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Women and men assess employers differently, study finds

Tuesday, August 7, 2012  
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Men’s and women’s priorities when assessing potential employers are very different, according to a recent survey of more than 7,000 Canadians by ICMA International and sponsored by Randstad Canada.

Although the majority of both male and female employees in Canada say they want long-term job security from an employer, their views differ greatly when determining what makes an employer attractive. Women prefer flexible working arrangements (49 percent more important vs. men), accessibility (28 percent more important), pleasant working atmosphere (23 percent more important), competitive salary (19 percent more important) and good work-life balance (17 percent more important). Men, however, prefer financially sound companies (42 percent more important vs. women) with strong management (37 percent more important) that offer global career prospects (86 percent more important) and good training (17 percent more important).

The Canadian workforce has evolved over the past year, noted Randstad Canada President Jan Hein Bax. "Men have reprioritized, replacing company image and innovation with a financially strong company and the possibility of international career prospects. Women, on the other hand, have replaced the need for accessibility with flexible working arrangements as one of their top priorities when searching for an employer.”

These findings contain practical insight for leading employers interested in attracting Canada’s top talent, Bax said. "It’s important to know what your workforce wants, to recognize the key demographic differences in this regard, and to respond accordingly,” he said. "Employers need to define who their desired employee is, understand what that employee wants and create specific messages that speak to those wants. Employers must also respond to their employees’ needs and expectations and leverage those differences in order to maximize the available talent.”

Organizations need to balance men’s and women’s different needs to be effective, Bax added. "An open line of communication between employers and employees is essential,” he said. "A company’s ability to be aware will go a long way towards attracting and retaining quality talent that will better their business, and thereby contribute to their company’s evolving brand.”

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