Easy to apply

Hope Smith; Ultimate Experience Manager, Plants Creative

Hope Smith 

According to a study published by LinkedIn in 2018, women are 16% less likely than men to apply for positions they viewed on the website, and overall, women apply to 20% fewer jobs than men. There is a lot of speculation on why this may be true, and I won’t pretend to know the answer. But what I take away from those statistics, is this: don’t create barriers that would keep women from applying to your open positions!

So how do you do that? Here are a few things we do at Plants Creative:

1. Recruit and interview candidates outside the green industry.

While there are many amazing women already in the industry and you should absolutely look to bring those brilliant women on your team, recruiting outside of the industry increases your pool of candidates tenfold.

Making the decision to recruit outside the industry may seem like a leap of faith but the pay off can be huge. Some of Plants Creative’s most stellar team members have come from a variety of industries, including the restaurant industry, insurance, and in one case, neurobiology. I came to Plants Creative from an almost decade-long career working at an outdoor retailer.

2. Be thoughtful about what you list as a job “requirement.” Are there requirements in your job description that can be trained or do candidates need to have the knowledge as soon as they walk in the door? Can your job description focus on objectives rather than specific industry experience? There are positions that require certain knowledge and experience. There is no getting around that. But knowing the difference between your company’s needs and wants might be the thing that helps you find that diamond in the rough.

At Plants Creative, when we interview candidates from outside the green industry, our goal is to find people who have a proven track record of learning new things quickly and aren’t afraid to ask questions.

3. Have a stellar training and onboarding program in place. Your company’s ability to do the first two items on this list is predicated on having a thorough training and onboarding program in place. This is an integral part of bringing on any new team member, but especially bringing someone on who is new to the industry.

Be sure to mention your training and onboarding program in your job postings. This way candidates who might not have as much experience feel comfortable applying.

4. Offer flexible scheduling.

This is a great recruiting tool and something Plants Creative is looking at doing for our spring season next year. Flexible schedules allow anyone not looking to work 40-plus hours per week (students, parents, etc.) the option to join your team. There are roles where this won’t be a plausible option, but there are many, including production crews, where it can work well.

5. Be competitive in your salary and benefit offerings and share them in your job postings. That same LinkedIn study found that 68% of women (and 58% of men, it should be noted) said that salary and benefits were the most important information in a job description. So why not be transparent and upfront about what you can offer someone from the get-go?

Offering salary information up front means that candidates know what to expect from the start and it means that candidates looking for more than you can provide, don’t waste your time and their time by even applying for the role. If you have some flexibility in your salary offering, you can include that info in the posting as well.

And don’t forget: your company culture is a part of the benefits you offer so include that in your job description too.

Women in Landscaping is a column brought to you in partnership with the National Association of Landscape Professionals. Hope is an active member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals Women in Landscape Network (powered by Bayer) which provides a forum for industry professionals to support each other’s professional growth. The Network is free to all industry professionals.

January 2023
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