Attracting, Hiring, & Retaining Women Employees
In This Session
As a certified female friendly business, you have a strategic advantage not only to attract women customers but also to attract, hire and retain women employees. Currently, in all employment roles within the automotive industry, in the US and Canada, women represent just over 26%, and in retail roles 20% or less. If your business currently employs 20% women and 80% men, you are, the average. Above 20% female-employed in your business is extraordinary, so congratulations! If your female employees are in key management roles or even owners, that is even more rare.
With women customers influencing 85% of purchases, it is a good plan to have women on staff, especially in management or customer facing roles. Your company needs to be reflective of your main source of revenue, which is selling and servicing to and for women.
Bringing up the question we hear quite often at AskPatty.com from our clients, “I want to hire women, they just don’t apply for the jobs!”. So how does an automotive business go about attracting, hiring, and retaining more women employees?
Table of Contents
2. Hiring: Your Prospects
3. New Employee Onboarding
4. Retaining: Training and Mentoring
The primary question is, what can your organization do to attract more women to the automotive industry, specifically service and repair shops?
Next, Your Job Description
Your Job Description will relay quite a bit about your organization and women WILL notice. Job descriptions play a critical role in recruiting female talent and often present the first impression of your company.
Women tend to feel they have to be 100% qualified and confident just to apply!
You will want to incorporate words in your job description to embrace a female-invited culture, such as “Committed”, “Dependable”, “Interpersonal”, “Trust”, and “Supportive”. Additional words to incorporate are those such as “Challenging” and “Competitive”. Provide women the knowing your organization is proactive and can grow within.
Enhancing your organization’s culture may not be easy, and will take consistency and commitment, the stronger your business, the greater ability your company has, to grow.
Writing Your Ad
In the past, writing an employment ad was a little like making a laundry list. Not much beyond “Help Wanted” with some sparse details about the requirements were all you really needed. Not in today’s world – this is becoming more prevalent as Millennials, Gen Z, and even Gen-Xes are leaving their jobs to “search for greener pastures”. That means that your employment ads need to immediately assure your audience that not only is the job good, but working for you will be in line with their career goals.
How Do You Write an Employment Ad?
Lead with a welcoming greeting. One that makes prospects feel they have already been accepted. Job hunting is stressful, so by starting with a greeting such as “We want to get to know you” is actually inviting.
Culture refers to the organization’s environment. Is your organization “Female Inviting”? Do you currently have at least one female employee? It’s a fact, women do not want to be the only woman working in your organization.
With women influencing, again, 85% of all household purchasing decisions. 50% of the purchases in the US alone are women who make the new vehicle purchase choices, of which 45% are light trucks and SUV’s.
Follow the Money…
Do You Know..
Women request 65-73% of the vehicle repairs performed at service and repair shops and Women spend over $200 Billion annually on new car purchases and mechanical services for their vehicles.
This in itself is a pretty good economic reason to want women working at your business!
Let’s get back to the key question, how can service and repair shops attract female employees?
Hiring: Your Prospects
We all know the dreaded questions, “Why do you want to work for our company?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
In today’s workforce, the prospect wants you to tell them “why would I want to work for you andr your company?”
Selling Yourself as an Employer
What is it like working for your company?. What type of benefits does your company provide? Do you offer a work-life balance. What will their working hours and atmosphere be like? What type of training does your company provide? Are there opportunities for advancement? Sell yourself, sell the company, and sell your team members, as the employer choice for your prospective employees.
Upon interviewing, be upfront, let your prospective employee know your company’s hiring process upfront. Women are “planners” and want to know upfront, honest, and ahead of time what will transpire in your hiring process. Does the interview process have more than one interview? Will they be notified whether they are chosen to come back or not? Will you or your organization share with them why they were or were not chosen? How long is your hiring process? These are just a few suggestions to have ready upon your first interview with your new prospective female employee.
Once you have made a hiring decision, rethink your onboarding process to ensure that your new hires feel welcome and supported from day one.
New Employee Onboarding
Assign a Mentor
Regardless of the position, it is important to provide an opportunity for each employee to immediately connect with the organization by assigning a mentor. This not only creates an opportunity for a new seamless transition to the company, but also creates a feeling of a “safe-environment” for the new employee.
Who Should You Pick?
Choosing a Mentor
If your company already has a female employed in a similar role, assign this person as the mentor. Your company mentor will show your new employee the ropes, allow them to ask any questions, help the new employee to feel more at ease knowing they have a reliable internal person to relate to.
A training plan is critical to allow a new employee an opportunity to understand the organizational procedures, to hone and enhance the skill sets required to be successful in the new role.
Create a Training Plan
Prepare Your Plan
You will want to begin preparing your training plan prior your new employee coming on board. This in itself will aid in the new employee transition and prevent early frustration and turn-over. Your training plan should include at least the first two-weeks of employment, along with incorporating mentoring time for your new employee to ask additional questions and have time to complete any additional training needed, such as becoming familiar with updated Federal regulations and requirements.
Training is Ongoing
Ensure your new employee is aware your company training program is on-going. This creates a company culture of “reliability” and “growth”.
New Employees and Communication
Making sure new employees feel connected to the company builds an amazing value to the onboarding process. In addition, surrounding them with information about the mission, visions and goals for the new role help them feel valued and appreciated. Keeping an open-channel of communication and allowing new employees to offer suggestions to enhance transparency and efficiency within the organization is the key to employee longevity. Let your new employee know they are a critical piece of your organization, on-going.
It is important to recognize new employees. Helping a new employee understand the organization, the people, the culture, and the expectations builds trust and appreciation.
No Sink or Swim
Don’t Toss Anyone to the Wolves
According to Achievers Blog (www.achievers.com) in a recent study, 37% of new hires feel recognition is important as it will enhance greater workplace productivity.
Have a plan for their first day of work and make sure computer hardware, technology and other work equipment is ready in advance of the first day of work.
Training and Mentoring
Training provides an opportunity for your employees to enhance their skills and refresh knowledge and skills sets.
Assigning a mentor provides an opportunity for your new employees to stay on top of everything new within the industry, including product knowledge.
Create opportunities for open and transparent communication with all your staff. Examples that provide positive results of effective communication include weekly huddles or stand-up meetings to share information. In addition, you want to provide a safe place for individuals to share openly about their concerns and feedback. Hearing other’s perspectives also helps your organization grow.
Keep Your Doors Open
It’s important to ensure you keep your communication channels open at all times. Every person’s life is unique and they encounter challenges, triumphs, and tribulations that are not often highlighted. When an organization is open and shares stories about women from across different races, demographics, and socioeconomic statuses, it increases trust and awareness within the company, at all levels.
Provide a Career Path
Does your organization provide and encourage growth for its employees?
Utilizing your new employees skill sets and developing their skills further will create trust and allow them to advance within their career. Again, as discussed previously, you will need to gain a woman’s trust, even as an employee.
Create a Talent Planning Approach
Your mission and vision statement should be reviewed annually by your organization and to the extent that there is a strategic plan and goals for each and every employee. Each employee needs to develop goals, individually and for their team members to assist the company in excelling.
Create a Talent Planning Approach
After setting goals to enhance performance and to exceed company expectations, all managers should establish a mechanism to identify their successor. While identifying a successor may seem like a frightening thought the key is understanding how the succession planning will develop talent within the organization.
Create a Talent Planning Approach
Developing individuals you recruit will create trust and allow them to develop the necessary skills to maintain and advance within their career. By sponsoring training and development opportunities will ensure you have the necessary talent in place at your organization. Investing in training and professional development for your staff, you will be able to strengthen your entire workforce and create a meaningful culture within your company.
CONGRATULATIONS! You have finished all of the course content
Remember what you have learned, and get ready for your final quiz.