How Can Companies Attract Top Female Talent?

What do top female job candidates want when searching for a job?

According to Randstad’s recent Engagement Study conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, salary is one of the most important factors for women workers, with more than half (57%) of female respondents saying they felt their salary was adequate for their position/level of responsibility.

Besides salary, what can companies do to attract and maintain top female talent? According to the survey, women are looking for companies that:

Encourage Appropriate Work Relationships

Relationships built on mutual respect allow for a more stimulating work environment and provides an atmosphere that encourages employees to openly share their ideas and opinions. According to Randstad’s research, nearly nine in 10 women agree that relationships with colleagues (88%) and direct supervisors (86%) have a big impact on how happy they are with their jobs.

A recent Harvard Business Review article looked at the importance of workplace relationships:

“Camaraderie is more than just having fun, though. It is also about creating a common sense of purpose and the mentality that we are in-it together,” according to the Harvard Business Review. “Camaraderie at work can create “esprit de corps,” which includes mutual respect, sense of identity, and admiration to push for hard work and outcomes. Many companies are engaging in corporate challenges, such as bike to work day, wellness competitions, community service events, and other activities to help build a sense of teamwork and togetherness.”

Allow Flex Time

Being flexible or accommodating in terms of hours or working arrangements was ranked most effective in helping to keep employees engaged. Likewise, 87 percent of women polled said that flexible/telecommuting work arrangements were important when considering taking a position in a new company. Furthermore, 93 percent of women whose employers offer a reduced schedule of flex time during the summer months say that this improves company morale, while 81 percent of female respondents felt more productive because of it.

Offer Promotions or Bonuses

Women also agree that offering promotions or bonuses to high performing employees is effective in helping to keep employees engaged, but only 22 percent of women polled said that their company offers these types of incentives. In addition, only 24 percent of women said that their company has a formal system in place to recognize/reward top employees.

This Forbes article looks at five effective ways employers can show recognition for their workers:

1.) In the moment: According to Forbes, be timely, descriptive and measured with recognition.

2.) In context: Tie recognition to larger business goals

3.) Appropriate in volume/scale: The recognition given should match the effort, according to Forbes

4.) Authentic, not automatic: Mean what you say

5.) Tied to the employee’s perception of value: Always let workers know what they are worth

Have a Good Reputation

When considering a position with a new company, women agreed that it was important for the company to have a good reputation among its employees as a good place to work (97 percent) and a good reputation in the community (92 percent). In addition, 73 percent of women also said that it is important for the company to invest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts such as giving back to the community or making an effort to be more environmentally friendly.

By focusing on engagement efforts to attracting the best and brightest female employees, companies can attain a more gender-balanced workforce, especially when it comes to leadership.

By: WPB Expert / On: September 26, 2013 /

In: Advice, Careers, Excellence, Workplace Dynamics, Recruiting


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