How to Get More Female Applicants

Advertising Job Roles to Women

Rose McCarter-Field

By Rose McCarter-Field

Did you know that 60% of industries have been shown to have a male bias in their job adverts?(1) People are more likely to apply for a job advert that they can relate to. If you have a male bias in your adverts you will put women off. And women represent half the talent pool!

And here’s the thing, people often don’t even realise they are showing a male bias in their adverts. So what do you need to look out for?

Words are a big factor. The gender neutral pronoun ‘they’ is perfectly interchangeable with ‘he’ or ‘she’ and doesn’t exclude anyone. Then the slightly less obvious words associated with being male, such as ‘hero’ or ‘ninja’ are a turn off. 

But this is basic stuff, finding wording that appeals to women is more complex than gender assignment. Women look for a different kind of description in their adverts. Women are more likely to relate to an advert that shows a work-life balance, culture, and values. Technical jargon without the context of the lifestyle they will have working for you, just turns them off.

Use images with women in. If they see a male dominated environment, they know they will be a minority. And as a result, will be more tempted by a different advert with more inclusive images. If you are using genuine images from your company and you have women in leadership, get them in the pictures! Seeing women in leadership roles shows female candidates that there is a potential future for them in your organisation.

When you get into more detail in the advert, remember, women care about more than the job specification. They care about what their life will be like working with you. What is the work life balance at your company? Is there flexible working? Equal pay? Career opportunities? Does the company have values? A friendly culture? These are important to get across sooner rather than later.

As always, if you need any help with the recruitment of people of all genders or assistance with your international payroll, get in touch. 

  1. HR Director, 2019