How to write an inclusive job description

Article by Lucy Evans, Executive Recruitment Consultant at Heat Recruitment

Could you be putting candidates off with poor job descriptions?The first step in attracting a new candidate to your company is to capture attention by posting a job advert – something which many people consider a relatively straightforward task.

However, that’s not always the case. The information you provide about the job and the working environment on offer is essential to securing in-demand top talent. But firms run the risk of missing out on valuable talent by not making adverts as accessible as possible for diverse candidates.

The language used in inclusive job adverts

Around 40 per cent of hiring managers in the UK don’t consider the use of gender coded language when writing their job descriptions. The use of loaded lexicon has been highlighted by many HR and diversity professionals, yet it continues to plague job boards.

By removing emotive language such as “competitive”, “dominate” and “supportive”, you are left with a more gender-neutral job description that appeals to a wider talent demographic, opening the doors to more diverse talent.

One way to do this is by simply educating yourself and your team on the words to avoid; there are plenty of resources available to help you to do this. The other is via free extensions or websites like Textio and Gender Decoder. Textio will take your job description and give it a diversity score before advising on ways to improve it, while the Gender Decoder is a free website that reviews your content and highlights any words in need of revision. Whatever you decide, the lexicon used within job adverts is an essential factor that needs to be monitored closely.

Limit your requirements

Although it may be tempting to list all the skills and characteristics required on your job description, this can be something that discourages many ideal candidates from applying.

When writing your next job advert, try to limit these elements to just the must-haves, rather than adding extra expectations with regard to company culture or individual tasks. Candidates will often ignore a posting if they don’t meet 100 per cent of the list when, realistically, they don’t always need to. So, take a moment at the end of writing your description to check If everything mentioned really does need to be there.

Outline your diversity and inclusion goals

If your company is making a solid effort to provide a more inclusive workplace, don’t be afraid to shout about it in job descriptions. Remember, the job advert is often a potential candidates’ first encounter with your company. So always highlight your benefits, training courses and your commitment to being an equal opportunity employer.

Lucy EvansAbout the author

Lucy Evans is an Executive Recruitment Consultant specialising within the Wealth Management industry. She works for Heat Recruitment, a specialist recruitment agency based in Bristol operating across the UK that specialise in Engineering, Information Technology, Insurance, Financial Services and the Legal sector. They place candidates in both permanent and contract roles.

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