at the same time, I also needed someone who could work very flexibly around our clients’ needs and because we’re growing, someone who didn’t necessarily want a full-time role.
Stephanie at Inclusivity did a great job in finding a brilliant candidate who was highly qualified but wanted to fit her role around her family.
She’s a perfect match to both the role and the culture I’m trying to create.
– Jonathan Shawcross, Managing Director, 6:59 Design (hired Emily, a Chartered Surveyor returning from a 6-year career break)
As the Executive Chairman of a start-up I know the success of my business depends on hiring and retaining high quality staff. Crucial to this process was being able to identify someone who had the ability to be hands-on in an early stage business but who also had the breadth of accounting experience to remain our Financial Controller as we grow larger and larger.
I was introduced to Stephanie at Inclusivity Partners by a friend who spoke highly of the candidate pool that Inclusivity represented. I worked with Stephanie to recruit a part-time Financial Controller.
We are delighted with our new hire, returning to her career after a 2.5 year break, and highly recommend Inclusivity Partners as a business to access returning talent.
– Alex Horne, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, NotLost
As Managing Director of a niche medical business, finding the time to recruit high quality staff can be challenging. When a requirement for our growing business emerged for a Marketing & Business development specialist, we knew it would be arduous to find someone with the relevant knowledge of the industry we operate in.
We reached out to Inclusivity and I’ll confess I was originally a little bit nervous about considering someone with a career break. However, Inclusivity found us a candidate who has surpassed our expectations with both her relevant knowledge and skills but also her energy and enthusiasm in returning to the workplace.
Our new hire is in every way a true asset to our business.
– E.Waldegrave, Managing Director, Vascular Solutions