How to Hire More Women in the Animal Health Industry

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

Gender equality in the workplace is a huge topic in today’s employment marketplace. In addition, March is a big month for women.

For example, March is Women’s History Month. Not only that, but March 8 was also International Women’s Day.

With all of this in mind, I thought this would be a good opportunity to discuss the topic of hiring more women in the Animal Health industry. As you probably already know, the unemployment rate is historically low in the United States right now.

That means, of course, that qualified candidates are scarcer than ever. So from a hiring perspective, the gender of a qualified candidate should not matter to you. If they’re qualified, then you should want to consider them for your organization’s open position. With that in mind, a good question to ask is this one:

If you’re having difficulty finding qualified candidates and you’re missing out on some of those candidates because your hiring process is not female-friendly, then what adjustments must you make to remedy the situation?

LinkedIn recently published a wealth of information regarding this topic. The information included the social media’s platform’s free “Gender Insights Report: How Women Find Jobs Differently.” It also included this article about how to make the necessary adjustments to hire more women.

Employers in the Animal Health Industry, your goal is to hire as many qualified candidates as possible (regardless of gender), below are four strategies, per LinkedIn, for hiring more women:

#1—Track and analyze the source of your hires.

As an employer, you should know three things. More accurately, you should know at least these three things. First, the source of your best hires. Second, the source of all of your hires. Third, the gender of both your best hires and all of your hires.

If you’re looking to make changes in how you source candidates, then focus on those sources where women are underrepresented or not represented at all. Referrals might be one of those sources. According to a recent study by PayScale.com, men benefit more from referrals than women. The bottom line, though, is that if you don’t know the sources of your hires and the gender breakdown from those sources, then you’re not in a good position to launch a more diversified and equitable hiring initiative.

#2—Monitor your employer brand.

Do you have an employer brand? Do you know what your employer brand is? If your organization does have one and you know what it is, then do you think that brand appeals more to men than it does to women? Does it appeal to women at all?

Remember, your brand is a combination of things. Sure, it’s words in the form of impactful stories, but it’s also photos, images, and graphics. What do these words and these graphics say about your Animal Health organization? Are they attractive to women? Or to men only?

Think about it this way. If a top candidate in the marketplace is considering making a move and that candidate is female, then she may not consider making a move to an organization that is not friendly to women.

#3—Carefully construct your job descriptions.

As mentioned above, words are important, and nowhere is this more evident than in the job description. There are a couple of areas you should address in regards to the job description associated with the open positions that your organization wants to fill.

First, focus on using gender-neutral descriptions, especially when it comes to “selling” both the opportunity and the organization. In other words, eliminate words that are typically associated with masculine ideas or imagery. Second, emphasize aspects of the opportunity that would appeal more to women. These aspects include the benefits that accompany the position, as well as the flexibility of the work schedule and/or the guidelines for parental leave.

#4—Eliminate bias during the screening, hiring, and selection process.

There’s conscious bias and there’s unconscious bias. While the latter is not as bad as the former, it still has a detrimental effect. The idea with this step is to focus on everything that a candidate brings to the table and then consider their gender to be a non-factor. You can even go so far as to ask yourself the question, “If I did not know the gender of this candidate, would I consider them for the position?”

The more difficult part of this step is eliminating bias throughout every stage of the hiring process. However, since unconscious bias can be so prevalent, it’s important to be vigilant during every stage so that you’re focused on hiring the best candidate, no matter if they’re male or female.

Of course, we’re not advocating the hiring of more women simply for the sake of doing so. As an employer trying to fill your Animal Health jobs, you want to fill those jobs with the best candidates possible. We want you to do the same. However, there is a good chance that your organization may be missing out on top candidates in the employment marketplace who just happen to be women. And the reason that you’re missing out on them may be because your hiring process contains biases that are eliminating them from the process before they even have a chance to join it.

This is yet one more area in which an experience Animal Health recruiter can help your organization. A search consultant with a track record of success has the expertise and the experience necessary to help you find the best candidates in the marketplace. And once they identify those candidates, they’re able to help convince those candidates to consider your employment opportunity.

In today’s ultra-competitive marketplace, it’s all about the best talent. An Animal Health recruiter can help you find and hire that talent, regardless of where those candidates are and regardless of their gender.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1.By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2.By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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