In the face of a growing skills gap and economic uncertainty, organisations striving to enhance productivity have been advised to consider a strategic move – hiring returners.

FDM Group, a company dedicated to bridging the gap between people and technology, has outlined six key reasons why tapping into this untapped talent pool can be a game-changer for businesses.

The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic witnessed the Great Resignation, leading to intensified competition for skilled workers in the labour market.

Companies are now engaged in wage wars, offering increasingly higher salaries to attract top talents. In this landscape, the need for a fresh approach to talent sourcing has become imperative to stay ahead of the competition.

Who are the returners?

Enter the returners – individuals who have taken career breaks and are now eager to re-enter the workforce. This group holds immense potential with a wealth of experience, skills, and diverse perspectives that can significantly contribute to improving business productivity and fostering diversity and inclusion.

“Inclusive teams outperform their colleagues by 80% in team-based assessments,” says Sheila Flavell, COO at FDM Group. Therefore, it is crucial for companies to actively promote the hiring and integration of returners. Establishing returner programs, providing mentoring and training opportunities, and creating supportive work environments that champion diversity at all levels are some of the strategies that can be implemented.

Here are six key ways that hiring returners can boost business productivity:

1. Diversity and Inclusion: By hiring returners, companies can introduce unique perspectives and experiences that challenge unconscious biases, fostering diversity and inclusion. Embracing diverse backgrounds allows businesses to develop a culture that values and empowers all employees, resulting in improved employee engagement, increased innovation, and better decision-making.

2. Extensive Experience and Fresh Perspectives: Returners bring diverse experiences from various industries or personal pursuits during their career breaks, offering fresh insights and innovative problem-solving approaches. Their presence injects creativity and fresh thinking into teams, leading to more innovative solutions.

3. Resilience and Determination: Returners demonstrate a sense of resilience and determination to reignite their careers, resulting in higher levels of motivation and commitment to organizational success. This commitment reduces turnover rates and fosters higher levels of productivity.

4. Motivation and Commitment: Returners often possess high levels of motivation and commitment to prove themselves in their new roles. Their strong work ethic and determination to rebuild their careers can inspire others in the workplace, leading to increased productivity across the board.

5. Skills Beyond the Workplace: Returners who have focused on full-time parenting during their career breaks bring valuable skills such as multitasking, time management, problem-solving, communication, and adaptability. These skills translate into improved organizational efficiency, effective task management, and conflict resolution.

6. Employee Morale and Engagement: Welcoming returners into the workforce sends a positive message of inclusivity and support, significantly boosting employee morale and engagement levels. Content and engaged employees are more likely to be productive, contribute to a positive work culture, and maintain a strong commitment to their roles.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.