Employees have been experiencing a beneficial trend in the economy. Unemployment rates are low and power has, in many ways, shifted from the hands of the employer to the employee (so much so that some employees are simply “ghosting” on interviews, knowing that if they lose out on a job, another is there to takes its place). Increased career options, such as the rise of the gig economy, only adds to this, as employees have more methods of making money.
While employees benefit, conversely, this exacerbates the existing U.S. labor force shortage, which was already predicted to occur due to an aging workforce and the accelerating digital economy. More businesses are reporting a shortage of workers and a struggle to find qualified candidates, pushing up wages and requiring hiring managers to sell the benefits of working for a particular company.
Beyond the U.S., on a global scale, the world is facing a labor shortage of up to 40 million workers by 2020. Many countries are expected to face a steadily declining workforce between now and 2025, such as Russia, which is projected to see a 5 million drop from 2014 to 2025, and Japan, which expects a 2 million drop by 2025.
Why This is a Good Thing
As a business owner or leader, all of the above may surprise you. Don’t look at it as a challenge to overcome, though. Instead, the labor force shortage is a positive opportunity to add highly trained and qualified individuals to your workforce.
Women are the majority holders of university degrees and women in management leads to 19-percent higher returns on equity and 9-percent higher dividend payments. Despite this, female workforce participation is decreasing.
Related: The Optimistic Future
Female labor force participation has fallen from 59.4 percent in 2006 to 56.8 percent in 2016, with a projected fall to 56.1 percent by 2026. Women are not leaving the workforce because of stereotypically incorrect reasons, such as childbirth (90 percent of women who leave their jobs when they have a child, leave for reasons other than having a child). Women are leaving because it’s very difficult for them to move up the corporate ladder and procure leadership positions. They leave out of frustration and the lack of a right corporate fit.
This is where your company has an opportunity to offer these professionals the right fit they’re seeking, while benefiting from the expertise and skills they bring to your team.
What You Can Do About It
You know the labor shortage is here and it’s only going to increase. You know that women are qualified and a highly valuable addition to your company. As hiring managers and HR departments are pushed to sell their company’s worth to a potential hire, how can you attract talented women to your team?
1. Create an Inclusive Environment
Inclusive environments benefit everyone on your team, not just women, and promote overall work satisfaction. Creating an inclusive environment where gender equity is a known and measured goal of the company can attract female talent and ensure you live up to your promises of gender equity throughout your company’s culture.
2. Measure Results, Not Face Time
Men are shown to offer the most facetime in an office, but studies also reveal that more time at the office does not necessarily equal better results. When you measure face time, men automatically have the upper hand, as they generally have more available time to spend in the workplace. When you measure results, women receive an equal playing field on which to prove their worth. This not only helps prevent an unconscious bias against women who aren’t in the office as often, but also anyone with a non-traditional working style.
3. Offer Female Sponsors
You already have women in your company. If they’re not currently in leadership positions, why? Not only does the data above show that women in leadership positions are beneficial to a company’s financials, but already having female leaders in place across your company will show potential female hires that opportunities exist for them to move into the leadership positions they desire.
4. Audit Your Pay Practices
What are you paying your female and male employees? Take stock of your current payroll and look at how the dollars are allocated. It’s possible you may be unconsciously supporting the gender pay gap by paying your female hires based on previous salaries. Instead, look at what you’re paying men in similar roles and what the industry average is based on experience. Make your pay decisions based on the work completed and skills offered, not necessarily the individual.
Addressing the Labor Force Shortage with Data
To take all or even one of these four steps, you need data on your company’s current state. That’s where Pipeline can help, gathering the vital data points and turning that data into meaningful information about your company’s current culture and future steps needed to offer an environment that will attract and retain female talent. Ready to get started? Schedule a demo to see how it works.