Guest Opinion: How business can hire women back
Monday, August 25, 2014 1:36 PM
This is the last of four articles on re-entering the workplace. Jean Baker wrote about her experiences, about why businesses should try to recruit high-talent women who have taken a hiatus, and tips for women considering stepping away from work for a while. Today's post offers ways businesses can retain or recapture high-talent employees who step out of the workforce for a while.
Losing talent in the form of turnover is expensive. In addition to avoiding turnover costs, research shows that companies with female leaders also demonstrate better financial performance.
Here are some ways to retain high-talent employees:
Flextime/scheduling - allowing employees to work from home, work compressed workweeks ((four 10-hour days instead of five eight-hour days), or flexible schedules based on the season (e.g., work fewer hours in the summer when children are home, and more in the winter when they're back in school).
Ways to recapture high talent:
If there is a future need you can anticipate (e.g., individuals who speak a particular language, have familiarity with particular software/hardware, etc.), offer to pay for training for her so that when she is ready to come back, you have someone who is already ready for this new need who can step right into the role.
Potential concerns of employers:
Offering more flexibility and work options for women (and men) isn't fluff, and it isn't just "the right thing to do." It has a direct benefit for the businesses that implement them.
Jean Baker has taken the "scenic route" in her career, having practiced law, run a nonprofit and served as a financial representative before starting her consulting business, Jean M. Baker & Associates. Running through it all has been the common thread of women's advocacy and business. She has made presentations on a number of topics, including diversity, the effect of domestic violence on a business's bottom line and the need for women to be financially literate.
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