5 ways to make your employer brand attractive to women

by Dec 10, 2019

Use these tips to make your employer brand attractive to women

Make your employer brand attractive to women so that you can attract the top potential candidates.

Some organisations are able to achieve gender balance in their recruitment more easily processes than others. So, what is the magic formula to stand out to make your employer brand attractive to women?

The role itself, the industry sector and visibility of the organisation all contribute. But when we assessed our own assignments and talked to colleagues we found a number of common threads which make an employer brand attractive to women and stand out to potential candidates.

make your employer brand attractive to women

5 ways to make your employer brand attractive to women

1. Leadership visibility and values

One striking consistent factor was the role of the leaders to actively promote the values of the organisation. These should also be aligned with the advancement of women. It includes ensuring that you make a visible and open commitment to deal with sexism and harassment in your organisation. You need to demonstrate a real effort to give women seats at the table. This ought to be at every level, not just the token woman at the top. Then you should also show how you are actively striving to close any gender pay gaps.

We recently gave feedback to a senior executive. The results showed that not only was he personally not visible as the leader of his organisation, but the company web site was specifically quoted as being off-putting to female candidates because it was considered male coded. This was a real disincentive to the women we spoke to. They simply could not imagine themselves working there. Employers have to recognise that women feel they want to “belong” in an organisation. This is something that is easily dealt with.

In today’s competitive market leaders have to be vocal and visible to actively make your employer brand attractive to women.

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2. Know your own corporate culture

Gender balance diversity and inclusion is a current buzz phrase. But too frequently it is just a box-ticking exercise where the company has no real understanding of its own corporate culture or what is going on at lower levels. It’s imperative for any business to take the pulse of its organisation. This should be more than the occasional “dignity at work” or generic employee engagement survey. These measurements tend to group together the different levels of employee experience. They focus on all forms of inappropriate behaviour together (bullying, racism, ageism etc.) Instead, there needs to be a very specific section for sexism and harassment.

We have been in many sessions when anonymous polls are used. Senior leaders are often dismayed when the results do not align with either their own perceptions of the situation or their internal survey results. Get to know your corporate culture so that you know what’s really going on.

3. Encourage brand ambassadors

Your own employees are your best brand ambassadors to promote the benefits and pleasure of working for your company. Encourage them to share their stories on social media platforms; LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or wherever your target market is located. Don’t insist on layers of approval – make it easy for them to share and showcase their experiences.

4. Have video job profiles

Seeing is believing and women respond well to story-telling. Another good idea is to attach a short video to a job profile. The maximum length would be about 60 seconds. It should give a view of the workspace, the people in it and some details about the job. The video should be authentic, not an airbrushed “comms” job where everyone is good looking and putting on a show for the camera.

You can also have a dedicated section on your careers page.

5. Social impact

Women frequently express concern about the social impact of an organisation, which anyone can track via Google. This can be about climate change initiatives, child slavery, working conditions or other sensitive topics. Now that consumer branding and employer branding are so closely connected, anyone working on the employer branding side should be in close contact with external communications and CSI. We saw recently what happened with McDonald’s. They lost their CEO, CHRO and have a class action being taken against them. Nestlé has been under scrutiny for child labour exploitation. While McKinsey has under the microscope for their involvement with the US ICE programme.

Regardless of if your core business is involved in social impact products or solutions, you should take every opportunity to promote corporate social responsibility. This should include activities which encourage employee involvement such as volunteering, working with charities, mentoring underprivileged children etc. Working on this will help you attract women who want to commit to a purpose-driven organisation, even if this is not central to your activities.

The bottom line is that engagement with your recruitment processes will be challenging unless your employer brand is authentic, visible and promoted by everyone who interacts with it.

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