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“Returnships” as a Recruiting Strategy

The concept of “internships” has proven itself over the decades in all business verticals as a way to bring new talent into the workforce.

A related and fresh concept in finding needed expertise is successfully being utilized by several companies. “Returnship” focuses on recruiting experienced workers seeking short-term or part-time positions because of personal lifestyles such as retirement, semi-retirement, and responsibilities for children or aging family members.

“Returnship” staff members obviously need to have more challenging responsibilities than those for “internship” programs. Elements such as the application process, orientation, and mentor assignments, however, can be very similar to standard “intern” situations.

If your hospital is located in a larger city or retirement destination, you may be surprised at the number of highly experienced healthcare IT veterans with an interest in part-time or short-term project opportunities.

Key points to getting a “returnship” program established is getting HR and managers on-board. Supervisors often need assurances applicants have skills that are current. “Returnship” managers also need to understand the parameters these workers come with into the workforce.

The ambitious initiatives in healthcare IT has made it difficult to recruit seasoned and experienced talent. Quite frankly, the pool for some skills is pretty shallow. The large number of baby-boomer retirees and the increased family responsibilities of two-income households make this a talent pool worth considering.


Kirby Partners is an executive search firm specializing in healthcare IT for the past 26 years. CEO  Judy Kirby may be reached at 407-788-7301, or jkirby@kirbypartners.com.