Inclusion and diversity are hot topics in the hiring world. Employers are looking to expand the range of ideas and strength of teamwork within their companies, and this is most easily accomplished through a wide sea of viewpoints. Everyone thinks a little differently and the more diversity in a workplace, the more variety of thought.

But there’s one stumbling block for many employers, and it’s easily solved—poorly written job descriptions.

Something as simple as a poorly written job description can actually turn away candidates who simply don’t connect with it. So employers are losing a possible great hire from the very beginning.


How to improve job descriptions

So what in a job description would be a turn-off for some candidates? Here are a few examples:

  • Gender-coded words
  • Business jargon
  • Too many qualification requirements

Avoid gender-coded words

Certain words are seen by people as more masculine, and this can turn away women candidates from a job. Words like “competitive,” “dominate,” “ninja,” or “guru” connect more with men and may result in women not applying to a job whose description includes them. Instead, simply write job descriptions with straightforward words and phrases. Describe titles and roles as exactly what they are, without the shroud of words and phrases that can actually turn candidates away.


Avoid business jargon

One of the easiest ways to make someone feel like an outsider is by using words and phrases mostly recognized within an industry. You’ll confuse entry-level candidates or those looking to transition from a different industry or role. Keep words such as KPI, ROI, SLA, QA, etc. out of your job descriptions. Instead, write about the role in specific words and phrases that maybe describe what the jargon is attempting to convey.


Reduce your required qualifications

Confident candidates may apply regardless of having every listed qualification, but not everyone. Trim back your list to just those skills that can’t easily be learned on the job and are absolutely necessary for job performance. You can move other qualifications into a “preferred” section, below your “required” section.


What is usually missing from a Job Description?

Why the candidate should apply. Start with highlighting your firm’s assets, like your benefits program, your generous time-off policy, the fact that you have earned Best Places awards or other accolades. It’s a candidate’s market today and employers need to sell themselves to attract the talent.


Need help managing your risk?

Beyond inclusive hiring, another thing employers worry about is risk management. Odell Studner can help. To learn more about our available risk management services, contact us today!