In the search for talented candidates, you can arm your company with one simple tool: your job descriptions. This may seem an oversimplified place to begin, but job descriptions are one of the first entry points candidates have into your company, and they begin to pave the way for the impression you make. The language you use in your job descriptions is of course meant to attract the right candidates with the necessary skills, but did you know that wording can also alienate perfectly qualified workers? By writing descriptions with inclusive language, you can help ensure a deeper talent pool, with more options for you to choose from. And in today’s competitive staffing market, you certainly don’t want to limit yourself from the very start.
Gender bias in language
One of the top barriers in job descriptions is gender bias. Obviously, you should avoid specific pronouns (“he” or “she”) and keep things neutral (by using “you,” for example). But beyond that, certain words automatically connect with males in many people’s minds, and using those words can actually scare off female candidates, creating the impression the role is for men. Words such as rock star, competitive, ambitious, sports-related terms, etc. are often associated with men, and it’s a good idea to leave them off a job description to make it more inclusive.
Cultural or disability bias
Along the same lines as keeping your job description free of industry jargon, it’s also important to stay away from any words or references that indicate a specific cultural preference. To be inclusive of those with disabilities, be sure your requirements stay away from anything that has to do with specific lifting or movement.
Another source of confusion for many candidates, especially those who are entry-level or recently graduated, is industry jargon. Workers transferring from other industries or roles also may not understand industry-specific terms, and any wording that is unique to your company limits your job to just those looking to move around internally. You can open your talent pool considerably by keeping your writing as straightforward as possible.
Excessive qualification requirements
When writing your job description, pay careful attention to the skills that are mandatory (such as education) and those skills that can be learned on the job by the right candidate. When your job description has too many requirements, you will automatically weed out fast learners who can easily tack on some of the skills needed to get the job done.
Avoid your risks
With poorly written job descriptions, you run the risk of missing out on talented new workers. But when you craft inclusive job descriptions, you open the doors for a wider range of candidates. It’s important to avoid other risks faced by your company, too. And if you need a risk assessment, Odell Studner can help. Contact us today to learn more!