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NextGen Magazine


'Returnships' On the Rise, Aimed at Easing Those with Career Gaps Back into Workforce

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Mar 17, 2020

With companies increasingly on the hunt for talented staff, a rising number of them are offering what are colloquially called "returnships," which are meant to ease those with long career gaps, such as parents who left their jobs to care for children, back into the workforce, according to Axios.

Parents, especially women, have been known to suffer a career penalty for the long amounts of time they're out of the workforce caring for their children. In one experiment, a researcher sent 3,374 fictitious resumes to real job openings across 50 cities, all of which had an 18-month employment gap. Out of these resumes, 15.2 percent saying the candidates were currently employed, 9.3 percent saying they were unemployed, and 5.1 percent saying they were stay-at-home parents received a callback. A follow-up survey found that employers view both unemployed and stay-at-home parent applicants as less capable than those continuously employed. Yet stay-at-home parents were viewed as less reliable, less deserving of a job, and—the biggest penalty—less committed to work than unemployed applicants.

Now however, many industries are competing fiercely for talent, making them widen their search for qualified candidates. With this in mind, more than 100 of the largest companies across various industries are offering some sort of program meant to assist people in getting back to work. These programs tend to be quite similar to internships in that participants are trained and monitored as they refresh their skills and, eventually, transition into full-time permanent jobs.