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March 8, 2019
The Future Is Female: How To Attract More Female Early-Career Candidates
Alex Csedrik

By 2022, women will represent 47 percent of the US workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By that time, Gen Z will comprise roughly one-fifth of it. But that doesn’t mean recruiting strategies need to adapt, right?  

Unfortunately, one size no longer fits all when it comes to recruiting top talent.  

If your hiring team wants to build its female early-career talent pool, it needs to adjust its recruitment strategies. Here’s how you can accomplish that goal.

Use Inclusive Recruiting Methods

Emma Nicholls, the founder of Your Red Dress Ltd, a company that helps organizations attract, develop, and retain female talent, suggests that companies need more inclusive attraction and selection processes to create a diverse talent pool. Hiring managers and recruiters need to learn about what being inclusive means, discover their own potential biases, and use inclusive language to attract more female applicants.

But where do you start? You should examine your company’s candidate experience at every stage to see where there are any breakdowns. For instance, does your company’s careers page feature pictures only of men? If so, women might worry that it’s a brompany (aka a company with a male-dominated culture).

This is also true when it comes to word choice. Hiring teams can repel female candidates by using sexist language, and they can deter Gen Z candidates from wanting to join their company if they rely too heavily on clichés.     

Provide Flexible Working Arrangements

Flexible working arrangements are what’s trending in terms of what female early-career candidates want from a company. And it helps your hiring team get a more diverse talent pool, as Forbes notes. Because top talent comes in all forms—and with different backgrounds and circumstances—companies need to provide different options.

Just remember that if you offer flexibility to your employees, you’ll increase the likelihood that top female candidates will want to work for your company.

Learn how you can transform your early-career recruiting process here.

early-career recruitment

Look For Talent With Unique Backgrounds

Similarly, hiring teams should prioritize candidates with unique backgrounds. Forbes argues that these diverse candidates can bring more to the company, like diversity of thought. So instead of emphasizing a level of experience, hiring teams should focus on agreed-upon characteristics and evidence of accomplishments. Instead of demanding that candidates have held several internships, ask that they’ve demonstrated creative problem-solving.

Businesses that do this will be rewarded. Not only will your company be more diverse, it’ll see a better bottom line. Companies with diverse teams are 45 percent more likely to report market share growth, and 70 percent more likely to have captured a new market.   

Emphasize Relationships

As Fortune points out, early-career candidates are willing to take a job with a lower salary if the company is a good culture fit. And a big aspect of this is professional and personal growth opportunities. So it’s in your company’s best interest to emphasize this as part of your company culture. Provide your early-career employees with a mentor outside of their managers.

Ideally, you should connect female employees with a female mentor in a senior role who can offer support for challenging projects and other issues. This helps a young employee feel engaged at work, because they feel they’re a valued part of the company. And it’s especially important for female candidates, because they want to see first-hand examples that the company offers growth possibilities for them.     

The future (of almost half the workforce) is female, so hiring teams need to utilize different tactics to recruit for it.

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