Diversity and inclusiveness are important for any company culture. While your company might have trainings or programs in place to promote diversity, there’s one step you might’ve failed to consider: the job posting.
The job description is often the first exposure a candidate has to your position. It’s the first impression that could encourage or prevent many people from applying. Ensuring your job postings are inclusive will cultivate a more rewarding culture that considers every qualified candidate.
It can be challenging to know what everyone will perceive as inclusive or not. So, here are some tips for making the best effort when crafting your open job descriptions.
What Makes an Inclusive Job Description?
Here are some ways to keep your job postings more inclusive, no matter who is considering them.
1. Giving a Disclaimer About Meeting All Qualifications
A Hewlett Packard Internal Report found that women only apply for a job if they meet all of the listed qualifications. (In contrast, men will apply if they only meet 60% of the requirements.)
To encourage more women and other minorities to apply, avoid non-essential requirements in the posting. You could also clearly indicate which qualifications are required and have another list for those that are only preferred.
Another idea is to provide a disclaimer for candidates in minority groups. For example: “Research shows that women and other minority groups might avoid applying if they don’t meet 100% of the qualifications. We encourage you to apply even if you don’t meet everything listed in the job posting.”
2. Avoiding Words with Attached Gender Biases
Research has shown that people attach gender to certain words used in job titles and descriptions. For example, the company Buffer learned that using the word “hacker” in their developer job descriptions was preventing more women from applying.
Descriptive words like “compassionate,” “collaborative,” and “sensitive” are often more associated with women. Words like “competent,” “competitive,” and “outspoken” are often linked to men.
Make your postings more inclusive for any gender by using more straightforward and obvious words that simply describe positions and tasks.
3. Using Language That Includes Disabled Candidates
Be honest about the qualifications necessary to complete a job, but also be sure to let applicants know about accommodations you can provide. Make it clear that your company values and welcomes those with disabilities.
4. Making Your Branding Reflect a Wide Age Range
Your branding communicates a lot to future employees and applicants. To avoid ageism in the workplace, have your branding and marketing present a wide range of employee ages.
In addition, avoid words in your job descriptions that might hint at younger workers, such as referencing recent graduates.
5. Removing Any Corporate Speak
Corporate jargon isn’t fun for anyone, even if the ideal candidates know it well.
Too much “corporate speak” in a job posting can turn off great candidates who might feel like they aren’t qualified (even though they are). So, be careful to avoid too many corporate terms that might turn off talent in young or minority groups.
6. Highlighting Your Company’s Commitment to Inclusivity
If you want candidates to know you foster an inclusive workplace, mention it in your job descriptions. Include a statement under the description. Also, if you offer inclusive benefits like parental leave for all new parents, highlight those in your job posting.
7. Determining How You’ll Measure Your Posting’s Impact
Before posting your inclusive job descriptions, know your goals. What will success mean? For example, maybe you are trying to hire more people of color or women to diversify your workforce. Set your baseline to track improvements and see if your posting is effective.