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De Niro film shines light on “returnships” for mature talent

March 17, 2023

Hiring programs ease talent back into the workforce after a break

From Seasonedpros.ca Insights Lab

In the movie The Intern, Robert De Niro plays a widowed business executive who returns to the workforce as an intern in an online retail fashion website.

It seems an unlikely position for a 70-year-old, but De Niro’s character finds his way with help from colleagues and by using his experience as an executive in a telephone book company. 

He learns new tech skills and taps into his soft skills of good communication, relationship building and wise perspectives to help the team and CEO played by Anne Hathaway. 

This movie shines a light on the real-life trend of hiring experienced professionals after they have left the workforce.

Returnships are apprenticeships for experienced talent

“Returnships” are hiring programs designed to attract experienced talent back to the workplace after career breaks. 

Employers have recognized that mature workers are a rich source of talent who bring valuable experience and knowledge to organizations looking for workers.

They also realize that returning to a structured nine-to-five environment with new technologies can be a challenge for adult employees after a break of two years or more.

The objective is to help them reboot their career and give them a smooth transition by using the internship model.

Big tech, banks and non-profits using returnships

Companies like Amazon and Goldman Sacks pioneered returnships to address talent shortages due to changing demographics. 

Other companies like Apple, Microsoft and PayPal have adopted this model to acquire the talent they need to grow.

These companies have recognized the value of talent who return after long careers.

Returnships offer support, skills training and flexibility

Returnships are paid, contract-based jobs that provide guidance and support from mentors and peer-support networks. Returning employees are offered training and career training to optimize their strengths and experiences.

These programs work best when training is tailored to the individual candidate and take into consideration industry background, career level, expertise and length of time away from the workplace. 

They are usually offered for 12-16 weeks after which time the successful candidate is offered a position on full-time, part-time or other flex job arrangements. 

Returnships are designed for many roles:

  • Tech and Engineering
  • Human Resources
  • Leadership and Management
  • Operations
  • Financial Control
  • Project Management
  • Marketing and Communications

Returnships also offer support to:

  • Women returning after a family break
  • Immigrants seeking work experience and permanent residency
  • People who have taken time off for travel or health reasons

SeasonedPros.ca is an on-demand business talent source. Clients with an immediate need for experienced talent trust us to source professionals for project, interim and part-time roles. Each professional in our national database has 20 + years of business experience. We provide our clients 2-4 four vetted professionals in 10 business days or less.

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