• Daniel GreenLeaf

Getting More Women And Minorities To Apply With Better Job Descriptions

Updated: May 4, 2021

Workplace diversity is a necessity to every organization rather than a box to be ticked. It has become a focus of most recruiting departments to improve diversity hiring with the goal of eliminating biases towards qualified, diverse candidates.


According to LinkedIn Research, 78% of companies are prioritizing diversity to improve culture and 62% are doing so to boost financial performance.


One place to start with increasing diversity is adjusting how your job descriptions are written.


Here are five tips to consider when writing an inclusive job description:


1. Watch the words that you use.


Avoid words like “superior”, “active”, “pleasant”, and “sympathetic” or gimmicky titles like “ninja”, “guru” or “superstar”. These words may sound cute but they hamper recruitment’s efforts to encourage women and underrepresented minorities to apply to the job post.

You can make use of online tools like Gender Decoder, Textio, or Applied where you can copy and paste the job description to check if it includes gender-coded words.


2. Emphasize diversity in your job descriptions.


Small things like adding a simple video showing the diverse culture within the organization. This gives the candidates a glimpse of how diversified and inclusive the company’s workforce is.

Another video idea is interviewing diverse employees and having them voice their opinion about workplace diversity and how they are treated within the organization.


3. Avoid a lengthy job description with too many required skills.


While it is important to describe the role and its responsibilities, it is important to note that most candidates won’t possess all 37 desired skills. A great alternative is, adding “preferred” to the non-critical skills and only requiring a few skills.


For example:

Shopify experience is preferred but not required.


4. Include a perk or two in the job description.


Research shows adding a few perks to the job description tends to increase the applications from women. While research hasn’t shown why we know it works.

For example, daycare discounts or maternity leave show the organization has thought about the needs of parents.


5. Keep your job description simple and concise.


Using complex phrases reduces diversity. Be clear and concise on what the role requires.

Diverse employees working together in an office-based setting

Women and minorities are less likely than white men to apply for a job when they don’t understand the job description. And always try to avoid company jargon.


Conclusion


If your company wants to hire more women and underrepresented minorities in their tech organization, one easy place to start is writing job descriptions that apply to a more diverse crowd. While this alone won’t solve the issues, it is a good start. You can read more about writing inclusive job descriptions at the links below.


Building a Diverse Talent Pipeline

Tips to Create More Inclusive Job Descriptions

Inclusive Job Descriptions

Four Ways to Create a More Diverse Workplace

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