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Returning women can bridge talent shortages

Released at: 14:08, 10/04/2017

Returning women can bridge talent shortages

Photo: robertwalters.com.sg / iStock

"Understanding Employers' Attitudes Towards Women Returning To Work" whitepaper from professional recruitment firm Robert Walters identifies the many positives women returning to work can bring to their workplace.

by Doanh Doanh

According to the latest whitepaper from specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters, entitled “Understanding Employers’ Attitudes Towards Women Returning To Work”, 70 per cent of the women surveyed in Vietnam have taken a career break at some point in their lives.

“When recruiting women that are returning to the workforce, hiring managers should view their career breaks as opportunities that enable women to broaden their perspectives,” said Ms. Hoa Dang, Manager of Commerce Finance & Legal at Robert Walters Vietnam. “Hiring managers should focus on whether their career experience and personality will be a fit with the company. Companies can also consider providing recruitment strategies and induction programs targeted at returning women.”

Other highlights from the survey include that 44 per cent of returning women in Asia took more than four months to secure a job and almost 40 per cent of female respondents said that a recruitment firm had helped them gain re-entry into the workforce. In addition, 35 per cent of employers in Asia have offered less than 5 per cent of returning women a more senior or even a similar role in their company and 64 per cent of hiring managers believed induction is crucial in ensuring returning women are fully equipped to rejoin the workforce. Returning female professionals with relevant experience could be part of the solution to the talent shortages faced by 88 per cent of Southeast Asian employers.

The whitepaper was prepared to assist employers in identifying and addressing any possible biases in recruitment and inclusion to ensure women are given the opportunity to regain entry into the workforce after a career gap. It also provides recommendations on what organizations can do to change current attitudes in how returning women are perceived and treated in the workplace. The survey gathered the views of over 2,200 clients and female professionals in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Concerns voiced by employers when considering whether to hire returning women include how these women may lack knowledge of the latest industry trends or whether they are fully committed to their jobs. Looking beyond these perceptions, 55 per cent of hiring managers in Asia agreed that specific job experience or skills are the biggest benefits that returning women can bring to the workplace.

Robert Walters is one of the world’s leading specialist professional recruitment consultancies and focuses on placing high caliber professionals into permanent, contract and temporary positions at all levels of seniority. The Vietnam business recruits across the accounting & finance, engineering, HR, IT, sales & marketing, supply chain, procurement & logistics, and technical healthcare fields. Established in 1985, the group has built a global presence spanning 28 countries.

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