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Recruiting the Best and Brightest Women for Your Organization

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Guest Contributor

These days there are more women than men entering colleges and universities, which means that businesses that want to move into the future need to start thinking about how they can recruit these qualified candidates.  In addition to filling a quota in the diversity roster of any company, female employees also bring a unique perspective to all areas of operation, including new ideas that pertain to a demographic that most corporations would like to appeal to (that would be female consumers).  But how can you entice the most intelligent, creative, and experienced women to fill necessary positions in your company?  Here are just a few ways to tempt them.

1. Salary.  Any company willing to offer competitive salaries that are gender-blind will have their pick of the litter when it comes to female employees.  Although we like to think that gender inequality in the workplace is a thing of the past, studies still show that women, on average, make only seventy cents for every dollar that men in the same position earn.  So if you want to entice the best women to your workplace, think about offering them more money than your competitors.

2. Benefits.  Not all companies are required to offer medical benefits to employees, but this addition to salary is something that most women will not go without.  It has to do with both personal health and family concerns.  Whether a woman has a spouse or she is raising a family on her own, the fact that she must work to aid in the support of her household likely means that she doesn’t have a lot of extra cash lying around for doctor and dental visits.  So if you’re not offering an insurance package with every job then you’re probably not going to attract a large turnout of female applicants.

3. Bonuses.  Not all benefits need be monetary (although financial rewards are almost certainly appreciated).  But you will get a lot further with attracting female employees if you offer services that are geared towards their particular needs.  By providing daycare services, flexible shifts, telecommuting, and other options for working mothers you may be able to gain the interest of some of the brightest women in your field (especially since most businesses do not allow such aberrations in the workflow).  Developing a reputation for hiring expectant mothers will also do a lot to endear you to females in the workforce (and potentially net you some of your best employees).

4. Sexual harassment training.  This is practically mandatory for any business that wants to stave off potential lawsuits, so if you’re not offering this valuable and necessary tool, you might find that you have a decided lack of females in your office environment.  You not only need to ensure that your employees are aware of what constitutes sexual harassment; you also need to take a hard line on offenders so that your female employees feel safe at their jobs.

5. Hire and promote women!  Companies that treat their employees well earn a reputation in their industry and even the marketplace at large (consider companies like Google and SAS as compared to, say, Walmart).  So when you make an extra effort to support female employees by hiring and promoting qualified women you’ll find that you get more interest from that sector of the workforce.

Breana Orland writes for Midwest HR, a company at the forefront of Illinois professional employer organizations.

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