Have you ever wondered if there were enough qualified applicants out there?
As I travel around the country, I hear the same thing from most business owners, managers, and HR professionals: There just aren't enough qualified people to fill their open jobs.
They know that they could improve their applicant flow by increasing pay rates above their competitors, but that would most likely only be a short term fix. Over time, their competitors would raise their pay rates to match, and the shortage would return. Simply put, increasing pay generally doesn't increase the total number of available applicants in a market or job role.
Think about this: what if this apparent talent shortage that businesses are facing isn’t completely because of a lack of qualified people in their market? What if there were people, who would otherwise be qualified for these jobs that were choosing not to apply? What if they were choosing to stay in jobs that were beneath their talents, or even to not work at all, simply because the jobs they were a fit for didn't meet their personal needs and preferences?
How do I get more qualified job seekers?
What if I told you that this group of job seekers was right under your noses? Could it be that this huge pool of untapped talent is made up of women, and primarily moms? It's true! Data shows that 40% of households in the United States the primary or sole source of income stems from a working mom or a woman. So why aren't these moms applying for your jobs? It’s because you may not be offering the right position for them.
If a woman chooses not to return to work after they have their first child, it’s usually because of personal choice or how strict their schedule has become. When finding a job that fits their schedule and provides the flexibility they require, they could end up applying for jobs well beneath their skill set and abilities. Our research has shown that the majority of women will not apply for a job (even if they are more than qualified) unless they meet 100% of the requirements laid out in the job ad.
So how do we go about attracting and engaging this pool of job seekers? Here are 9 ways to attract and engage qualified mothers applying for positions.
- Get to Know Your Employees
Take some time to talk with any mothers you already employ. Ask them what drew them to work for you and what makes them stay. If you're feeling particularly brave, you can even ask them where you have room to improve to make your place of business a more mom-friendly environment.
- Create a Great Position
When I say create a great position, I mean create a job where a person will feel valued and accomplished at the end of every day. Man or woman, if you're asking someone to take time away from their children, be sure that the time is spent doing something fulfilling.
- Offer More Advantageous Benefits
While your employees should be grateful for any extra perk you give them, remember that not all perks are created equal. A college student may enjoy the allure of free Slurpee's in the break room, whereas a mother will be more appreciative to work at a company that offers free child care. It’s not a common advantage, and it puts odds of someone accepting a position in your favor. Also, make sure you're providing maternity leave, paid time off, and health insurance. Parents tend to worry about this the most and they want their families to be taken care of just as much as they are.
- Write a Good Advertisement
Make sure your job ad displays the perks and benefits. Then make sure you're portraying the job in a way that shows your office is woman friendly. It’s always a good idea to bring in multiple people to overview what you have written. Another way to do show your company is woman friendly is show photos on your website and Facebook of employees you have. A good way to break the stigma is to be as transparent as possible.
- Ask for Help
Ensure your hiring criteria and process isn't set up to reject women who are applying. Many times, hiring managers have some old school concepts about moms at work such as they may not be as dedicated. These stereotypes aren't true, and they hurt employees as well as your business.
- See the Bigger Picture
Remember that at the end of the day, you just want an employee who will get the job done. Don't focus on hours worked in the office or where they are working. Children get sick, home repairs need to be made, and these are just a few of the long list of errands someone with many responsibilities has to do. As long as the job is done and done well, there should not be an issue of working elsewhere.
- Make It Easy for Them to Work Anywhere
On the subject of working from home, outfit your employees with cell phones or laptops so they have the flexibility to work where they need to be in that moment.
- Hire for Potential
If a woman is a former stay-at-home mother, it's not unusual for her to return to work after staying home with their kids for five or six years. Don't punish them for this lapse in employment. Instead, look at what their potential could be after some simple training.
- Support Odd Work Hours
Every single person’s schedule is a little bit different. Someone could need their hours to be from noon to 8:00PM. It’s important to encourage employees with children to find a schedule that best suits their family's needs.
Try out some of these tips and see if there is an increase in mothers or even stay-at-home dads applying for your positions. Also, share this article with colleagues or on social media so we can start inspiring more "mom friendly" companies.
Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These group of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!