The number of stay-at-home moms in the United States is near the 5 million mark according to the recent figures from the Census Bureau. That’s a major labor pool for employers who are seeking extremely motivated and loyal employees.
In fact, a recent article from Workforce Management, “Recruiters Can Find an Untapped Source of Talent in Stay-at-Home Parents,” extols the virtue of hiring not just stay-at-home moms, but the approximately 158,000 stay-at-home fathers as well. Why?
Benefit of Stay-at-Home Parents in the Workforce
What HR Consultant Lisa Chenofsky Singer says is that stay-at-home moms (and dads) bring a renewed interest and a high level of motivation when they return to work after a long absence. In many cases they have connections and contacts that employers can put to good use. Plus they have their fingers on the pulse of what interests stay-at-home parents. This could be a tremendous leverage for new products and services an organization may offer.
Naturally, it is important for employers to realize that many return-to-work moms are looking for an opportunity that fits into their lifestyle. But, then again, who in today’s workforce doesn’t seek work/life balance?
In the case of stay-at-home moms this may include the need to work part-time, flextime and even telework. And while a flexible work schedule is a major attraction for returning moms (and dads), other benefits such as flexible spending accounts for dependent expenses, onsite child care facilities or subsidies and other family-friendly benefits are important as well.
Stay-at-Home Moms Prepare to Return to the Workforce
However, too often returning stay-at-home moms do themselves a disservice by downplaying the time spent raising children and managing the home. Career consultant Mary Anne Walsh recommends not using the phrase “stay-at-home mom” because it sounds passive. She suggests that parents rethink how much they contributed while away from the workforce.
Helping at a child’s school or doing other volunteer work can translate into being able to meet deadlines as well as having great organization and time management skills. A well-crafted resume that focuses on functionality rather than chronology oftentimes aids in presenting background and experience in the best possible light. Of course, using their network to find work opportunities is a must. And finally, preparing far in advance before returning to the workforce by refreshing old skills or learning new ones, are all ways for return-to-work parents to ease back into the workforce.
The whole idea is that choosing to stay home to focus on family is a great choice for many people. But when (or if) it becomes time to return to the workforce, it’s all about preparation and networking, just like for any other job seeker. And knowing this can help moms return to the workforce with confidence.