Your gender balanced recruitment checklist
Many companies fall short on a gender balanced recruitment checklist
Dorothy Dalton explains why from 30 years in the executive search business
The business case for gender balance is incontrovertible, yet progress is slow or the needle isn't moving as expected. But despite that, you always know when an initiative is about to move forward because people not involved in gender balance or recruitment and especially gender balanced recruitment, are starting to pitch in with their 10 cents worth. They see the business opportunities in what is to them a potentially new sector. For those of us who have been around longer we are more familiar with the challenges.
The reality is that most recruitment processes need a complete overhaul to properly address the question of gender balance and diversity. This requires a thorough and basic steps guide through your gender balanced recruitment check list. Where are you now?
Your gender balanced recruitment check list
Ensure that everyone in your process has received unconscious bias training
Most people involved in the hiring process have not received unconscious bias training. They are riddled with bias. We all are. Most are not aware of their own biases or even the biases of their organisations. It is these biases which under pin the concept of "cultural fit" via affinity and conformity bias. Both men and women can exhibit these biases in equal measure. I have even gone as far as to say if you are not bias aware you shouldn't be a recruiter. It is the top priority on your check list and one that is incredibly hard to achieve because resistance is significance.
Create inclusive adverts, profiles and documentation
We know male coded adverts put off female applicants, yet gender neutral adverts don't deter male applicants. There are now apps on the market which allow you to run through your documentation to check that they are suitable neutral. I use Kat Matfield and Textio although I'm not in favour of becoming a slave to them. Some terms are male coded for historical reasons and we aim to change history.
Build gender neutral application processes
Blind CVs are becoming increasingly common in large organisations, although this requires some software investment, but is a good step towards gender balanced recruitment.
Run gender neutral and structured interviews in a bias aware environment
Research suggests that the way we normally like to interview is found to be 85% ineffective. Despite our best efforts all our biases kick in and decisions are made for emotional rather than rational reasons. Structured interviews allow interviews to be evaluated on a balanced score card. A bias conscious environment allows us to flag up to our fellow interviews to reflect carefully when biases might be kicking in, rather than factual neutral assessment. The skill is to create a culture where this is the norm.
Automated interviews also help with this. Regarded as favouring the "Periscope" generation and being less candidate friendly, they can be very successful particularly in the assessment of technical skills. Care has to be taken that bias can kick in when the interviews are being evaluated.
Fish where there are fish.
Make sure you are looking for female candidates in the right places, not where there aren’t any. Many involved in tech and engineering recruitment bemoan the lack of female talent, yet continue to look in the same university courses where they already know female enrollment is low. This means out of the box thinking and letting go of conformity bias which keeps recruiters trapped there. It may even mean bringing in female candidates with strong numerical reasoning test results and setting up an in-house training programmes. This is is looping back 50 years when Tech vet Naomi Bloom passed through a similar process.
Over the years we have seen a falling off of female students in STEM subjects so we have to get creative.
Women, more frequently than men, have incomplete LinkedIn profiles so sourcing strategies have to be broader. Research from Catalyst indicates that women look outside their organisations less frequently than men. The direct approach may take a little longer to build up trust, so factor that into your timeline calculations.
Create gender balanced short lists.
This is why 3Plus is called 3Plus. Remember you need 3 candidates on each short list to make a difference. Asking for a token woman will only serve to see the rejection of that female candidate.
Understand what attracts women to organisations and why they leave.
Most organisations think that it's the lack of flexibility or salary which make women want to leave. It actually is not totally about that but the toxic unrewarding cultures and dealing with the unrelenting sexism which is commonplace in many organisations. Retention rates can be improved by an honest and transparent evaluation of your corporate culture and workplace practises.
Consider returnship and alumnae programmes
60% of European graduates are women and yet many are stuck working below their potential are forced to leave for family reasons. Creating returnship programmes is a great way to tap into lost talent and allow corporate alumnae an opportunity to return to a professional activity. 3Plus has a register of highly qualified returners with strong transferable skills. Contact us.
Mentor your candidate
Because women focus on internal opportunities more than men, they may need some support navigating the subtitles of what is still a male coded process. It may be necessary to offer guidance and act as a mentor if you anticipate difficulties.
By implementing these practices you will quickly be on your way to a gender balanced recruitment process.
Tackle unconscious bias in your recruitment process Contact 3Plus now!
Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Dates for the Diary
24th November 1600 CET LinkedIn Live with Jack Kelly CEO Wecruiter
1st December Podcast recording How I got hired with Sonal Bahl, Career Strategist
14th December Online Workshop “Manging gender bias in Recruitment” Part 1 - Engie Corporate Event
15th December Online Workshop "Juggling it all: successfully managing dual careers and parenthood at work" - Total Corporate Event
16th December Online Workshop “Manging gender bias in Recruitment” Part 2 - Engie Corporate Event
We have Remote Learning Programs available
Check out our exciting portfolio of offerings to support your business in upskilling and competence building for your teams, to address the unprecedented challenges that women face in this new totally a digital world.
Download and listen free podcasts
How to Create an Effective USP What is a USP? Our Unique Selling Point or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is our key core message about where...read more
How to Rethink the Modern Workplace for Gender Equality New research shows that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for leaders. So why...read more
Menopause in the workplace In this podcast with Nicki Williams award winning author, keynote speaker and Founder of Happy Hormones for Life,...read more
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital...read more
Taking Care of your COW Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is...read more
The importance of Hard Talk Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple...read more
Are you in middle management and noticed that your company is starting to freeze in the middle? The frozen middle is even colder for women managers.read more
Online sessions allow men to mansplain, interrupt and dominate meetings even more. Learn how to handle manterruptions in an online meeting.read more
In the final part of this series ‘How can women advance their careers’ we look at experiences and advice from successful millennial women from around the globe.read more