Came across this article in the Wall Street Journal on Sept 6th about “His and Hers Shopping Rules” – gender-based selling in retail by Sanette Tanaka. The synopsis is:
- Retailers know that men hate to browse so they keep all products related to men in one place
- Retailers also know that women like suggestions so they train their sales associates to offer product alternatives
- Studies show women are more affected by personal interactions with sales associates while men are affected by pragmatic factors such as product availability and parking spaces
- Women are more risk averse – wanting more information before the “buy” such as the ability to feel fabric, see tailoring details
- Men want their areas clearly defined so they know where to go once in the store and hate asking questions
Big Box retailers have had great success redesigning store layouts to accommodate some of this gender research on shopping habits and practices. So why am I telling you this? It struck me that many recruiters out there are likely doing gender-based selling already. It comes out of the interview process – men want the details up front and transparency tends to make their day. Women ask the organizational questions, work-life balance and the tone of the interview affects them a little more than it does men. Of course you already found exceptions to this – the female candidate that asks about salary first, the man who can’t travel because he has a new baby.
More to the point though is how we are Marketing our jobs and companies on a precept of “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus”. Does our press kit, website, Facebook page, LinkedIN group appeal to both? For example, for men is the information they need within two clicks? For women is there a live chat with recruiting, a culture story, evidence of diversity and clear stories of career progression?
Should we be more mindful of sex differences in the approach of candidates searching for a job? We talk about where the candidates are all the time as Sourcers but have we ever put that in context of gender-based selling and more importantly SHOULD WE? Yes the compliance question rears its head – the differences are undeniable but we treat all candidates the same, market to them the same and look for them in the same ways.
‘Like to hear your comments on whether or not you tend to adjust your processes according to gender. I bet you recruiters at least do some mirroring – adjusting to the candidate as he or she is interviewed. But do you source them differently? I am thinking Pinterest can help differentiate between both segments (I know that 86% of pinners are female but it keeps dropping).