What Updates You Should Be Making to Keep Your Job Descriptions Inclusive

If your workforce lacks inclusivity, odds are your job descriptions are one reason why. The words and phrases used may contain unconscious bias that attracts certain types of applicants more than others. After revising your job descriptions, you are likely to attract applicants with different backgrounds that can move your company forward. As you hire over time, your workforce will reflect a more inclusive culture.

Follow these guidelines to make your job descriptions more inclusive.

Use Gender-Neutral Words

Whereas gender-coded words like “rock star,” “ninja,” and “dominate” tend to attract more male applicants, words such as “support,” “honest,” and “trust” tend to attract more female applicants. By replacing such language with gender-neutral words and titles such as “developer” or “sales representative,” odds are your applicants will be of different genders.

Limit Your Job Requirements

When a long list of requirements is included with a job description, men tend to apply if they meet 60% of them, whereas women tend to apply if they meet 100% of them. By including only your minimum qualifications or “familiarity with” certain desired skills, you are likely to gain greater gender diversity among the applicants.

Use Clear Language

Job descriptions that include jargon such as KPIs, SLAs, or P&L tend to turn away highly qualified entry-level candidates who do not understand what the acronyms stand for. Switch to words like “pays attention to detail” or “is personable with customers” to increase your applicant pool.

Emphasize Your Company’s Commitment to Inclusion

State that your business is moving toward becoming a more inclusive place to work. Include words such as “an equality opportunity employer” in your job descriptions. Or, if you have inclusion-related initiatives like employee resource groups (ERGs) or mentorship programs for women or people of color, say so.

Mention Inclusive Benefits  

Share whether you offer parental leave, childcare subsidies, paid family sick time, or other inclusive benefits. Although not every employee will benefit from them, mentioning them shows your commitment to inclusion.

Appeal to Diverse Generations

Phrases such as “digital native,” “work hard, play hard,” and “supplement your retirement income” imply that applicants of certain ages are more welcome than others. Instead, choose phrases that appeal to applicants of diverse generations.

Attract Workers of All Abilities

Advertise whether flexible hours, telework, or other accommodations are available. Because disabled workers may need different accommodations to perform the work, they are more likely to apply.

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