How (not) to drive away female applicants - EmployeeConnect HRIS
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How (not) to drive away female applicants

Recruitment agencies are always looking for the best people to fill roles. Most of the time, it is irrelevant what gender, orientation or race they are, but researchers in Germany suggest that businesses are stereotyping job vacancies by mistake.

If a role is gender neutral, then it may come as a surprise when a recruiter only gets male applicants. This was part of a larger research project that the Technische Universität München (TUM) looked into earlier this year.

The researchers at the university showed test subjects of both genders 260 fake job vacancies, and found women were less inclined to apply if the advertisement contained words like “assertive”, “independent”, “aggressive” and “analytical.” The women reported these words were linked to male stereotypes and thought they were unlikely to fit the mould.

Despite the women being qualified for the roles, the wording of the vacancy discouraged them from applying which could be one reason why there are fewer females in higher management roles in Australian businesses.

The university discovered women were more likely to apply if words like “dedicated”, “responsible”, “conscientious” and “sociable” were included. In comparison, male test subjects said the wording made no difference in their decision to apply or not.

Head of the study, Professor Claudia Peus, said job postings have be “carefully formulated” to attract the best candidates.

“In most cases, it doesn’t make sense to simply leave out all of the male-sounding phrases. But without a profile featuring at least balanced wording, organisations are robbing themselves of the chance of attracting good female applicants,” she said.

For Australian recruitment agencies installing HRMS is one tool that can help attract the best applicants to a job. The HR management software can make the process easier for both parties and help to track the applications coming in.

By having good systems in place, businesses can have the greatest chance to attract the perfect person to any role.

Ari Kopoulos

CEO at EmployeeConnect