How to attract female talent
Companies are shifting to recruit a more diverse workforce. This drive to talent diversity and inclusion helps create innovation and competitive advantage. So are your current recruitment efforts reaching the candidates you want to find?
Talent acquisition strategies should include attracting more women, to head up teams and take on leading roles. Is your recruitment marketing strategy focusing on actually attracting more diverse candidates?
Are your job ads actually attracting women, based on the number of applications?
In this article we’ll discuss 5 key points to consider when planning your recruitment advertising campaigns to enable you to attract more women.
One key area we’ll explore is social media advertising, a platform currently not often used to reach a more diverse candidate audience. This will help build a more transparent and inclusive employer brand and reduce bias in the recruiting process:
1. Marketing and branding on social media
We’ve previously written a more in-depth article on how social media fosters Diversity & Inclusion. We found that 71% of social media users are women (according to overall gender percentage use). So it’s a no brainer to leverage different social media platforms to expand your reach to women and get their applications into the pipeline!
The social media job ads you publish on these channels should focus on educating the applicants to influence the perspective they have of your company. This can be done by clearly communicating female-focused benefitsof the company or role. For example, for working mothers, flexible working would be important and mentioning this in the job ad increases engagement.
Another important element is to include diversity in the imagery used for the job listings. Whether this is when portraying what it’s like to work in that role or to promote specific benefits such as a causal working environment. It’s important to consider female applicants and ensure they feel like they’ll be a good fit in the office and the job.
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2. Have an unbiased hiring process
Research has shown that women find job advertisements with certain wording less appealing and using a more inclusive language tends to attract both sexes equally. A study done by LinkedIn found that 44% of women would not apply to a role if the job description included the word “aggressive”.
And this goes beyond just your job adverts, also consider your careers pages. You might think you are using a gender neutral language but even words such as “hacker”, “ninja” or “rockstar” skewer towards male candidates as women find them harder to identify with. When using an open language to attract both genders, keep in mind it is not only about skills but also about an individual’s characteristics. The same survey found that both men and women reacted equally positively to words such as “powerful”, “strong-willed” and “confident”.
Using writing tools like gender decoder or textio to analyse your job advertisements will help create more neutral job descriptions.
3. Limit requirements in job listings
Research has found that women usually only apply when they believe they meet 100% of the qualifications listed for the job. Men on the other hand tend to overestimate their ability by up to 30%. This creates a confidence gap between male and female applicants.
One way to bridge this gap is to have two sections for skills and experience in your job listings; the first for requirements and the second for benefits that aren’t a must and help the applicant stand out. The required section should only include skills and experiences truly required to perform the job, keeping in mind it reflects the candidates you are looking for.
As women tend to underestimate themselves, it’s important to avoid long lists of demands - keep it brief and no longer scare off female candidates!
4. Write more about your work environment, culture and benefits
You are selling your company to a specific talent pool so it’s key to communicate the benefits that are relevant to them. But you can do so much more than just listing the benefits you offer. Your job ads are the shop window of your company and should provide context to the role by showing the team, work environment, company culture and values. Female candidates tend to actively look for roles that describe an adaptable workplace culture, promote flexible working and additional medical benefits.
Being transparent about salaries is another way to engage with women. It’s ranked as an important part of a job description and helps demonstrate the work your company is doing to eliminate the gender pay gap.
5. Highlight women who work for you
Promoting the women who work for your company, their challenges and successes will help give your brand a more diverse and positive reputation.
Taking one step further from stating your commitment to diversity, showcase to female job seekers what it’s like to work for your company by sharing the stories of your female employees across all levels and departments. By anticipating the questions women ask when evaluating job opportunities, your ads and careers pages will communicate messages of support and inclusivity. Women are more likely to apply when they see themselves represented in your recruitment marketing.
A priority for organisations is to boost their attractiveness to female candidates. This is both to drive business performance and create a stronger corporate brand. Factor in these five points when planning your recruitment advertising campaigns to attract more women into your recruitment pipeline.
Don’t be a stranger
If you are unsure how to start capitalising on the digital opportunity here, we’d be happy to help! As a data-driven Talent Acquisition partner we help companies attract relevant candidates without being biased, finding you more and better talent!
We’ve developed a fully automated recruitment marketing platform that streamlines candidate inflow. It creates and distributes job ads and employer branding campaigns across a wide range of social media platforms and job boards, so you can meet candidates as they are scrolling around their digital world!
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