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WM People has just launched its free white paper discussing best practice when it comes to returner programmes.
WM People has launched a white paper on returners following a roundtable event in September with employers and experts.
The roundtable, which highlights best practice in returner programmes, was hosted by Gillian Nissim, founder of WM People, and included a employers from sectors ranging from the financial services, law and pharmaceuticals to construction, rail and technology.
The event was sponsored by Tech Returners, which supports people who have established a career in tech and then taken a career break, and the Executive Coaching Consultancy, a one-stop solution for those running a returner programme.
Nissim began by noting that many returner programmes had been paused due to Covid and were now starting up again against a background of skills shortages and said that it important to look at emerging best practice since the pandemic.
Beckie Taylor from Tech Returners, which offers a free training programme and works with employers to get people back into the tech industry, said it is important to get managers on board, with line manager buy-in being crucial, and to match returners to the right role for them.
Helen Ilsley from the Executive Coaching Consultancy agreed about the need for a board-level sponsor who gives a very clear message about their strategic, business-critical importance. She said employers need to take a hard look at their current performance, at what they are measuring, what the figures show them and at what support they are providing to returners and managers as well as how they monitor their progress.
The white paper describes the roundtable discussions on all aspects of returner programmes, from reaching out to candidates and preparing them for interviews, using past returners as role models and the ideal length of programmes to ongoing support during the pandemic and evaluation.
It includes a set of key takeaways, including a consideration that returners might need more time to adjust to their return as it represents an identity shift meaning longer programmes may be necessary to ensure they are not put under too much pressure in the early days.