We still have fewer women running larger companies than men with the name John or David.

Unfortunately, this statistic shows that gender inequality still exists in the workplace and there are several reasons for it. It’s not just how men perceive women but also how women often perceive themselves, and it’s up to a company to understand those gender differences to overcome biases in the hiring process.

What are the major differences between women and men in the job search?

 

DIFFERENCE #1 “AM I QUALIFIED ENOUGH?”

Often times, men apply to a position even though they only meet 60% of the requirements. By contrast, the Hewlett Packard report states that women are more selective and some may be more self-conscious, and as a result, apply to positions where they 100% fit the requirement.

What can we do about it?

A first step to overcome the hurdle for women to apply to a role is to limit the list of requirements in the job descriptions to the ones most necessary and phrase the others as “nice to have” or “bonus for”.

Job descriptions should also include insights into the values best-fit candidates should hold instead of naming every single required qualification.

 

Zocket_gender_differences_in_job_search

 

DIFFERENCE #2 MASCULINE-CODED WORDS

Another study shows that men are usually not so influenced by the wording of a job description, they don’t mind whether it’s masculine or feminine-coded. But, women tend to perceive some words very differently and feel less attracted to masculine-coded terms, such as “assertive”, “individual”, “superior” or “aggressive”. In general, women show a greater response to job postings that use words like “responsible”, “sociable”, “dedicated”, or “cooperate”.

What can we do about it?

To increase women’s response rates of job postings, more attention should be put on the wording by balancing masculine and feminine-coded terms. When unsure, it’s always helpful to do two things before the job posting goes online:

-Get a second opinion, and
-Ask a female co-worker for her perception.

 

DIFFERENCE #3 SOCIAL MEDIA

As we become more and more connected online, job seekers use this opportunity to look for suitable companies and positions on social media. However, according to Forbes men tend to rely more on social media in their job search than women.

What can we do about it?

To increase female applications, companies should use a variety of sources to distribute job listings to find best-fit candidates. Relying heavily on social media will homogenize the talent pool towards masculine applicants, whereas women are more likely to look for jobs through job review sites (e.g., Glassdoor) or recommendations from friends and family.

 

Changing the game when it comes to bias in the hiring process has to come from within, but there are many ways you can get outside help.

 

DIFFERENCE #4 EMPLOYERS EXPECTATIONS

Unfortunately, some employers are still biased in the sense that they expect male job seekers to perform better than female ones before knowing anything about their skills or experience. This is a problem as it is more difficult to change the opinion someone already holds than forming a new one from scratch.

What can we do about it?

Employers should be aware that unconscious biases can affect their selection and hiring decisions. Blinding CVs and assessing candidates solely on their hard and soft skills can create equal opportunities for everyone.

 

NOW AND TOMORROW

Changing the game when it comes to bias in the recruitment process has to come from within, but there are many ways you can get outside help.

The first and easiest to get started quickly is hiring a specialized consultant who can help you identify risk areas in your online application process. The result is a thorough report with quick wins (and some not so quick) to better balance your talent pool with male and female applicants.

This is one of Zocket’s specialties. Our candidate experience assessment not only evaluates your job postings but tells you what your candidates really think about their experience when applying to work for you. From there, you learn about the effects on your business and how to improve it to strengthen your employer brand and become an employer of choice to your candidates.

The second thing you can do is look at new and existing HR technology to reduce bias in the hiring process. Zocket Powered is our own HR tech tool that reduces bias in the hiring process, stimulating gender equality and a diverse workforce. Using smart matching data combined with blind CV and application process allows your business to be a more gender-neutral workplace with an improved reputation and employer brand. It also empowers your current employees by offering professional development and growth through internal mobility opportunities.

Interested? Request a free demo today.

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