Workforce gender differences has always been a hot topic of conversation – from speculation over why women still earn less than men, to the debate over which gender makes better leaders, to inherent differences over workplace personas, and even down to how their networking habits differ.
But when it comes to what they’re looking for in a potential employer, are men and women really all that different?
Not really, according to a recent CareerBuilder study on what job seekers value most in their current and potential employers. According to the survey, men and women showed little variation in what they prioritize when it comes to factors like compensation, benefits, training and development and culture.
The only areas that showed any difference at all were advancement opportunities, work/life balance and appreciation by management:
- Males are 25 percent more likely than females to value advancement in potential employers.
- Females are 20 percent more likely than men to focus on work/life Balance and 15 percent more likely to focus on appreciation by their manager.
“The findings indicate that employers who promote career advancement as part of their brand message may have a slightly more masculine appeal, while brands built around the relationships and connections of the organization may have a slightly more feminine appeal, which can be differentiators if you’re working to better diversify your organization” says Keith Hadley, Director of Employment Branding at CareerBuilder.
Yet, while these findings show that differences between what men and women want exist in some areas, they may not be as significant as people might expect. Thus, employers might be better off targeting their message by profession. Consider the following findings:
- Nurses (a female-dominated field) are more likely than all women to prioritize work/life balance
- Engineers (a male-dominated field) are less likely than all men or women to prioritize advancement
“Your brand will most likely play well with both genders, provided you are emphasizing attributes valued by your ideal candidates in terms of role or profession,” says Hadley. “Target by the kinds of roles and personalities that are going to drive your business in the future.”
All in all, the findings further underscore the need for employers to define their audiences, understand what their audiences wants and create specific messages that speak to those wants. “Be intentional about defining your audience and about how well your message connects,” advises Hadley, adding, “and use data to confirm your hunches.”
Do these findings surprise you?