What does workplace diversity really look like?

Research shows having a broad set of minds is good for a business’s bottom line; it’s good for its brand and, many argue, if you want to service the market you need to employ the market.

We’ve all heard why diversity in the workplace is so important.

But having the intent to broaden the employee spectrum isn’t enough; it can require some research to ensure your messages of attraction are reaching the people you desire.

SEEK conducted an in-depth study of almost 6000 people across 20 different industries to bring evidence-based insights into the diversity conversation.

Research manager, Caroline North, says the findings of the SEEK Laws of Attraction study show how significantly the key drivers that attract people to a job can vary between industries, as well as among different sub-sets of candidates.

What a Millennial candidate wants in a job is very different to what a Baby Boomer desires. Similarly what draws a male candidate to a role can contrast greatly with what a female needs.

Even the sector in which you work can influence your priorities.

For those working in recruitment and HR, the culture of an organisation is the number three driver, yet for the majority of industries, culture is far less significant, ranking further down the priority scale.

“This highlights how valuable it is for people in HR to remember that what they are thinking about, isn’t necessarily what their candidate is prioritising,’’ says North.

Using the Laws of Attraction data, recruiters will be able to gather a clear picture of what their targeted candidate wants and adapt their messages to ensure it aligns with those desires.

“Candidates are bombarded with messages,” says North.

“Looking for a new job is a very stressful and emotional time so having a clear communication strategy for how you engage with that audience is really important.”

The untapped senior market

Our ageing workforce is well documented and there are many people nearing retirement age whose desire, or need, to work is strong.

The significant spending power of this demographic is often overlooked but, if an organisation wants to better understand their customer, getting more Baby Boomers on the books could be a goal.

If that’s your intent, then a campaign highlighting career development opportunities is unlikely to be the best approach. The research shows career is three times more appealing to Millennials than it is to Baby Boomers.

On the flip side, speaking about job location or management quality will prick up the ears of more Baby Boomers than it will the youngsters.

Women’s wishes versus male motivations

Likewise, when it comes to gender, understanding the make-up of an industry can be beneficial when trying to broaden the variety of candidates applying for a role.

Professions such as accounting and banking and financial services have a fairly even split of women and men. However in engineering, men outnumber women 9:1 while there are five times as many females in community services roles compared to males.

North says while it is one thing to have targets and quotas, it’s also necessary to understand the structural issues preventing the interest from coming in.

“If you are challenged because you have a smaller pool, then you have to work harder to make your message get through to them,” she says.

Men and women consistently identify salary, work-life balance and career development as their top three drivers, however work-life balance has significantly more importance to women. They also respond well to location and organisational culture.  For men, it is salary, career development and job security that has noticeably more appeal than it has for women.

“The diversity in the workplace means those key drivers are not equal to all people at the same time,” says North.

“We need different thinking to unearth opportunities and solutions to problems in a new way so we can open up new markets.”

The Australia Post example

Australia Post has a goal to increase the number of frontline women in their transport workforce by five per cent this financial year.

It follows the development of an EVP (Employee Value Proposition) by taking a segmented approach.

The company’s Recruitment Marketing Manager Quila Israelson says with over 50,000 employees in the extended workforce, they knew talent was attracted to Australia Post for very different reasons.

Segmenting enabled them to create an EVP for each of the nine key job families within Australia Post and opened up their mind to being more flexible about what people want in order to hire a more diverse range of people.

To find out more specifically what attracted women into the traditionally male dominated transport field, Australia Post’s recruitment researchers hit the road to talk to the women working at both Australia Post and StarTrack about how they heard about the role, what attracted them, their onboarding and their employee experience.

On July 13, they released an Our Women In Transport awareness campaign across Facebook, Instagram and SEEK.  It’s had close to 1 million views and resulted in 850 expressions of interest for a transport job nation-wide.

Israelson says it was a fresh tactic to the usual method of posting one job ad per role type and leaving an unsuccessful candidate to apply again next time they saw a job they wanted.

Now, the Australia Post and StarTrack recruitment teams are sharing information about skills and locations, enabling them to recommend good candidates for other roles so the best people can be brought into the business.

She says in the male-dominated world of transport, it was important to highlight that some of the team’s top performers are women who love what they do in order to encourage more women to apply.

“When you ask somebody to think of a truck driver they typically think of a middle-aged male, and we’re trying to flip that,” says Israelson.

Explore the Laws of Attraction Data Lab to uncover what candidates really want from their next role and your business.

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