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Employer attractiveness varies according to gender, says report

August 5, 2013 | Posted at 10:25 am

With gender equality in the workplace sometimes open to debate, a recent study has shown that while salary and benefits are important to both sexes, what makes a potential employer attractive to a candidate also varies depending on whether that job seeker is male or female.

Employer attractiveness
Research conducted by a global human resources provider showed that how a company is perceived by potential employees is a key factor in determining what type of applicants will be interested in positions there, with elements such as workplace diversity and brand identification gaining increased traction in candidate requirements. According to the authors of the report, which surveyed 7,000 people worldwide, employers need to work on varying levels of attraction, even in industry sectors where they would appear to hold the upper hand.

“How a company is perceived as an employer impacts what types of candidates it will attract,” the authors noted, according to the Sacramento Bee. “As our research reveals, companies may need to focus on key elements, such as building culture and adopting more flexible work policies, to appeal to different demographics. Attracting and retaining talent is not a one stop shop – particularly with a diverse workforce and multiple generations sitting side-by-side to one another.”

The report made several key findings as regards to what women want from a job and what men feel they need. According to the study, location is important for female workers with 44 percent of those surveyed citing that as a factor compared to 35 percent of male respondents. At the same time, the balance between work and lifestyle commitments also veers more towards women, with 37 percent needing workplace flexibility as opposed to 26 percent of men.

Career progression
While career progression has often formed a topic of conversation in terms of gender, the report noted that it was very important for men to know their projected path within the company. Continued advancement is considered by 42 percent of men to be essential in accepting a new position, while this is key for 36 percent of female workers. The financial health of a firm was also believed to be a concern for male candidates, with 36 percent of respondents requiring a healthy balance sheet versus 28 percent of women.

“As the job market continues its steady momentum and employee confidence increases, more employees will keep their options open for other opportunities,” the authors concluded. “With women making up half the workforce, they should also consider the unique things that women value when choosing an employer.”