Attracting female talent and building an inclusive work environment are major organizations’ top human resources (HR) goals. And why wouldn’t they be? Some inherent benefits to attracting female employees may begin with gender diversity but don’t end there.
Studies indicate that organizations that practice gender diversity hiring best practices are preferred as employers and workplaces by millennials and Gen Z.
On the productivity and bottom-line fronts as well, having an inclusive workforce results in higher gains. Unsurprisingly, therefore, having a female hiring strategy can be highly beneficial for your organization, and here is how you can go about it.
How to Attract More Female Candidates
Before you can bring female hires to the interview table, you need to get them to apply to your job postings. Even if you have an unbiased interview process prepared by woke men and women in recruitment, you may be sending mixed signals to female candidates through your job ads and early selection criteria. You can fix these by adopting these practices:
1. Establish an Inclusive Employer Brand
Your employer brand plays a major role in attracting talent. Although it works for both genders, you are likely to attract more female applicants if you have an inclusive employer image.
Promote gender diversity at the workplace and if you have achieved the right balance, represent it on your website and social platforms. Share success stories of women in leadership positions in your organization and communicate how safe and growth-oriented your culture is.
2. Create Gender-neutral Job Ads
The next course of action is to make sure that your job ads are written right. Ad copy can unconsciously become gender-specific by including pronouns like “he/she or they.” Certain sentences may also be framed in a way that may signal to female applicants that your company is only seeking male talent.
Develop more gender-neutral ad copy for your job ads and test it with your target audience before running the ads.
3. Tap into Targeted Recruitment Sources
Certain talent pools such as recruitment sites designed for women or women colleges can help you fill your recruitment pipeline with quality female talent.
While you don’t have to source candidates from these sources exclusively, you can set up a diverse mix of recruitment sources to find the best talent for your needs.
4. Keep Job Description “To the Point”
Female candidates are encouraged to apply to job postings that they are 100% confident about. If they find job requirements that are divergent from their existing skillset, they end up not applying. This is not the case with male candidates!
Keeping this behavioral disparity in mind, try to develop job descriptions that are to the point and lay emphasis on the “must-have” and “nice to have” skills. Include only those aspects of the job that contribute to the KPIs and are critical to job success.
5. Communicate Benefits Relevant to Women
Your job ads and company website should highlight perks and benefits relevant to female candidates. These could be remote work, flexible timings, on-site day-care facility, healthcare coverage, or any other HR initiatives that you may have taken for your female employees.
By highlighting such benefits, you communicate a future commitment toward building an inclusive workplace and show potential applicants that you are walking the talk.
6. List Your Salary Policy and Salary Information:
Gender-based pay gap is a real menace, and female candidates are aware of this partiality even while applying to great opportunities. By communicating salary information in the job postings, you can build transparency and integrity in the recruitment process.
You can also communicate a detailed salary policy on your website to emphasize your commitment to equal pay.
How to Hire More Women
With the fundamental question of how to get more female applicants to enter your recruitment pipeline answered, you now have to set up practices that can promote more inclusive hiring.
7. Automate Candidate Screening to Remove Bias
The early stages of candidate screening may often be replete with personal bias—an issue that you can fix by adopting smart tools for supporting hiring decisions and automating the process.
You can make the early screening rounds anonymous and conduct the assessments with bots or tools to minimize gender bias.
8. Use Unbiased and Diverse Interview Panels
Face-to-face, virtual, and telephonic interviews will remain a big part of your recruitment process. Although you have screened candidates based on merit, this step can introduce latent bias into the hiring decision.
To avoid this, create and use interview panels that sufficiently represent each gender and are inclined toward inclusive hiring.
9. Adopt a Structured Interview Process
The more structure and compliance you will bring into your recruitment process, the equal experience every candidate will have with your organization, the more inclusive your talent pool will become.
To do this, adopt a structured interview process that relies on pre-specified interview rounds, assessment metrics, and comprehensive rubrics to assess candidate competencies.
10. Train Your Hiring Manager for Sensitivity
Human bias can sneak into your hiring process despite all your best efforts. Therefore, while you are structuring and automating elements of the recruitment process, you must also remember to sensitize your hiring manager.
Train them to avoid bias and handle candidate discussions openly and sensitively. Such interventions will reinforce your image as a preferred employer for all genders.
In conclusion, having a female hiring strategy doesn’t mean adopting gender bias while hiring talent. It simply means adopting recruitment practices that promote diversity and inclusion in your organization.
With these recruitment and interview practices, you can succeed in attracting female talent and build an organizational culture that is poised for sustainable growth.