We spoke to ReSUME programme sponsor Cliona McCusker about how career returners enhance Accenture’s workforce.
Cliona McCusker is a managing director in Accenture’s technology business in Dublin. She is also programme sponsor for ReSUME, Accenture’s returners programme.
In this role, McCusker ensures that this initiative has the support of Accenture’s senior leadership team, while working with the ReSUME team in the design and delivery of the programme.
Now in its second year, ReSUME offers a four-month paid work placement to professionals who have taken a minimum two-year career break. The latest batch of returners will begin their placement in February 2019.
We spoke to McCusker to find out more about this programme and how it has impacted the Accenture workplace.
‘We have been able to bring new talent into our business that we may not necessarily have had access to through our regular recruiting approach’
– CLIONA MCCUSKER
How would you summarise the ReSUME programme and its goals?
I would summarise the ReSUME programme as a tailored way to support people who want to pick up their careers from where they left off. The programme is focused on acknowledging the valuable experience and career level attained prior to a career break as well as the experience gained during the gap period.
The goal of the programme is to provide a straightforward process and positive experience for people as they resume their careers, and provide momentum for people to contribute to their full potential.
What kind of training do ReSUME returners receive and what kind of projects or teams do they get to work on?
Participants are provided with training specific to their role placement and we provide returner coaching via our partnership with the Women Returners organisation. We are delighted to partner with Women Returners, who are specialists in enabling the return to work of experienced professionals after a career break.
Depending on the experience of the returner, they can be matched to a wide spectrum of roles, from technology delivery to finance to working within our innovation centre.
Have you had many successful participants pass through the programme and on to a full-time career within Accenture?
We completed a pilot of the programme last year with a group of five returners. Two went on to join us permanently and two decided to stay on with us for an extended period on a non-permanent basis.
For this year’s programme, we are looking to place as many successful participants as we see fit to our business.
How has Accenture gained from this programme in terms of tapping into an oft-ignored talent pool?
We have been able to bring new talent into our business that we may not necessarily have had access to through our regular recruiting approach, and the people who have joined us have added a huge diversity of experience to our business.
At Accenture, we recognise the importance that diverse teams play in igniting creativity and innovation to solve problems, and this programme is hugely complementary to building out our teams to support us in this regard.
What type of person do you like to see apply as a returner?
We love to see people apply who are really motivated to resume their careers with a view to joining us permanently, and who are passionate about business and/or technology.