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3 Keys to Making Your Job Description More Inclusive

Many companies post generic or poorly-worded job descriptions that immediately turn away talented, diverse candidates. When reviewing job descriptions, candidates need to be able to imagine themselves in the role, and exclusive language or corporate jargon can cause job-seekers to feel that they would not fit in a given position. Job descriptions ought to be inclusive, reader-friendly, and demonstrative of a company’s values and employer brand.

Read on to learn the 3 keys to making your company’s job descriptions more inclusive and therefore attractive to diverse candidates!

Why Creating Inclusive Job Descriptions is Beneficial for Your Organization

An inclusive job description allows a wider range of applicants to feel that they would fit in the open job position, which increases the overall number of candidates who apply. Inclusivity in particular is often what diverse job-seekers are looking for in a company, so highlighting inclusive language in job descriptions can motivate diverse candidates to submit applications. In addition, well-executed job descriptions can help position a company’s employer brand as diverse and inclusive.

Best Practices to Solving the Problem

Key #1 Choose words and phrases that are inclusive.

Your words matter! When writing a job description, choose language that allows the maximum number of applicants to see themselves in the role. For example, by listing the job title “hostess,” you might accidentally be excluding a huge pool of applicants. If you simply change the title to “greeter,” your candidate reach will dramatically increase.

Another frequent mistake in writing job descriptions is listing too many items as “required.” For example, requiring a bachelor’s degree could disqualify a self-taught applicant with 20 years of experience in a field, which is often more beneficial than formal schooling.

When creating descriptions, remember: you want to describe the tasks or characteristics of the job itself, not of the person you imagine in the job. By doing this, you’ll immediately broaden your reach to more diverse job-seekers. For example, instead of vague terms like “strong,” use specific descriptions such as “able to move 25 pounds.” Or, instead of “compassionate” or “aggressive,” try phrases like “customer-oriented” or “able to generate sales.” Fewer image-provoking words will help your job descriptions fit more candidates.

Key #2 Be transparent about your company and what you offer employees.

Don’t shy away from specifically stating in your job descriptions that you welcome diversity. Transparency about your company’s values, benefits, and – in some cases – even salary ranges can encourage candidates to apply. It might be helpful to highlight specific items such as parental leave or flexible schedules, too, since these benefits also help job-seekers understand what your company values.

Remember, job descriptions are an extension of your employer brand, so be up front and honest about who you are as a company as you craft the wording.

Key #3 Ditch corporate language or technical jargon.

If your goal is to create job descriptions that entice talented, diverse candidates, technical jargon and corporate language can immediately negate your efforts. “Corporate speak” is often seen as a way to separate “insiders” – people who already understand the company and industry – from “outsiders.” However, many diverse candidates outside of the company with no industry experience would still make fantastic employees.

To remedy your descriptions, try swapping out industry-specific words with more generic terms. Job-seekers are more likely to submit applications when the job description is clear, straightforward, and inclusive.

In order to create an inclusive and diverse workplace, it’s essential that you create opportunities with inclusive job descriptions. Regularly editing your job descriptions will help you attract the top diverse talent that you seek. Our guide, “Attracting Diverse Talent: Job Descriptions Guide”, will walk you through the process of how to do just that. It’s easy to do, and you can get started today! So what are you waiting for? Download our Guide today! Happy recruiting!

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