The Top 5 Ways to Write Inclusive Job Descriptions

The top 5 ways to write inclusive job descriptions

Crafting inclusive job descriptions is essential for organizations that want to attract top, diverse talent. 

Your job descriptions are the first means of communication your potential candidate has with your company. Plus, inclusive job descriptions on average fill 10% faster across all demographic groups. 

Why an inclusive job description?

Inclusive job descriptions let candidates know that their next potential employer is looking for the best and brightest regardless of race, gender, or other representation groups. 

They will lead to more diversity in your hiring pipelines. More diversity leads to a more inclusive workforce. And more inclusion leads to increased productivity, higher employee retention, and accelerated product innovation.

So for your next job descriptions, follow these best practices:

1. Use gender-neutral and clear language

Eliminating gendered words and avoiding cultural slang will allow you to cast a wider net of potential applicants.

Gendered language only attracts a certain kind of applicant. Instead of using words like "he" or "she," speak directly to your potential candidate in the job description by using second-person, "you."

Additionally, take out any words that can be seen as cultural slang, like "rock star," "wizard," or "guru." Phrases like this dissuade people from diverse backgrounds with cultural differences. 

Instead, elect to use clear job titles like "marketing director," "product manager," or "sales representative."

2. Limit must-haves

One of the first things an applicant looks at is the required skills. Before they invest any time to learn more about your company's role, they want to know if their skills match. 

If you have a laundry list of requirements in hopes of only attracting the on-paper perfect-fit, you run the risk of scaring away top candidates who may have untraditional backgrounds.

A study from Hewlett Packard found that women typically only apply for a position if they meet 100% requirements for the role, whereas men apply if they meet only 60% of the requirements. 

So be flexible and only write what a candidate truly must have. Then, after a shortlist of requirements, add a section of "nice-to-haves." 

3. Emphasize your commitment to DEI

If you want your candidates to know your company champions diversity, equity, and inclusion, the best thing you can do is tell them in your job descriptions. 

Do you have an established mentorship program for underrepresented groups? Or have you initiated an equal pay policy and a structured promotion roadmap? 

These are some of the questions candidates want to have answered. Leave a paragraph or two in the job description to add about your DEI initiatives and explain why DEI is important in your organization.

4. Be inclusive of age and disability

Thirty-five percent of workers were born before the internet. But we see more and more job descriptions with ageist language. 

We often see phrases like "digital natives," "young talent," and "go-getters." But with age comes experience, and organizations that do this miss out on applications from tenured professionals.

And the same goes for candidates with disabilities. We suggest avoiding phrases like "must walk, stand, and lift 50lbs." Instead, leverage more inclusive words like "must move, be upright, and hold up to 50lbs." 

5. Post salary ranges 

A salary range is one of the first things a candidate looks for because, ultimately, salary is a crucial component of any job search. 

Candidates today prefer to see the salary range before even applying, and some won't give a company a second look if the salary range isn't posted. 

The last thing you want is to schedule an interview with a candidate you're excited about, only to find out they need $20k more than you're able to pay. That's time wasted for everybody.

Roughly 50% of US companies don't highlight salary ranges, so by doing so, you'll stand out from your competition. 

Achieve inclusion with Mogul

These changes may seem small, but they can make a big difference. 

Inclusive job descriptions are the first step in creating a high-performing, diverse workforce. For your next step, schedule a demo to see our Talent Acquisition Platform, and let us show how we can help you attract and hire diverse talent worldwide.