A Guide to Returner Friendly Recruitment

Creating a returner-friendly recruitment process involves designing a system that accommodates individuals who are returning to the workforce after a period of absence. This could include parents returning from maternity or paternity leave, individuals returning after a sabbatical, or those re-entering the workforce after a career break. Here are some steps to implement a returner-friendly recruitment process:

Understand Returners’ Needs:

Conduct research to understand the specific needs and challenges of individuals returning to the workforce.

Consider factors such as flexible working arrangements, mentorship, and training opportunities.

Flexible Job Opportunities:

Offer part-time or flexible work arrangements to accommodate returners’ needs.

Consider job-sharing or remote work options to provide flexibility.

Job Descriptions:

Clearly communicate flexibility and returner-friendly policies in your job descriptions.

Highlight a supportive and inclusive work culture.

Returnship Programs:

Establish returnship programs, which are short-term, paid employment opportunities designed for individuals returning to work.

These programs often include training, mentorship, and a pathway to permanent employment.

Training and Development:

Provide training and development opportunities to help returners update their skills.

Offer mentorship programs to support their professional growth.

Supportive Onboarding:

Develop an onboarding process that is supportive and eases the transition back into the workforce.

Assign mentors or buddies to help new returners integrate into the workplace.

Create a Supportive Culture:

Foster a workplace culture that values diversity and inclusion.

Promote awareness and understanding among existing employees about the challenges returners may face.

Networking Opportunities:

Facilitate networking events or forums where returners can connect with each other and share experiences.

Encourage participation in company-wide activities to help build a sense of community.

Flexible Interview Processes:

Allow flexibility in interview schedules to accommodate returners’ personal commitments.

Use a mix of traditional interviews and practical assessments to evaluate skills and potential.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs):

Implement or enhance employee assistance programs to provide support for personal and professional challenges.

Feedback Mechanisms:

Establish feedback mechanisms to continuously improve the returner-friendly initiatives.

Encourage returners to provide feedback on their experiences.

Promote Work-Life Balance:

Advocate for a healthy work-life balance and promote policies that support well-being.

By incorporating these elements into your recruitment process, you can create an environment that is welcoming and supportive for individuals returning to the workforce. This not only benefits the returners but also contributes to a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.

How returner friendly is your organization?
If you’re ready to reap the many benefits the returner can bring to your organisations, we invite you to take part in our brand-new interactive quiz:


If you are looking for more information or supports contact our team at info@backtoworkconnect.ie