How to Write an Inclusive Job Description for Your Client?
A job description outlines important employment criteria, tasks, responsibilities, and abilities needed to execute a certain job.
A well-written job description appeals to a wide range of candidates while being explicit about the skill sets necessary.
Leading with sensitive, insightful, and inclusive language communicates to clients that you value diversity and consider all applicants regardless of gender, race, disability, or status.
What Should a Job Description Ideally Include?
An ideal job description must include the following pointers:
- Core Values
- Job Title
- Salary Range
- Summary Statement
- Roles & Responsibilities
- Work Location & Schedule
- Work Experience
- Communication Skills
- Attitude of Candidate
- Physical Requirements
The Importance of Diversity in Job Descriptions
Recruiting agencies that create inclusive job descriptions remove employment barriers for job applicants from diverse backgrounds. By using language that resonates with a larger audience, hiring teams can bring in new perspectives and unique experiences that can help support business growth objectives.
Businesses promoting diversity recruitment gain several advantages:
- A stronger perceived brand image
- Access to new skills and experience
- 2.3 times the cash flow per employee and 1.4 times the revenue compared to companies that don’t.
Follow the guidelines for designing inclusive job descriptions to encourage every competent candidate. You’ll not only expand your client pool, but you’ll also reap the benefits of working in a diverse and inclusive environment.
1. Remove Gender-coded Words
It’s critical that every communication, whether it’s a job description, a social job ad, an email, a text message, or a video job adscript, be neutral and inclusive. This is easier said than done because it can be difficult to fully appreciate how others could view a job posting. For example, stating that the position is “well-suited to new grads” implies a bias against older workers.
If clients assume the role is more suited for the opposite gender, the agencies might be missing out on qualified candidates.
The best way to avoid this common mistake is to avoid words that are typically understood to be coded for a male or female audience, even if they merely hint at gendered stereotypes. Below are some common variations of gender-coded words.
- Female-Coded Words. Agree, empath, sensitive, affectionate, feel, support, collaborate, honest, trust, commit, interpersonal, understand, compassion, nurture, and share.
- Male-Coded Words. Aggressive, confident, fearless, ambitious, decisive, head-strong, assertive, defend, independent, battle, dominant, outspoken, challenge, driven, and superior.
2. Trim Job Qualifications to Remove Optional Experience
Another key hindrance to increasing gender inclusion in job advertisements is women’s self-perceived qualifications versus men’s.
According to research, women are more likely than men to apply for a job only if they fulfil 100% of the job requirements.
To combat this, recruiting managers should avoid including non-essential characteristics in job descriptions like “the ability to lift up to 25 lbs.” Instead, they should identify the desired experience and talents, followed by a list of helpful but non-essential requirements.
3. Remove Discriminatory Language
When writing more inclusive job descriptions, hiring teams should consider how the language affects people of other ethnic groups. Underlying racial or cultural bias, like gender bias, might make clients feel unwelcome.
Keep the following techniques in mind when writing a new job posting to avoid using discriminatory language:
- Instead of specifying that the client must be a native English speaker, state that the candidate must possess great communication abilities.
- Academic qualifications should not be limited to Ivy League or highly regarded schools.
- Rather than requesting “legal citizens only,” question if the candidate is authorised to work in the United States.
- Don’t refer to only one part of an ethnic group when discussing a race or country of origin.
4. Avoid Corporate Jargon
When speaking with other professionals in the same industry, acronyms and abbreviations are frequently used to refer to job-related processes, platforms, and other items.
Jargon terms can be a substantial barrier for entry-level candidates and those new to the industry if they are unfamiliar with them and consider they are underqualified as a result of this knowledge gap.
To avoid confounding and excluding experts who are new to the business, spell out any acronyms and substitute corporate jargon with more normal terminology.
Referring to “our CMS” instead of “our content management system (CMS)” or referring to “SLAs” instead of “service level agreements (SLAs)” are examples of discouraging jargon.
Any references to mandatory certificates or qualifications should also be reviewed by hiring teams to ensure that they are accurate.
5. Emphasise Your Company’s Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
If your agency is already making major strides toward becoming a more welcoming and inclusive place to work, you might want to consider including this in your job descriptions.
While you may just say at the bottom that you are an “equal opportunity employer,” a statement in your own words would have more impact.
Here’s an example from IBM:
IBM is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.
If appropriate, you can also mention inclusion-related initiatives, like hosting employee resource groups(ERGs)
6. Call out Inclusive Benefits Like Parental leave & Childcare Subsidies
Benefits like paid maternity leave, childcare subsidies, paid family sick time, and even health insurance goes a long way toward fostering diversity and inclusion while also increasing morale, as you already know.
If your company provides these benefits, you may not see the need to mention them in job descriptions because not every employee will benefit from them, but doing so allows you to demonstrate your commitment to DE&I straight away.
You don’t have to list all of the benefits, but a few extras won’t hurt. After all, your job advertising is likely to be your first point of contact with a potential customer, and job seekers with families (or who are planning to start a family in the near future) will value the benefits listed in your description as signals of your large company values.
Because we all have unconscious and unintentional prejudices, it’s always a good idea to examine your job descriptions and make changes to make them more inclusive, as well as to highlight the fantastic work your organisation is already doing to promote diversity and inclusion, if relevant.
Bonus Resource: Check out 50+ ready-to-use job description templates for agency recruiters.
7. Win over Experienced Workers
Workers age 50 and older comprise roughly 30% of the workforce according to a report from Human Resource Executive.
Ensuring your employer brand reflects a wide range of ages among your employees is one of the greatest measures for avoiding age discrimination. Also, avoid inquiring about GPA or SAT scores, as this implies that only recent graduates would be considered.
Also, refrain from using phrases like:
- “Young and vivacious”
- “Atmosphere of a party”
- “Work hard/play hard”
- “Digital native”
- “All recent college grads, listen up!”
- “No more than X years of experience”
- “Athletic” or “athletically oriented”
- “Supplement your retirement income!”
- “Junior” or “Senior” except as part of a job title
In Final Words
Writing a job description that appeals to diverse candidates may be difficult at first, but putting in some extra effort will bring fruitful outcomes.
Researching your competitor’s job advertisements or using ready-to-use templates will give you a better understanding of how to write inclusive job posts.
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