Though there are more women in the workplace than ever before, issues such as the gender pay gap clearly show that there’s still progress to be made. Attracting and retaining female talent simply makes good business sense.
Recognising the importance of women in the workplace can go a long way in recruiting and retaining the right staff. It widens the pool of talent employers are able to pick from, for starters. Male, non-binary and female retention in the workplace can also save huge amounts of money, as compared to recruiting and training new staff.
If you want to attract the finest female talent to your organisation, then read on. Outlined below are 10 winning ways to attract – and retain – the most skilled female staff out there.
10 ways to attract & retain female talent
1. Inclusive job adverts
First impressions count. When you want to attract female talent to your workplace, do bear in mind that the job advert is likely to be the first thing that makes a prospective employee aware of the opportunities your organisation has to offer.
Take care when using pronouns here. Rather than referring to an employee as ‘he’ or ‘she’, for example, it’s inclusive to use ‘they’. For example, say that ‘they should demonstrate a solid background in…’ rather than stating that ‘he’ or ‘she’ should.
2. Assess your interviewing process
Before you meet a prospective employee for the first time, you may wish to revisit your interviewing process. Male, female and non-binary candidates often interview differently because of the ‘confidence gap’.
Putting an interviewee at ease thus gives them more of a chance to shine. If your candidate feels confident and accepted, they’re far more likely to succeed at the interview. Your interview process could also mean make or break when a candidate is able to choose between two or more job offers.
3. Female role models in the business
If a prospective employee sees that women are valued in the workplace, then they are more likely to want to work for an organisation. Demonstrating that there are women in leadership roles within the business, for instance, can help to ensure a favourable first impression.
Getting female role models involved in the recruitment and selection process clearly demonstrates to candidates that there are opportunities for them in the future – real ones that go way beyond mere lip service.
4. Offer flexible working
Offering a flexible working pattern can be key to attracting and retaining any staff in the present day. The ability to work partially or wholly from home is very much valued by many employees, particularly those with parental responsibility.
Helping your employees to achieve a good work-life balance can be critical. Offering flexible working patterns where possible is only likely to widen the range of candidates who’ll be interested in working for your organisation.
5. Create a supportive culture that prioritises wellbeing
Again, creating a culture that’s genuinely supportive is about more than paying lip service to the principle. In the wake of the worldwide pandemic, people are far more aware of the importance of their mental as well as physical health.
How can your workplace support the wellbeing of employees? Whether it’s flexible working patterns, a chill-out zone, duvet days or giving workers their birthday off, taking downtime can actually increase productivity by improving employee wellbeing.
6. Conduct regular employee surveys
Everyone wants to feel that their opinion counts. Enable all employees to have a voice by conducting regular surveys. It’s a clear way to show that you’re ready to listen. Conduct these as regularly as possible, and everyone stands to benefit. The results can be crystal clear – a more pleasant working environment for all, plus increased productivity.
If staff suggestions for improvements are acted upon, this could also make all the difference between retaining staff and having to recruit new ones to replace those who leave due to dissatisfaction.
7. Training for HR teams
Providing frontline HR staff with the training they really need can be a sure-fire way to demonstrate inclusivity for all staff. Bloss workshops cover a wide variety of topics, for example, teaching your HR employees how best to approach a range of employee issues.
Whether it’s dealing with the perimenopause, returning to work after maternity leave, women’s health or supporting colleagues after a miscarriage, there are various masterclasses enabling HR professionals to support female employees as fully as they possibly can.
8. Offer family planning benefits
Whatever their age, sexual orientation or relationship status, all employees who want to become parents will appreciate employee family planning benefits. Bloss training is available for HR staff on supporting fertility in the workplace, delivered by an experienced fertility counsellor.
Around one in seven couples currently experience difficulties with conception. According to a 2021 study by Fertility Network UK, up to a third of people have also considered leaving work because of these issues. So stepping in to offer the right support – before it’s too late – makes sound business sense.
9. Strong maternity and paternity leave policies
If people are considering parenthood, then they are highly likely to want to know what their entitlements to maternity leave will be before taking up an offer of employment. A lack of clarity or provision in this area could also encourage existing staff to seek employment elsewhere.
Ensuring all staff have complete clarity regarding parental leave rights and opportunities is key, so make sure your employees can access this information whenever they wish to do so. Whether that’s at the interview stage, or when they’ve worked at the organisation for more than a decade.
10. Run internal mentoring programmes
Anyone from a new graduate to a seasoned professional can benefit from a mentoring programme. Assigning mentors to staff gives each employee a person to approach when they’re seeking advice, clarity or direction. The mentor can also benefit, as their practices may be seen with a fresh pair of eyes. This can lead to opportunities for them to improve and revisit how they do things.
Making a mentoring programme available to anyone who wants to use it is a great way to attract and retain female, non-binary and male employees. It shows there will always be someone they can ask, as well as someone to listen to all their feedback, questions and suggestions.
Take a look at all of the Bloss workshops on offer, to help you become the best employer for your employees.