When it comes to applying for a job online, women are more selective than men when considering jobs, screening themselves out of the conversation and applying for 20 per cent fewer vacancies than men, according to LinkedIn's Gender Insights Report.
The findings of the report showed that women only apply when they feel completely qualified, which, in turn, results in a higher success rate, but also indicates that they do not pursue stretch opportunities. In the UAE, women view an average of 86 job postings, while men view an average of 87. Both genders browse jobs in a similar way but apply differently. When they do go for more senior roles, globally, women are 18 per cent more likely to get hired than men. Experts say that it is important to raise the profile of existing female employees, particularly those in leadership positions, as they may serve as role models for female applicants. The research also showed that men are more likely to ask for a referral than women.
In the UAE, LinkedIn found that women are 25 per cent less likely than men to ask for a referral for a job they are interested in, even when they have a connection at the company. Companies place immense value on employee referrals, and recruiters report that they are a top source of quality hires.
"Inclusion and gender diversity in hiring are crucial for companies that seek to acquire and retain the best talent necessary for strong business growth. At LinkedIn, we have mined data for actionable insights that help recruiters improve every step of the job seeker journey, from company brand positioning to interaction with candidates from all backgrounds," said Arda Atalay, head of Sales at LinkedIn Talent Solutions UAE.
LinkedIn's research suggests that while gender parity at work is gaining prominence, when recruiters search for candidates, they tend to view men's LinkedIn profiles more frequently. Thirteen per cent of recruiters are less likely to click on a woman's profile when it shows up in a search. However, after recruiters review a candidate's profile, they find women to be as qualified as men, and are similarly likely to reach out to both genders. To combat the initial selection bias, companies are increasingly implementing anonymised hiring and removing key identifiers, such as names and photos, from candidates' applications.
Benchmarking a company's current gender split across functions and seniority levels is a vital first step towards achieving gender balance in the workplace. Even if the overall figures are balanced, certain departments or offices may present opportunities for improvement. Once the baseline is established, the company can begin to set its aspirational recruiting goals. To engage with a broader audience, companies ought to highlight their diversity, for instance, through featuring female employees in stories and photos shared on LinkedIn. Furthermore, it is essential to make job postings inclusive by using gender-neutral language and avoiding words that are stereotypically masculine.
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