Today’s tech-focused startups are constantly competing for the best talent, but are struggling to find the perfect digitally diverse candidates they seek. In fact, research shows that one in three London startups are suffering from a shortage of talent, so is there a source of untapped talent out there?
The Office for National Statistics has shown that 1.8 million UK women, as well as 200,000 men, are not in paid employment due to taking care of their family. These people are highly qualified due to their previously held positions and are eager to get back into the workforce.
While returnships have grown in popularity for larger companies, there is a perception that having a role at a fast-paced startup could be too time-consuming for working parents.
“I’ve largely struggled to get startups to consider relaunchers,” said Louisze Clark, founder of Digital Gum, which offers programs that helps returners with digital skills. “The reality is that start-up life is tough with long hours and the reality of “hustle culture” means often working at an incredibly fast, pressured pace. With investors demanding returns on investment, fast, the perception is they need to hire ‘hit the ground running’, A-player candidates. I haven’t seen attitudes change much over the last three years.”
However, although startups are usually looking to hire cost-effective talent like students and interns, returners bring plenty of experience to the table. Since several burgeoning startups already adopt flexible and remote work options, returnships are a perfect fit for them.