Does it ever happen that you receive responses only from people belonging to certain demographics to your job postings?
This is because your job description might not be inclusive.
Studies have shown that language used in job descriptions can unintentionally discourage talented individuals from certain sections from applying. This limits the candidate pool for these openings.
A consciously written inclusive job description allows you to attract a diverse pool of candidates.
This is crucial because a diverse workplace promotes higher levels of creativity, productivity, and job satisfaction. It will also help you recruit more candidates because 67% of employees perceive workplace diversity to be vital when examining new job opportunities.
Let’s look at how to write an inclusive job description.
What Is an Inclusive Job Description?
An inclusive job description is written in such a way that no one feels excluded or uncomfortable when applying for the position because of their gender, cultural or ethnic origin, background, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or disability.
In other words, an inclusive job posting is one that describes the position, organization, and what success would look like without assuming that only a certain kind of people would succeed in such a role. This encourages everyone who thinks they can contribute to the company to feel welcome to apply.
Tips to Write Inclusive Job Description
Here are a few tips for you to be able to write inclusive job descriptions, make a good first impression, stand out from your competitors, and build a welcoming workplace.
Integrating the practices below will ensure that you attract a diverse pool of candidates.
1. Avoid Gender-Coded Language
The most common mistake that HR professionals make in job descriptions is the use of gender pronouns. Try not to address only a certain gender.
For example, if you’re hiring a Java developer, saying things like, “He will design, code, test, and implement the solutions” gives the impression that the job is meant for men. Instead, try to use language like, “You will design, code, write, and implement the solutions.” It will help you avoid gender bias and give the candidate the impression that you are talking to them directly.
However, using pronouns is not the only way to make your job description more gender specific.
There are other adjectives that are more focused on one gender. For example, “powerful” and “competitive” may appeal to men, while “nurturing” and “supporting” may appeal to women. Keep an eye out for these gender-specific pronouns and adjectives.
2. Prioritize Abilities Over Experience
To ensure that your job description resonates with entry-level candidates, you may need to reconsider the requirements for success in your entry-level positions. To ensure that your job description resonates with entry-level candidates, you may need to reconsider the requirements for success in your entry-level positions. Most fresh graduates have fewer than three years of experience; therefore, you should avoid requiring five years of experience in a job description.
Shift your focus from experience to education, abilities, and certifications in order to make the job description relevant to individuals just beginning their careers. Emphasize the skills that a student can acquire on the job to pique their interest in the chance to develop professionally.
3. Appeal to All Age Groups
Another mistake that recruiters usually make is age-related bias. Try to write a job description that people of any age will relate to.
Avoid loaded terms like “digital native,” “young,” and “energetic,” which are primarily appealing to millennials and Gen Z. Such words may discourage more experienced candidates from applying at all. Instead of saying, “We are looking for a young and energetic digital native,” try to say, “We are looking for a digital enthusiast who’s comfortable learning about new technology.” In this way, you can attract people of all ages, even those who didn’t grow up with today’s technology, and reassure them that your company will give them the space to learn.
Furthermore, unless it genuinely affects a person’s capacity to perform the work, avoid stating an age category in your job description. Also, don’t use limiting phrases like “Must have less than X years of experience” or ask for too much experience, as this will limit the number of people who can apply.
4. Focus Only on Essential Skills
Don’t overwhelm your candidates with a long list of job specifications. In fact, it is likely to backfire and dissuade prospects from applying for your position.
Did you know that women only apply for jobs if they meet all the qualifications? That is due to their fear of failing—they do not want to be rejected.
If you work for a marketing firm, don’t write a job description that demands candidates to know unnecessary skills like how to use WordPress and hundreds of other tools. Instead, be practical and include only the talents necessary for the position.
5. Consider all Cultures and Races
For many firms, unconscious cultural and racial bias is a huge obstacle to recruiting a more diverse candidate pool.
To avoid this, make sure that your job description does not expressly exclude people of certain ethnicities and races. For example, a “native U.S. English speaker” is a typical prerequisite for editorial positions. Such a posting discriminates against hundreds of thousands of professionals in other parts of the world who are equally talented as their colleagues in the United States.
These little details can make a huge difference in your job posting.
6. Avoid Industry-Specific Jargon
Your job description is not intended to highlight your technical abilities or extensive vocabulary. Its purpose is to attract potential candidates. Thus, it should be simple to understand and written in clear English.
For example, if you are seeking applicants in the digital marketing field, you should not write, “Have extensive experience in SEO, CPA, KPIs, etc.” Rather, try to write, “Experience with sales funnel software.”
It’s much easier to understand and won’t turn off half of the candidates like the first one.
So, make sure that your job description is always written in clear English, without any technical jargon.
Writing an inclusive job description is essential for attracting a larger pool of candidates.
Follow the best practices we have discussed above, broaden your job descriptions, and make sure that every potential candidate feels welcome.
It will assist you in expanding your candidate pool, and simplifying your recruitment process, while also providing you with the benefits of an inclusive workplace.