Inclusive Job Descriptions

When you are struggling to build a diverse team, you'll often hear it blamed on a "pipeline problem".

While many teams will focus on adding new channels to source candidates, it may also be your job descriptions that are keeping talented people out. Here are some tactics to make yours more inclusive.

Take out requirements that aren't truly necessary

Do you need a specific degree from a specific school to do this job? Or 7 years of experience in 3 different steel plants?

Instead, limit your requirements to what's really required, and make explicit what's nice to have.

This is especially important for appealing to women as it's been shown they tent to think they need to hit close to 100% of requirements before they apply.

Include salary benchmarks and recruitment process

As a job searcher, you shouldn't be getting to 3rd interview, only to find out the job pays less than that your current one does!

Take out the effort by stating the benchmark in job ad. The same goes for the recruitment process - let the candidates know each step, what's expected for them and how much time it will take.

State your openness to adapt your interviews and process to accommodated neurodiverse candidates or people with different physical abilities.

Remove non-inclusive languages

Textio, the augmented writing tool, found that words like "exhaustive" and "fearless" result in more men applying to positions than women. Meanwhile, terms like "transparent", "catalyst", have all been proven to appeal more to women than men.

Put your job description into tools like Textio or Gender-Decoder to see how much it's biased towards men or women. Remove or replace words that enable more people from one gender to apply.

Be mindful of using personal pronouns

Don't refer to candidates as "He/She". While you may be trying to be inclusive, you are actually excluding anyone who is transgender or on-binary (or knows someone who is).

Your job descriptions should instead say something like this "The Associate Engineer needs to..."

If you invite them for an interview, ask them which pronouns they prefer and inform your team. This shows you are aware and you walk the talk of inclusion.

Share details about your onboarding process

Quite often, job descriptions give the impression that a person must be the 'employee of the month' from day one. That can be daunting for many candidates and they''' refrain from applying for these roles. 

Try adding a brief write-up on how you'll support the new hire during their first three months.

Avoid generic D&I statements

Include specific details on what Diversity, Equity and Inclusion means for you as a company, why it matters, and what your current ongoing initiatives are on this topic.

Pro-tip: Insert a link to your company's blog posts on Diversity, Equity & Inclusive status update.

Follow these steps and you'll be surprised at the talent you attract!

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