SMEs missing out on the chance to attract career-returners

Research from specialist recruiter Robert Walters has revealed that just 12 per cent of SMEs have a strategy in place to attract women who are returning to work following a career break, potentially missing out on a valuable source of highly skilled and experienced talent.

Janine Blacksley, Associate Director at Robert Walters, comments: “Women who have taken a break from their career, often to start a family but for a host of other potential reasons, represent a valuable source of talent.”

“In addition to the skills and experience these professionals have developed in their working lives, many will have developed additional diverse skills during their career break.”

“However, very few SMEs are currently adopting strategies to attract these professionals. Failing to do so may mean missing out on a valuable source of talent.”

64 per cent of SMEs offer career-returners the chance to adopt flexible hours or work partly from home and 70 per cent offer part time hours.

Often, these policies are popular with professionals who have taken a break from their career, particularly those who have left in order to have children for whom work life balance has become a high priority.

Janine Blacksley continues: “Work life balance is an increasingly high priority for professionals across a range of backgrounds and situations, but for some career returners it may be among their chief concerns when selecting a new job.”

“With the majority of SMEs already offering policies that can help to ensure a good work life balance, career returners are likely to find roles with smaller organisations appealing.”

“SMEs should consider how they can ensure that they are connecting with professionals returning from career breaks and promoting the fact that they can offer a good work life balance.”

“Identifying key channels for communication can ensure that potential applicants are aware of your company and its culture while engaging a recruitment consultancy can help in gaining access to networks of professionals.”