Connectr & enei: The Lived Experience of the Returner Talent Pool


2nd February 2021

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2 minutes

Findings from 2020 Research

Those returning to the workplace after an extended career break often face a multitude of burning questions. ‘‘Have I made the right decision?’, ‘Do I have the skills required?’, ‘Will I receive support from my employer?’, and – particularly now in the working from home climate – ‘How will I learn from my colleagues?’.

The case for hiring diverse talent is overwhelming but it should not stop there. Employers need to ensure overlooked individuals thrive and progress once in the business, and the Returner talent pool is no exception.

Connectr and enei anonymously surveyed a focus group of those who have made the successful transition back into the workplace, after taking an extended career break. Our 2021 research report explores our key findings of their experience.

67% of our respondents attributed their reason for being out of the workplace for 1+ years to childcare responsibilities, and 47% reported the primary reason for their return to be to continue their career.

Only 26% attributed their reason for return to financial benefit.

Our findings highlight the key challenges Returners face when transitioning back into employment, and where recognition and support is needed from employers. For example:

  • 53%felt they were treated differently as a returning employee by both their employer and wider workplace community.
  • 34%had expectations of judgement from their employer around their technical competency and skills set.

Some central themes of concern for Returners involve their technical skills set, performance in the modern, virtual workplace and reintegrating back into the workplace community; for all of which our respondents reported there to be a significant lack in support received from their employer.

Our report provides practical advice and solutions for employers to implement in the hiring and onboarding journey, and for the first 100 days and beyond. So that returners arrive in the business prepared, engaged and empowered to thrive.

“In order to attract, engage and place high quality returner talent, employers must evidence the support and inclusion that is driven within the business’ culture. 

“To me, this report highlights Returners’ level of commitment to making the transition back into work, that should be better recognised and supported by employers.” – Simon Reichwald, Strategic Lead for Talent – Connectr

“This report gives insight into lower levels of confidence that might be the starting point, but not the destination, of Returners. Giving effective and authentic routes back into the workplace helps Returners to quickly regain their professional ground and sense of worth.” – Sigrid Fisher, Relationship Manager – enei, and D&I Consultant 

Our respondents reported some key elements of support for workplace reintegration:

  • Peer-to-peer support networks
  • Workplace mentoring
  • Managerial support

Technology can be leveraged as a force for good in facilitating the above, and provide Returners with the necessary tools and vital sense of community to enable them to reach their potential.

To find out more about Connectr, get in touch.