Reports state that over three-quarters of mothers who go on maternity leave want to return to work at a later date, as do many fathers who take paternity leave. This presents a large pool of experienced professionals who are readily available to contribute to your business.

Unfortunately, many employers overlook returning parents, not realising the skills they possess and the vast value they present. These individuals have the potential to fill the skills gaps within your business and hold many enhanced skills.

Here are some of the benefits of hiring a returning parent:

A new perspective

It is very common for employees and the management structure to get caught up in the fast-paced environment of UK business. Having the fresh perspective of a parent who has spent a considerable amount of time out of work will keep your organisation in check.

As returning parents will now fall into a new customer category, they will also have a first-hand insight into the minds and thoughts of these consumers. This is something your business can tap into and use to your advantage when targeting this type of market.

Work ethic

Unlike another employee who may have been unemployed for a considerable amount of time, a new parent will have been working extremely hard in the entire period they were off. Not only will they be grateful for you offering them employment but they will be raring to go.

Resilience

Raising a child is no small task, especially if it’s their first time. Returning parents will embody the characteristics resilience and patience which are transferable to the workplace. This can also relate to challenging themselves further than before, with increased perseverance and determination to successfully complete tasks and overcome problems.

New skills

Research by Microsoft found that returning mothers had actually adopted new essential skills after they had become a parent. In particular, there was a dramatic increase in team-working, multitasking and general productivity.

How to attract and retain returning parents

Offering flexible working hours is key to attracting and retaining returning parents. Transitioning back to work after maternity paternity, or adoption leave is an emotional and challenging task, especially so for new parents.

Flexible hours and work patterns allow individuals to slowly get back into the routine of working, taking the pressure off jumping straight back into a full-time role. Providing that flexibility will further embed a sense of loyalty and support from your organisation, that all employees will respect and appreciate.

If employees can structure their day the best way for them, it can lead to increased productivity, efficiency and job satisfaction. Which, in turn, will lead to greater staff retention and positive contributions to your business.

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