The creative might blow you away, the targeting might be on point, but unless an organization has a compelling reason for female talent to join, a recruitment campaign will not represent a good ROI today or in the future.

For your audience to take notice – to spark interest, inspire conversation, or apply for a vacancy – the proposition that you take to market must be interesting but it must also be authentic. That's why, before we design creative or strategy for our clients, we want to understand as much about the reality as we can. 

After defining the proposition and creative platform, we look to run campaigns in a number of core areas, refining the messaging for each audience. 

Here are some recommendations and interventions:

1. Graduate engagement 


Graduates and second-jobber represent a core audience for tech attraction. Since younger populations have a more equal gender ratio, investing in junior talent attraction will likely see a greater yield.


By speaking to entry level talent at an organisation, we discover what specifically motivates them and why they chose to stay. We know externally that this population tends to prefer messages around purpose, ethics, and integrity, but we keep an open mind. There are hygiene factors associated with entry level talent recruitment – website, event collateral etc. and so we would recommend that these messages are front and center for those comms. While having female representation on campus, and providing insight days and access to senior women is not a new idea, having a clear articulation of why top female talent should join your business will set you apart from your competitors.

2. Returners campaign


56% of women in technology leave their employers mid-career. This is double the turnover rate of men. This represent a large pool of able female talent that employers can speak to.


The experiences and motivators of female returners are highly varied and depend on personal circumstance, industry, experience, and work preference. However, there is commonality around CV gap stigma.

A PwC study found that 23% of women cited the stigma associated with having a CV gap as a barrier to re-entering the workforce.  Business action, including combating the negative bias towards CV gaps, increasing the availability of part-time and flexible opportunities and helping women transition back to work, can help address the career break penalty. Using targeted messaging combined with behavioural targeting via media, we can directly address the concerns of this audience.

In addition, making employees who have returned to a career in tech visible through social media and comms will be a key part of this story-telling. Employees, on average, have a network that’s 10 times larger than your company’s follower base (LinkedIn), and brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when distributed by employees’ vs the business (MSL).

3. Referral


The business case for Employee Referral Programmes is clear. Lower cost per hire, enhanced retention and higher productivity are just some of the benefits.  


From our 2018 survey, we found that over 70% of respondents would refer. When asked what they would want from their employer to do so, employees ranked emails, relevant links, and social media content as the top collateral.

4. Embracing tech

There are many ways in which technology tools can support inclusive recruitment. We have recently shared a ‘Gender Bias Whitepaper’ with our clients which evaluated Textio, Funnelback, and Gender Decoder. Everyone is biased — science shows that’s how the human brain works. Research shows that when we are more aware of unconscious bias, we make more objective decisions. For direct sourcing, you could consider UnBiased – a Chrome extension that hides a candidate’s profile picture and name when you’re looking at their GitHub or LinkedIn page or their Twitter feed. Like name-blind CVs, the tool reduces the room for unconscious bias. 

Google have made all their diversity data public to show their commitment. There’s a lovely visualisation of the diversity work they are doing within their workforce.

And, in the long run

Attraction is important but it is only half of the story. Collecting data on employee engagement and exit interviews is vital in monitoring inflow and outflow, and ensuring continuous improvement. 

It’s well known that organisations with diverse workforces better understand their customers, adopt a more rounded approach to risk-taking, make better decisions and, ultimately, perform better than those without. 

Our Diversity & Inclusion consultancy brings together a range of our specialisms that can help you realise those benefits too.

Written by Vanessa Hawes.