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How to Create Inclusive Job Postings

BY RecruitmentMarketing.com Contributor / March 1st, 2022 / 3 MIN READ

How to Create Inclusive Job Postings

When it comes to effective recruitment marketing, job postings are a crucial communication touchpoint. Getting them right brings in qualified candidates and supports your employer brand. That’s why creating inclusive job postings is so important. 

The Business Case for Diversity  

You already know that diversity is crucial to business success, but here’s a refresher: 

  • High-performing companies are almost 50% more likely than low-performing ones to report that men and women have equal influence on strategy development. 
  • There is a strong connection between diversity of management teams and overall innovation. 
  • Diverse and inclusive cultures give companies a competitive edge
  • An inclusive workforce creates happier employees, less turnover, and more productivity. 

Five Ways to Make Your Job Postings More Inclusive

You get it: Diversity matters. Candidates get it too—everyone wants a job where they can be themselves at work. One way to create that culture is to make it clear that your company is a safe space for all. Your message of welcome should be present from the beginning of the application process, starting with your job postings. 

1. Use gender-neutral pronouns 

Cisgender people take pronouns for granted. For those whose gender identity is different than the gender they were assigned at birth, pronouns are a declaration of self. To make sure that everyone feels included, keep your job postings gender-neutral. Don’t use he/him/his, she/her/hers, or even s/he when writing about the role. Instead, use they/them/theirs to express that the role (and company) is open to everyone. 

2. Use an augmented writing tool 

Pronouns don’t always come up in job postings, but gender-coded language is often present unintentionally, as is racially charged language and age-discriminatory language. It’s often subtle: Women don’t respond to superlatives like “world class,” for example, because it reads as competitive. The term “blacklisted” might offend people of color as it implies black is negative. Phrases like “digital native” and “party atmosphere” can be read as ageist.

To flag these terms and more, look into an augmented writing tool. These brilliant platforms allow you to enter the text from your job posting and in seconds your terms are flagged with an explanation of why, allowing you to become more inclusive along with your job postings. Gender Decoder, Textio, and Applied are good tools to research. 

Coded language is called coded for a reason—it’s subtle and often unconscious. But it behooves you to call it out. Bias will repel the very candidates you’re looking to attract and has no place in inclusive job postings. 

3. Communicate your commitment 

If your company has made strides with its diversity, equity, and inclusion, say so. In your company overview section, consider painting a picture of your culture, including the ways you make every employee feel welcome. 

4. List inclusive benefits 

If you don’t already have an inclusive benefits package, you should create one. If you do have one, put it in your job postings. Benefits like parental leave (versus “maternity” leave), adoption leave, support for transitioning transgender employees, coverage for same-sex employees, and others will help attract diverse employees who are drawn to your inclusive culture. 

5. Include a branded Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) statement 

An EOE statement—which expresses your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion—is table stakes these days. If you don’t have one, you absolutely should create one. (If you’re a federal contractor or subcontractor, you’re required by law to include it.) 

A barebones EOE statement might say: “We’re an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.”

That’s a typical statement and it’ll do the trick—but what company wants to be “typical”? As part of both your employer branding and your DE&I efforts, you might want to consider crafting a more interesting EOE that uses your brand voice and takes a stand for what you believe in. 

In this statement from Nike, for example, you can tell the company means business about inclusion and diversity: 

NIKE is an Equal Opportunity Employer, which means we will not discriminate against any individual based on race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military or veteran status, disability, or any factors prohibited by applicable law. This policy applies to every aspect of employment at NIKE, including recruitment, hiring, training, advancement, and termination. It is the responsibility of every employee to follow this policy to the letter; NIKE will not tolerate violation of it—or ignorance of it. 

Inclusive job postings fuel a diverse workforce. So, if a diverse workforce is your goal—and it should be—start by making sure your job postings allow everyone to picture themselves working and thriving at your company.

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