By Jessica Miller-Merrell

In part three of our series we’re talking about a type of community that is vital to the success of several technical organizations in Silicon Valley. The women in technology crowd have been a focus of many organizations when it comes to hiring not only a gender-diverse workforce, but also a strong technical candidate pool.

Hiring women takes a more direct and focused approach. If you look at corporate leadership teams you will find that the glass ceiling for most of these companies are still intact and haven’t been shattered. GM hired their first female CEO, Sheryl Sandberg is breaking glass everywhere she goes, and Marissa Mayer is making the news on a weekly basis with the shakeup at Yahoo.

So how exactly does your company attract and recruit the women in technology crowd? Here are a few approaches that’ll help your business hire this diverse people group:

Hire with the intention to train new employees in skills that are neededOne of the major drawbacks to hiring these two workforce groups is you might not always find the perfect candidate because they either don’t exist or they’ve already been hired by a competitor. When you don’t find the right candidate find someone with the potential to be a perfect fit into your organization. Hiring for will over skill might even turn out to be a better business decision because you’re able to train a candidate to work in the way you want them to.

Create a pipeline full of specifically targeted candidates.Using a talent community to build relationships with female candidates will allow recruiters a go-to resource to fill open positions when they come across their desk. Since it’s harder to fill positions with a specific type of person whether it be gender-based or technical it’s better to have an already existing pool of candidates to choose. Build internship programs as a way to attract female students to your company and place them in your talent community to hire for full-time positions.

Create an inviting workplace for women candidates.Women friendly workplaces offer perks that aren’t necessarily aligned to your male candidates or employees. There are several ways to make your workplace “women-friendly.” Some of these are:

  • Flexible workday shifts. This is important for women who have children and need to come in late and leave early, but also work from home during the evening after their kids have been put to bed.
  • Telecommuting. When their children become ill or their babysitter calls into work, it’s important to give these women the flexibility to go home and take care of these moments as they arise.
  • Provide mentoring initiatives particular to women. If you take a look at most corporate leadership teams you’ll see that women are very infrequent in these roles. Giving the women in your workplace the ability to be mentored by fellow women, whether they be inside or outside your company, will give you not only better women leaders, but a perk that most women don’t get in leadership roles.

Hiring women in technology is a big deal because these roles are few and far between. Having more women in leadership roles will not only help attract more women to your workplace, but will give your company better visibility when it comes to attracting a broader workforce.

Don’t forget to check out part one and part two of our series on custom specialty and niche recruiting strategies.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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