7 Steps to attract, source and recruit women
Women and the Recruitment Process
We know that companies that proactively recruit and hire women are more successful, but could your process be preventing you from reaching the best candidates? Here are 7 tips to help you recruit women the best way.
Women are more unlikely to be pro-active in applying for internal promotions than their male colleagues. They also take longer to entice into an executive search process, so it’s hardly surprising that there are fewer women in senior roles. What can in-house HR teams do to improve the results for sourcing and attracting female talent? The first steps will be to reassess your recruitment process to reach a greater number of potential female candidates.
How to source, attract and recruit women
#1 Make gender balanced short lists company policy
To recruit more women, a simple step is to formally increase the number of women on corporate short lists. It should be officially integrated into company policy and communicated to all players in the recruitment process. Some organizations are now setting KPIs around specific targets. All involved should be encouraged to spread this vision in their female networks. If possible organisations should incorporate the goal into a mission statement in the public domain such as the web site and social media. Companies should include stories of credible employees who have been through the process to highlight the success of the process and to act as role models.
#2 Create gender neutral adverts
Knowing that women will apply if they meet 90% of the job specifications, it's important to keep job profiles real. No your intern doesn't need an MBA! Companies need to de-code male styled adverts and make them gender neutral. Research shows that gender balanced ads do not discourage men, but do attract women. So make sure there is a clear distinction between key and desirable skills. Run your ad through one of the apps that will advise you about language choice. I use Textio and Kat Matfield Gender De-Coder . Swapping out “exceptional” for “extraordinary” is statistically proven to attract more female applicants
#3 Be clear about benefits
The benefits that women look for should be clearly stated. They will be more interested in remote working, flex and childcare, maternity benefits and concierge services, than they will about free bar on a Friday night. To successfully recruit women spell out the advantages up front without them having to ask. It's easier for you - the hiring manager.
#4 Unconscious bias training
Anyone who is involved in the recruitment process should have unconscious bias training. Every effort should be made to build a culture where it is acceptable to call out unconscious bias. I would go as far to say that if a hiring manager hasn't had unconscious bias training then he/she should not be involved in the process.
#5 Fish where there are fish
Many recruiters, both external and in-house shoot for low hanging fruit on LinkedIn. It’s quick and easy. But it’s also lazy and will not get the best results. It is likely that a normal search string will not show a high number of female candidates, as a lower percentage of women have complete profiles on LinkedIn than their male counterparts. They have shorter summaries and list fewer skills. It’s key to source female applicants where they are likely to be found. If a company usually taps into a specific university where female enrolment is low – don’t keep going back there. Instead, recruiting efforts should be focused on the places where women are easily reached. Recruiters should be encouraged to tap into women’s organizations and women’s employment websites. They should search job boards and career fairs at women’s universities and colleges. Women’s groups on LinkedIn and Facebook need to be a major target. Professional associations have women’s chapters and increasingly there are alumni groups specifically for women. Go there.
#6 Gender balanced short lists
It’s important to have at least 3 female candidates on the short list to avoid the sure-fire rejection of the token single woman.
#7 Showcase successful women
Companies that promote the success of women can take pride in highlighting the women in senior roles in their organizations. As social proofing of employment conditions for women is becoming more widespread and toxic corporate cultures are exposed, it’s important for companies to be squeaky clean. A zero tolerance of sexual harassment or even benevolent sexism is an important policy to declare.
As companies begin to understand the gender dividend the competition for top female talent is only going to increase. It's important that they have their processes adjusted to recruit women.
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
September 17th Latham Watkins Brussels 1200
In-house corporate event
Inclusive Leadership Workshop
September 20th EIGE Vilnius 0900
How to combat sexism in the workplace
Peer review of EU booklet authored by Dorothy Dalton
September 30th BD Foundation Webinar with Dorothy Dalton (online)
Topic: Leading with Emotional Intelligence
October 3rd JUMP Hub Brussels
Gender equality: how to build an attractive employer brand without falling into the trap of “gender washing”
Infrabel, rue de France, 9, 1070 Brusells
Open registration : http://jump.eu.com/hub-sessions/gender-equality-build-attractive-employer-brand-without-falling-trap-gender-washing/
October 15th NEHRA Event at AXA Brussels
Best Diversity and Inclusion Practices
October 22nd and 23rd Unleash Conference Paris
Open registration: https://unleashgroup.io
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
Sexism: How to stage a Bystander Intervention in the Workplace In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions...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
Conscious inclusion means not just creating initiatives, but creating a culture where people can speak out and raise awareness of unacceptable behaviour.read more
Most of us have been on a road-trip at some point, but you may be surprised to learn what leadership skills the road can teach you.read more
The male-coded workplace is defined by several characteristics that discourage female participation, and career fear is at the heart of it.read more