Is Your Job Posting Inclusive?
More and more organizations are taking the steps to create diverse and inclusive work environments. Many companies implement policies, offer workshops webinars, and use various online channels to show their support and progress. While many of these initiatives prove to be successful within the company, hiring teams often overlook a critical step of the recruiting process: the job description.
Are implicit biases getting in the way of your job description?
We all have biases, even if unintentional or unconscious, but that doesn’t mean these biases don’t have the power to affect others. Those typically in charge of writing job descriptions like HR or hiring managers aren’t free of bias. Using particular language or leaving out certain information from a job description can exclude various communities and individuals.
5 tips for a more inclusive job description:
- Rethink required skills and qualifications
- Highlight inclusive benefits like parental leave or childcare subsidiaries
- Use neutral titles and words
- Eliminate pronouns
- Commitment to diversity & inclusion statement
Rethink required skills and qualifications
According to Glassdoor Economic Research, college majors can vary by gender. Requiring specific majors can significantly limit the number of applications of a particular gender. Doing so can discourage candidates who, besides their education, are otherwise highly skilled and qualified. Additionally, people often choose a totally different job based on their skills and interests.
Highlight inclusive benefits like parental leave or childcare subsidiaries
Benefits like paid parental leave, paid family sick time, and even health insurance can go a long way in fostering an inclusive and diverse work environment. While not everyone will need these benefits, highlighting them in your job description will attract applicants that do.
Parents or soon-to-be parents have not only themselves but their children to consider when applying for jobs. They might be pickier in their job hunt and be quick to scroll past any companies that don’t appear to be accommodating. It’s not necessary to list every single benefit that comes with the job but emphasizing a few perks can indicate your company’s values.
Use neutral titles and words
Avoid using buzzwords like rockstar, guru or ninja. Although these terms can convey certain attitudes and skills, they can also deter certain applicants from applying. Seasoned professionals and even non-native English speakers might find these terms discouraging and opt-out of applying. Similarly, many women aren’t eager to apply to roles they see as targeting male applicants. Language like “lone wolf,” “digital native,” “make every project a touchdown,” etc.
Using gender-neutral terms and titles like “IT technician,” “project manager,” or “developer” ensures your job description doesn’t exclude or discriminate against anyone based on gender, age or race.
Many job descriptions also feature words and everyday language that exclude those with disabilities.
- “Must be able to lift 50 pounds” can be changed to “moves equipment weighing up to 50 pounds.”
- “Speak” or “talk” can be changed to “communicate.”
- “See” to “identify” or “assess.”
Even slight tweaks to your wording can create a whole new meaning and encourage candidates of all abilities.
When writing the description, refrain from using pronouns like she or he. You can use ‘S/he or preferably directly speak to your audience using ‘You.’
Commitment to diversity & inclusion statement
Your job posting is a great place to spark discussion regarding your company’s diversity and inclusion policies and values. Within your description, you can include a section encouraging individuals from various cultural backgrounds, disabilities and other marginalized communities to apply. Be sure you have the resources to accommodate applicants such as those with disabilities to back up this statement.
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