“Is it beneficial, if we are all as equal as possible …?” – How SWOPS renews recruiting processes in Austria
First results were now also contributed by the Austrian partners of the BPW Club Berlin, project coordinator of the EU-funded project SWOPS which is currently underway with a consulting tool for structural change oriented personnel strategy. This is even more exciting since the Austrians have entered SWOPS at a later stage than our partner organizations from Germany, France and Sweden.
First tangible consulting results allow for hypothetical conclusions about similarities and differences between Austria and the partner countries with regard to the causes for potential irregularities in terms of equal chances. What the Austrian company has in common with other SWOPS practice partners is the frequent gap between self-image of the management and the actual situation in the company. The online presence is often innovative, forward facing, and divers. A closer look and detailed analysis may reveal that expectations and reality are often further apart than initially expected.
The interviewed Austrian company had no women in the top management level and in general a traditional distribution of men and women was observed in individual departments: men in technical departments, women in administration and sales.
A closer examination of the recruiting processes in the company can help to identify stereotypical perceptions that are slowing down innovation processes. The sighting of submitted profiles from applicants in one of the companies surveyed resulted in the image as if it had always attracted similar personality types, so often rashly gave the impression that no suitable candidate could be found for each advertised position. In view of these findings, the advice has been directed to the optimization of human resources management: SWOPS proves as a useful tool in the successful further development of personnel recruitment processes.
Conclusion: The recruitment process starts long before the actual selection process. Once the company has made the decision to increase diversity among its employees and additionally to benefit from the potential of female professionals and executives for the company’s success it is important to review and examine all relevant business units – in particular the corporate mission, the corporate organization and corporate communications.
Already on the corporate mission, which is usually found on the company’s website, it becomes clear whether both women and men are being addressed equally as potential employees. Experience shows that companies that build on internal diversity also offer better docking facilities outward. Moreover, they are more resilient as a greater potential to problem solving is present in the company.
There are many clues that identify an innovative, contemporary positioned company: Are there support systems, such as a mentoring program to promote the introduction and advancement of women specifically? To what extent do executives allow their employees family and care work with the professional requirements in the form of flexible working hours or part-time employment? Does the company invest in further education and, if so, are these adopted by men and women alike? And – very importantly: Does the company offer its employees the option to exercise leadership in job sharing models or part-time work?
Also corporate communication shows innovativeness of a company: How does a company speak about its employees in publications? Are women explicitly mentioned? Also the artwork says a lot: In what roles can women be seen in the photos: Just as customers, cleaning staff or secretaries?
These consultation results confirm that diverse teams are more creative than a group of like-minded employees. The new credo: “It is not beneficial if all are equal, but instead: The more diverse we are, the stronger the team”