Offer Returnships to Re-Entering Talent
One powerful way companies can attract high-caliber talent who have paused their careers is to take a cue from PayPal, GTB, and other forward-thinking companies and offer return-to-work internships.
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These internships could be formalized, like the ones Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and others have created. These are typically three- to six-month training programs that are focused on the specific needs of relaunching women who have paused their careers for more than two years. Other programs might be less formal, more akin to consulting projects that allow companies to test out a potential employees skill and fit.
According to Penny Locey, vice president of career placement firm Keystone Associates, more and more companies are employing this method of hiring talent. She told me, These days, companies are more inclined to offer potential employees short-term projects on a try and buy basis. As a result, the time has never been better for those who have paused to re-enter with great success.
A company that is unsure if someone who has paused her career has kept her skills up to date can set up a consulting project and treat it like a return-to-work internship. If the fits not right, then the company isnt locked in to hiring her full-time. Meanwhile, the woman working to reboot her career gains important skills and the confidence to know she can get back in. Its a win/win.
Bob Plaschke, CEO of Sonim Technologies, has taken this strategy to heart. I heard the mother of one of my sons friends was interested in returning to work. Shed been an active volunteer in our community and I knew she was more than qualified. So I reached out and offered her an internship, he said. Ill never forget the first day she showed up. She had a huge box with her. Turned out she didnt have a laptop so she brought her desktop computer. She told me she wanted to be productive and knew the only way to do that was to have all of the tools necessary. I wish all of my twenty-five-year-old new hires had that level of commitment!
Since then, he has hired two more return-to-workers and continues to be thrilled with the results. He told me, I get the smartest, most committed, and easiest to manage employees when I hire returners. I dont know why everyone hasnt caught on to this incredible and eager pool of talent. Neither do I.