Even if a job is “gender neutral,” how you approach the hiring process will determine whether more men or women apply for the position. To ensure a more equal split of applicants, you’ll want to mind these latest findings.
MedReps.com, a medical and pharmaceutical sales job board, recently set out to find the subtle differences in how men and women go about job hunting.
Knowing these differences can help employers tweak their job ads and hiring strategies to make sure they aren’t accidentally excluding a higher percentage of candidates from a particular gender.
After poring over research from all over the Web, MedReps.com found four interesting differences between how men and women approach a job hunt:
- Some women are turned off by job descriptions that list personality traits typically associated with men — such as “assertive,” “aggressive,” “analytical” and “independent.” Instead, they look for words like “conscientious,” “dedicated,” “responsible” and “sociable.” Men, on the other hand, aren’t affected by masculine or feminine descriptors.
- Far more men use social media in their job searches than women.
- Women who describe themselves in interviews using feminine terms (i.e., “warm,” “supportive,” “nurturing,” etc.) are viewed as less qualified for jobs in traditionally male dominated fields. Hiring managers in those fields are looking for more masculine descriptors (i.e., “achievement-oriented,” “assertive,” “independent,” etc.).
- Men tend to enter interviews with more confidence, striving to make a good first impression right away. Women, on the other hand, tend to begin interviews shaking off nerves and attempting to show off their positive personalities.
Tips for employers
Based on these findings, MedReps.com offered this advice to employers to help level the playing field in their hiring processes:
- Try to include a balance of masculine and feminine words in job descriptions and want ads to attract a balance of candidates.
- Look for candidates using a variety of sources. A heavy reliance on social media tends to attract more men.
- Evaluate candidates’ hard and soft skills, checking off boxes as candidates meet the criteria you’re looking for.
To dive deeper into what MedReps.com uncovered, check out the infographic below: