5 Tips on How to Make Your Job Descriptions More Inclusive

Diversity and inclusion begin with a good job description. If you write a job description that inadvertently excludes a certain type of people during the hiring process, your organization will struggle to become the kind of innovative melting pot that you might hope to achieve.  

Why does this matter? Diverse organizations are more profitable. They also attract more candidates; the data shows in 2022, diversity and inclusion programs matter to job seekers more than ever.  

So, how can you be sure your job descriptions posted publicly to attract candidates aren’t turning people away? Here are five tips on how to make your job descriptions more inclusive. 

Creating the D&I Job Description 

Creating an inclusive job posting that appeals to everyone, including underrepresented talent in your organization takes a careful and deliberate approach to recognizing hidden and unconscious bias. Your goal is to overhaul your job ads to make sure every qualified candidate feels comfortable applying. Here are five important steps to get there: 

1. Avoid bias in national origin, race, and religion.

Do not mention, even indirectly, race or religion in your ad. Don’t use phrases like “native English speaker.” How many people born outside of the U.S. do you know that speak perfect English right now? If you need someone who speaks a certain language say, “Spanish speaking” not “Spanish.” Also, if you have a job where you want the men to be “clean-shaven,” you need to also consider the men whose religion requires facial hair. You can say, “Professional appearance and attire required.” Finally, never mention religion in your ad—unless, of course, you are a church. 

2. Avoid bias in gender.

Write the ad neutrally and use “you” or “they” instead of “he” or “she.” Avoid those pronouns to avoid excluding a specific gender from your job. Make sure your job titles aren’t gender-specific. “Business man” or “Salesman,” are outdated and practically scream, “My workplace is stuck in the past.” 

3. Consider job qualifications as a way to widen your candidate pool.

One study showed men apply more to jobs if they meet 60% of the qualifications, while women won’t apply unless they are 100% qualified.

You can broaden your qualifications by: 

  • Only listing requirements essential to the job. 
  • Keep the list short to avoid turning women away. 
  • Consider listing must-haves and your “wish list” of job skills. 

4. Avoid ageism.

Words like, “digital native,” and “party environment,” often speak only to those with a relatively short tenure in the workforce. Yet we see these phrases in ads all the time. An AARP study showed that 90% of older candidates were asked about their high school or college graduation dates, their date of birth or age, or other information that clearly signaled they were an older candidate.  

5. Extend inclusiveness to those with disabilities.

Make sure your ads offer accommodations such as flex time or remote work to appeal to candidates with disabilities.  

Do mention your diversity and inclusion initiatives in the ad, as well. There is increasing evidence that your candidates and even your customers, care about these programs. Prosum works closely with companies to streamline their hiring processes. If you’re looking for a partner that emphasizes diversity and inclusion during the hiring process, call on your team.

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