Tools & Tips

Talent War – Former employees and workforce returnees, two groups you can’t Ignore

In the ever-escalating war for talent, companies may be overlooking two valuable groups: former employees and workforce returnees. Alumni are a known entity—hiring managers have far more information on these candidates than on a typical hire—and they’re already familiar with the company’s culture and standards. And the pool of workforce returnees (people who left the workforce for various reasons and then resumed their careers) is increasingly attractive as well.

Career paths are less like a “race to the top” ladder and more like a jungle gym.

Because of changes in the nature of work, there will likely be far more people in both categories. Fewer employees are opting to work full-time for long periods at a single organization. Career paths are less like a “race to the top” ladder and more like a jungle gym in which people move laterally, hop off, and climb back on to continue rising. Some employees find roles elsewhere in order to gain critical experience. Others opt to step off the career track for a stint or take a position with fewer obligations, often because of family responsibilities or other nonwork reasons like extended travel. This is not a reflection of lower ambition—merely that most employees have busy, complicated lives and priorities that change over time.

In the past, when careers were more conventional and job tenures were longer, companies could afford to ignore these groups. Today, that’s no longer true. By creating programs to tap into both pools of talent—“leaving the door open” for departing employees to return and creating on ramps to bring returnees back into the workforce after a break—organizations can ensure they get the talent they need.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Two Groups You Can’t Ignore (but Probably Do) in the War for Talent

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