Attract Top Talent- Launch a Returnship Recruiting Program in the Insurance Industry

Employer May (2023)


Attract Top Talent- Launch a Returnship Recruiting Program in the Insurance Industry 

Interestingly, the labor participation rate (62%-BLS) continues to decline due to many factors. Significant factors are the Post Covid hangover, the aging workforce, and many still not returning to work. However, this may be an opportunity for employers looking for talent to begin a returnship recruiting program! 

Returnship programs offer a unique opportunity for companies to tap into a pool of qualified talent like claims adjusters, customer service professionals, account managers and many more that often goes untapped in the labor market; individuals with career gaps, especially caregivers, who have taken time away from work to support their families or tap into the older workers. These programs function similarly to internships but are tailored to provide valuable skills and experience to those seeking to reenter the workforce. By establishing a returnship program, organizations can bridge the gap and benefit from the untapped potential of this talented demographic. 

A well-marketed returnship program can be a potent recruiting tool. If you can get the word out that you are rolling out the red carpet for those with employment gaps, you will quickly separate yourself from your competitors.    

Sound interesting? Here are some ideas on how to get started: 

  1. Define Program Objectives- Start by clarifying the goals and objectives of your returnship program. Determine the specific skills and roles you aim to address through the program. Consider the duration, structure, and potential for permanent employment. 

  1. Design the Program Structure- Develop a comprehensive structure for your returnship program. Define the duration, typically three to six months, during which participants receive training, mentoring, and work experience. Identify specific projects or tasks they will undertake to gain valuable skills. Ensure that the program offers flexibility to accommodate the unique needs of returnship participants. 

  1. Establish Partnerships - Collaborate with local community organizations, career reentry programs, and professional networks to identify potential returnship candidates. Engage with these organizations to promote your returnship initiative and build a pipeline of qualified applicants. Utilize associations like the Institutes, Insurance Services, Independent Agents and Brokers and the CLM

  1. Develop Supportive Infrastructure - Create a supportive environment by providing resources, tools, and accommodations to facilitate a successful returnship experience. This includes mentorship programs, access to training and development opportunities, flexible work arrangements, and a welcoming company culture that values diversity and inclusion. 

  1. Launch your returnship program - Onboard returnship participants, assigning them to relevant projects or teams. Provide ongoing mentorship and guidance to support their professional growth. 

  1. Remove application barriers- If you do a great job marketing your program, candidates need an easy way to apply that does not involve the usual obstacles found in applicant tracking systems. These resumes will NOT be perfect; if the wrong robot or human is screening, you will not get any candidates. The best approach is to have them attach a resume to an email and hit send. 

Returnship programs provide a win-win solution for employers and individuals seeking to reenter the workforce. Organizations can tap into a skilled talent pool by offering structured training, mentorship, and practical work experience and help close the talent gap. 

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