Moms at Work - An Untapped Talent Pool
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.
But what if this apparent talent shortage that businesses were facing wasn't completely 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 were 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 comes from a working mom, or a female. So why aren't these mom's applying for your jobs? Because you may not be offering the right position for them.
We find that often times moms don't come back to the workforce after they have their first child, and that's usually because of how strict their workplace is. Usually to find a job that fits their schedule, and provides the flexibility they require they 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? Check out the video below to find out!
Video: Moms at Work - An Untapped Talent Pool
10 Proven Ways to Attact and Engage Mom Job Seekers
1. Get to know them.
Take some time to talk with any moms you already employ. Ask them what drew them to work for you, what makes them stay? If you're feeling particularly brave, you can even ask them where you have room to improve to make work a more mom-friendly environment.
2. Create a great job.
When I say create a great job, I mean create a job where a person will feel valued and accomplished at the end of every day. If you're asking a mom to take time away from her children, be sure that the time is spent doing something fulfilling. Not just mindless busywork.
3. Offer mature perks.
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 mom will be keener to work at a company that offers free housecleaning (an ApplicantPro benefit!) or free child care.
4. Write a really good job ad.
Make sure your job ad displays the perks and benefits that you're offering. Then make sure you're portraying the job in a way that makes it sound like a great place to work and a great position for a mom. If you're not sure how to do this, grab a mom that works for you and have them read through your ad and ask for their feedback.
5. Have good selection criteria.
Ensure your criteria and process isn't set up to push away female and mom applicants. A lot of 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!
6. See the bigger picture.
Remember that at the end of the day you just want someone who will get the job done. Don't focus so much on hours worked or where they're working. It usually doesn't matter where the job gets done, when it gets done, or how it does as long as it does get done, and it gets done well.
7. Make it easy for them to work.
Outfit your employees with cell phones and laptops so they have the flexibility to work in the parking lot during school pick up, or work on vacation when they need to.
8. Hire for potential, not past.
It's not unusual for a woman to come back 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.
9. Support odd work hours.
These workers best hours could be from 8pm - Midnight every night after their kids go to bed. Encourage them to find a schedule that best suits their family's needs.
10. Benefits, benefits, benefits.
Be sure you're providing maternity leave, paid time off, and health insurance. Moms have a lot to worry about and they want their families to be taken care of just as much as they are.
Try out some of these tips and let me know if you see an increase in moms applying for your jobs. Or, better yet, share this article with colleagues or on social media so we can start inspiring more "Mom Friendly" companies.
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