A free programme to help returners back to work

A webinar this week focused on a new programme to help returners back to work, launched by Resource Solutions in partnership with WMPeople.co.uk.

O2 Returners Programme

Back to work written on a memo at the office

In a world of skills shortages, an ageing workforce and hybrid and remote working, more and more employers are thinking outside the box when it comes to recruitment. And they are keen to access different talent pools.

Returners offer not just years of workplace experience, often at middle or senior levels, but they also have a different perspective on work gleaned from their time spent outside the office.

A webinar run this week by recruitment company Resource Solutions, hosted by WMpeople.co.uk as part of its partnership with the company, focused on the many benefits for employers of hiring returners and increased diversity when it comes to reaching a broader range of clients/customers, but also on how Resource Solutions can help returners get back to work.

Faye Walshe, group innovation director at Robert Walters, Resource Solutions’ parent company, said employers are facing “a perfect storm” after Covid given pre-existing trends, skills shortages and the impact of caring responsibilities on women, with women more likely to want to work remotely or in a hybrid way than men.

Kirsty Adams, chief people and culture officer at Resource Solutions, told the many returners on the webinar: “There is a need for you to come back to the world of work.”

Despite rising numbers over the last few years, several returner programmes which help those who have taken a career gap to get back to work have stopped or been paused as a result of the pandemic. Although some have since unpaused numbers are still few and many returners are still coming back to roles that are significantly below their skills level.

A free programme to support returners

Resource Solutions has launched its free Rejoin programme which offers support to those looking to return to work after a break of around 12 months. Support includes help with writing or refreshing a cv, interview skills, marketing your brand and communicating with employers as well as access to useful tools.  In addition, returners have access to a free magazine, exclusive events, wellness advice, live roles and ongoing support through the Rejoin community.

Adams called it “a practical programme to get you ready”. There is also three months of post-placement care, including regular check-ins, and a focus on hybrid working.

The webinar heard from two returners – one, Richard Fisher, was looking to reduce his hours to spend more time with his children and is now working from home on flexible hours and using his recruitment skills in the global recruitment sphere as a talent acquisition consultant at Resource Solutions; the other, single mum Renuka Iyer took a four-year career break from banking and spoke of the support she had received from Resource Solutions to gain clarity about what she wanted in terms of how she worked, to brush up her cv and to signpost her to online courses to brush up her digital skills. She now has a role as an associate recruiter at Resource Solutions.

While these two returners now work for Resource Solutions, the company works with partners offering jobs in a wide range of sectors across the world. The programme, which is a rolling one meaning returners can join at any time, has only been going for a couple of months, but aims to build a strong community of Rejoiners.

Jo Goatcher, Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant on Resource Solutions’ Rejoin programme, said the first step was to register online and then returners will get a call to talk through what they are looking for and see how they can be matched with the right job for them. “Employers are starting to understand that they will not and never could get perfection. They are more open to people who have the right attitude and ambitions,” she said.

Goatcher added that new types of roles are coming on stream all the time which might be a perfect match for candidates due to their transferable skills, but which they might not be aware of. Many are flexible and increasingly geographical location is less important.

Adams added: “Organisations are seeing the need to be more diverse. There is a real opportunity to capitalise on this moment.”

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