Today, more businesses than ever are trying to create inclusive workplaces.
There’s a very strong business case for diversity. Diverse teams are more profitable, more successful, and more innovative.
However, progress is slow. It’s not easy to create inclusive teams. And it can be even harder to recruit for diversity. Whether it’s gender or racial diversity, many businesses are behind.
One of the biggest obstacles is one many teams overlook. Of course, I’m talking about job descriptions.
Recruiting for Diversity Starts With Inclusive Job Descriptions
Unfortunately, most businesses write terrible job descriptions!
If you look online, most job postings are very long and boring.
Meanwhile, job ads rarely factor in diversity, equity and inclusion.
But here’s the thing.
If your business wants to improve diversity, you have to rethink your process.
And you have to rethink it from top to bottom.
Because if you use the same process and mindset you’ve always used…
You’re always going to get the same results!
A new process starts with your job description. Job postings help candidates determine whether your opportunity is for them. If your posting isn’t inclusive, your other efforts will be wasted.
Here’s five tips for writing inclusive job descriptions:
Avoid “Business-Speak” and Industry Jargon for Inclusive Job Descriptions
When recruiting for diversity, I always recommend businesses rethink sourcing. If you can’t find the right candidates in your industry, consider looking elsewhere.
A candidate from another industry may have all the right skills. For example, consider commercial lending. If you can’t find the right candidates in banking, look for sales reps in other fields.
These people can be trained on lending and finance. The key is that a proven salesperson already knows how to close!
However, if your job postings aren’t inclusive, it’s hard to recruit outside your field. That’s why I recommend avoiding jargon for inclusive job postings.
Every industry has jargon. Take IT and tech. Terms like SaaS, blockchain, and API are not words everyone knows.
Furthermore, corporate jargon words like “synergize” and “agile” are often vague. It can be confusing to candidates new to the space.
To increase DEI, you have to recruit in new spaces. That means connecting with people who don’t know the jargon. This is especially true at the entry level.
Rethink Requirements for Inclusive Job Descriptions
Hiring managers and HR often write job descriptions for ideal candidates.
They think of the perfect candidate. Then they write a laundry list of requirements.
But I recommend you to pull back. Ask yourself – what does the role require?
Studies show that men will apply to a job if they meet 60% of the requirements.
However, women will hesitate unless they meet 100%.
The more requirements in your job description, the more people will shy away from applying.
Focus on what someone REALLY needs to excel in the job. For diversity and inclusiveness, focus on the essentials! This will widen your candidate pool.
Highlight Inclusive Benefits
It’s one thing to say you have an inclusive workplace. Anyone can do that.
It’s another to have policies and benefits supporting that!
Inclusive benefits aren’t just the right thing to do. They also help you build a more diverse workplace.
These benefits might include enhanced parental leave, floating holidays, and ample PTO.
Remote work and flexible scheduling are also key. Professional development is important as well.
Think About Adding a Salary Range for Inclusive Job Descriptions
I know most businesses don’t like to include salary ranges.
By including a salary range, you can show the pay stays the same no matter what. It’s more transparent and builds trust.
Showcase Your Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Everyone includes a statement about being an equal opportunity employer. But that’s just for legal protection. It’s basically the bare minimum.
Your job description is a chance to go a step further.
Include a statement about your business’ commitment to DEI.
Get creative and tie it back to your company’s overall mission.
Demonstrate why diversity, equity and inclusion matter to your team!
Be Careful to Avoid Gender-Coded Language for Inclusive Job Descriptions
If you’re not careful, your language can turn away candidates in certain demographics.
Take the example of Buffer. In 2013, they noticed less than 2% of developer candidates were women.
In particular, few women applied to the role of “hacker.” This was the term they used for developers.
So they started investigating. They found that women were less likely to identify with the word “hacker.”
As a result, they removed that word. Two years later, they received 5X as many female candidates.
Simple word choice can have a big impact!
We must be careful to avoid gender bias in job ads. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to get outside opinions.
Ask if anything makes them feel excluded. It’s important to use inclusive language from start to finish.
Different Results Require a Different Approach
If you’ve never wrote an inclusive job ad before, these tips may seem strange.
But it’s important to remember your goal.
If your old approach to recruiting worked for diversity, you wouldn’t be reading this.
If we want to achieve different results, we need to rethink the process.
To build a diverse workplace, we need to make some changes.
Hiring starts with a job description. Without an inclusive job description, all your other efforts are undermined.
It’s not easy but the rewards of a diverse workplace are worth it!
Article authored by Qualigence CEO & Founder Steve Lowisz