With an eye toward making it easier for employers to recruit great women job candidates, LinkedIn has issued a new Gender Insights Report.

Based on "data on billions of interactions between companies and candidates from job applications to recruiter outreach and hires," the professional social networking giant reached eight key conclusions about how working men and women differ, especially when they're looking for jobs:

  • Both men and women are open to new jobs and opportunities at about the same rate.
  • Women are significantly less likely to apply for jobs they find than men are--about a 20 percent difference.
  • One possible rationale: women in research cited by LinkedIn were less likely to apply for jobs unless they felt they met 100 percent of the qualifications. For men, the bar was 60 percent.
  • Perhaps related to that: If they actually did apply, women were about 16 percent more likely to get the job -- and 18 percent more likely to get hired in more senior roles.

This raises an interesting question -- whether statistically speaking, women are self-selecting out of jobs they would have otherwise gotten if they'd applied, or whether men are simply wasting everyone's time by applying for jobs they have no objective hope of landing.

The study also found that:

  • Recruiters are 13 percent less likely to click on a woman's profile when she shows up in a search.
  • Men are 26 percent more likely than women to ask for a referral to a job they covet.
  • Overall, the salary range and benefits associated with a position are a significantly higher priority (68 percent) for women than for men (58 percent).
  • Women also cared more than men about the day to day tasks of a particular job's role (50 percent to 41 percent), but were less concerned with "long term career opportunities" as a result of taking a position (34 percent to 28 percent).

All of this is based on the activity of LinkedIn members, of course -- and a lot of the conclusions are drawn in a way that suggests companies need to get more involved with LinkedIn itself to have a better shot at attracting great women candidates. 

So take that for what it's worth. Among the recommendations for employers?

Be more transparent. Include salary ranges in job postings, think hard about whether the qualifications you include are really the ones you need, and make a conscious effort.

Here's what else I'm reading today:

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