Why HR departments need to increase their tech recruiting efforts

Women are becoming a larger presence in the technology sector, but the gender gap is still a major concern.

Women are becoming a larger presence in the technology sector, but the gender gap is still a major concern.

Technology is one of the most demanding markets in the United States and around the world. The challenge goes beyond a shortage of talent to include a lack of female representation. The figures are quite staggering: 80 men and just three women apply for one tech job posting, ERE.net reported.

HR software solutions can do their part to identify female applicants, but the problem cannot be solved with these programs alone. Human resources departments will have to revamp their hiring efforts to attract women who know how to code or have computer science experience. For Sarah Allen, this became clear when she was the only female programmer at Adobe Systems Inc. and was a part of the team that invented Flash Video Player.

"If you're interviewing people for your job, and you haven't interviewed a woman, don't hire until you've at least interviewed one woman. And if your recruiter can't get you resumes that are diverse, find another recruiter," Allen told NPR.

Allen has been working in the tech industry for over 20 years and finds it exciting, but was surprised that her women-led software programs continue to receive so much attention. Especially since women consist of half of the workforce and over 60 percent of them are college graduates. Yet at the same time, there is a stigma around women joining the technology industry and that math isn't for girls — which may better explain the widespread worker shortage.

"It can be intimidating not to have that context up front that says, 'We welcome you,'" workshop co-founder Lillie Chilen added.

Companies that do offer training for newly hired staff members may want to do more to communicate such on job boards and their career websites. HR software solutions help identify the most qualified candidates.