Can digital talent attraction help bring more females into tech roles?

11 February 2021

It’s an age-old problem that doesn’t seem to go away, no matter how many tech businesses try to implement change. The truth is there is a lack of women in tech roles. This lack of representation is becoming a real issue, damaging the reputation of entire industries and forming a vicious cycle for many companies. If a company appears male-dominated, it’s less likely that female talent will want to join its ranks; they’d much rather work for a more inclusive and diverse employer. Currently, only 24% of people working in STEM roles across the UK are female and makes it harder to attract more women to tech roles.

Diversity in any organisation is vital; it brings different opinions, experiences and mindsets, increases productivity and helps you to appeal to a broader field of talent in future recruitment efforts. Therefore, it’s more important than ever that tech businesses strive to open their doors to female talent, as it could impact their workforce’s future.

 In honour of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we wanted to shed light on an impactful thing that STEM businesses can do right now to help attract more women and girls to a career within their industries and break this diversity crisis once and for all.

Right now, we’re at a pivotal time in the world of recruitment. Many roles are becoming redundant or less crucial as we enter a new era of work, technology is taking over, and candidates can see that these roles are the future. Experts predict that 9 in 10 UK employees will have to reskill by 2030 due to the pandemic accelerating changes to the world of work and with technological and business developments as their role evolves. As a result, many candidates are using this time to reskill, which could be great news for scaling tech businesses. However, turning points in the world of work don’t happen often. Therefore, these businesses need to take action at crucial moments such as this, to encourage women to reskill and take up careers in tech, science and other STEM industries. This is where digital attraction and social media for recruitment come into play.

Below are some of the reasons we think social media and digital talent attraction techniques could bring more females into tech.

Expand our networks

When it comes to scaling tech businesses or a scaling company of any kind, the main issue is looking beyond our networks. When no one has heard of a business, it’s easier to get friends, former colleagues or classmates to believe in you. However, this does nothing for diversity.

Digital attraction, when used correctly, can be a way of expanding these networks and reaching out to more people. It could be the secret to reaching out to a much more diverse talent pool in tech and STEM industries. As we all know, almost everyone is on social media or at least uses the internet in some capacity; therefore, it makes logical sense to target tech talent where they’re spending time. Using social media content, targeted ads or even Google adverts can help you reach candidates outside your traditional network.

If you only ever promote your jobs on LinkedIn and Indeed, and you’re struggling to get more women into tech, maybe it’s time to try new alternative platforms. As great as LinkedIn and Indeed are, they only speak to the active candidate market, limiting your search. Using consumer-based advertising platforms is an innovative way to reach passive candidates and raise your employer brand awareness at the same time. It will allow you to reach wider networks of relevant people based on their qualifications, interests, and even employment history – many of these candidates will be female.

Increases awareness

We use digital attraction to help scaling businesses raise awareness of available opportunities and them as an employer. With standout creative and messaging your campaigns will cut through the noise and candidates of all ages, backgrounds and genders will remember you (even if they’re not currently looking for a new role)

If you’re looking to increase awareness amongst a specific group, a digital attraction could help. For example, suppose you tailor your messaging to appeal more to female tech talent and adjust your campaign, targeting females with relevant qualifications. In that case, you’re sure to raise awareness within that community. Obviously, when advertising a vacancy, you cannot discriminate based on gender, even if it’s positive discrimination from a diversity standpoint. However, if your goal is to raise awareness in communities, what’s stopping you?

Provides a space to share female stories

You can’t be who you can’t see, which is one of the most significant barriers to women working in tech. Only 5% of leadership positions in the technology industry are held by women, making it difficult for younger women to visualise a successful career in tech. If a company has no senior leaders who are female, it limits the aspirations of others working in the industry; there are no role models that they can relate to. This is again where digital communications and social media can come in handy; use them to share females’ stories within your organisation. Social media is a platform to share stories, and they can spread if you use the right media, strategies and even target them to the right people. Use the stories from within your organisation to inspire but also boost your employer brand awareness.

Sure, in a scaling business, they may not be leaders just yet but giving a chance to tell their story and share their ambitions, along with how you’re helping them. If other women can see that female tech talent thrives in your organisation, they’ll feel compelled to apply for any open roles themselves.

Jump on trending days

There are so many national days that encourage girls and women to join STEM industries that companies can join in with. Social media is all about joining in with conversations and trending topics. These days are so successful that you can almost guarantee they’ll be trending every year, which gives your company a chance to be seen. Even if your scaling tech business only currently hires men, you can still show support for women in the industry; you just need to be a bit more creative with your content and approach. Using digital platforms to share your support for days like International Women’s Day or International Day of Women and Girls in Science gives insight into your values as an employer and impacts your employer brand. For any women looking to apply for roles with you, they’ll see you have inclusivity and diversity and the forefront of your mind, even if these have not been yet translated into hires.

Be an educational platform

Above all else, social media and digital platforms can be a way to educate. Using carefully curated video content, blogs and social media posts, you can help to inform all candidates of their career options at your organisation. One of the greatest barriers to diversity in tech is the lack of understanding of the industry’s roles and the difference it can make. The technology industry must play a more significant role in educating candidates about the technology they use, how it’s shaping the world we live in and the positions available within such an exciting, impactful industry. Educating and inspiring candidates about technology careers using social media will help build a rich talent pipeline of people that want to make a difference. It will also make roles feel more attainable and show candidates the skills they’ll need to succeed. In an era where many candidates are being forced to reskill due to the workforce’s changing face, this could be hugely beneficial and open up a world of talent to you.

Share your mission 

40% of students say an essential factor in their career choice is feeling that the work they do helps make the world a better place. But this figure rises to 50% among females. If you are a scaling tech business, chances are you’re playing an exciting role in making a difference and revolutionising the way we live, work and entertain ourselves. If there were no opportunities to streamline and improve the status-quo, scaling tech businesses wouldn’t exist. Therefore, to attract younger talent and female talent, you should broadcast your mission and message. Running a digital attraction campaign to raise awareness of your employer brand can showcase your mission and help you pipeline talent that really believes in your cause. If female talent is passionate about the cause they’re working for, chances are they’ll be less deterred by a lack of diversity in your organisation.

There’s undoubtedly still a long way to go when it comes to attracting women to tech roles. Yet, with so many candidates currently choosing to reskill and train to adapt to a new future of work, employers could have a golden opportunity. By using digital attraction to raise awareness, educate and inspire, you could convince more females that they have a future in tech and a future with your organisation.

Talent Works are an RPO provider passionate about helping tech businesses to scale. This includes diversifying their workforce to support future generations of tech talent. With offices in Northampton, Manchester and Boston in the US, we offer a global approach to talent acquisition and RPO.

If you’d like to know more about our digital attraction capabilities and an innovative approach to online recruitment, get in touch with our team today.

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