Successful ways to recruit and retain more women in 2022
21 March 2022
Imagine you have a great employee who you’ve invested time and energy into developing, then just when you think everything is going smoothly, she asks for a meeting. Moments later, you’re down a highly valued worker.
You might have heard of the COVID-triggered “Great Resignation’’ trend in the United States, which has seen millions of workers quit their jobs. In Australia, there are predictions that instead of a “Great Resignation’’, our jobs market could experience a “Great Reshuffle’’, where many women in particular leave their jobs in pursuit of new opportunities and work-life balance.
Australia is also in the grip of a tight jobs market, which means employers are in fierce competition to fill vacant positions.
In 2022, employers may need to rethink old ways of hiring and retaining talent to fill labour gaps and avoid the cost of staff turnover.
64% of Australian Retirement Trust members with a QSuper account are women, and yet we know Australian women retire with on average 23% less super than men.1 That’s why we’re committed to supporting our female members and providing them with resources and information that can help improve their financial wellbeing and positively influence their career development.
It’s not (just) about the money
While some companies are using higher salaries to attract new talent, this isn’t the only factor women are considering when looking for a new role, SEEK Client Optimisation Manager Jess Burr said.
While salary is important, there are other considerations when trying to hire,’’ Ms Burr said. ‘’Benefits like the ability to offer work-life balance, a strong employee value proposition, learning opportunities and career development are attractive, too.’’
Non-monetary benefits could include:
- Workplace flexibility, including remote and hybrid and flexible start and finish times
- Ability to purchase additional annual leave
- Volunteer time off
- Meaningful projects
- Workplace sustainability and diversity strategies
- Health and wellness programs
- Supportive leaders
- Training and development
- Mentor programs.
Learn more about what women want
The pandemic has changed what many women are looking for in a job, which has made companies think differently about how they attract and keep good employees.
Ask your current female staff what they love about your company as they will likely be the best resource when identifying its unique benefits and where there are gaps, Ms Burr said.
Understanding what staff need and want is so important to an organisation and its ability to not only attract good employees but to keep them,’’ she said.
There are many ways to gather this type of research, including surveys, workshops, performance reviews, staff feedback opportunities and recruitment and exit interviews.
Work on your employee value proposition
Hiring in a tight jobs market takes more than finding and securing great candidates. Women look for organisations where they feel valued and supported, making your employee value proposition (EVP) more important than ever.
An EVP is everything a company does to attract and retain its employees and a clever way for your business to differentiate itself. This could include your company’s core values, pay equity, maternity leave, diversity and inclusion efforts, incentives and benefits, culture, career development, rewards and more.
People, especially the younger generations, want to see that the company they work for cares about them and their goals,’’ Ms Burr said.
Start with a positive experience
How your business comes across in the hiring process will leave a lasting impression on potential employees, so aim to be consistent throughout the process.
Offering a positive experience at every touchpoint – from the job advertisement and application process to the interviews and offer – will ensure you hire talented women who genuinely connect and align with your company. It also builds your reputation in the jobs market whether a candidate accepts a job or not.
In a tight jobs market, the ability to move quickly is crucial so it may be time to review your recruitment process, Ms Burr said.
‘‘If you have a complex internal hiring process, you might be losing candidates to companies who can make an offer faster,’’ Ms Burr said.
For example, reaching out to a busy working woman via phone calls can lead to long periods of phone tag, and emails can be overlooked, so text messages may be an excellent way to speed up communication and keep your potential new employees engaged.
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She’s on Q is a QSuper initiative designed to help empower women to make informed decisions about career, financial security and life goals.
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Australian Tax Office, Median superannuation account balances in 60-64 age group (including nil balances) in 2018-19, ATO Taxation Statistics 2018-19 – Individuals, Chart 12: Individuals – median super balance, by age and sex, accessed 7 March 2022.