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Michelle Mason

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Five ways to create an authentic job post for diverse and inclusive hiring

Committing to a diverse workforce means embedding D&I in talent acquisition activities and aligning corporate content and ideals

Diversity and inclusion should be at the heart of all forward-thinking talent acquisition activities. Achieving a balanced and inclusive workforce of course starts with leadership commitment and, when put into practice, will either be helped or hindered by a company’s hiring processes. 

For companies that are truly committed to a diverse workforce, each element of the recruitment process should involve genuine action to encourage diversity and enable inclusion.

This starts with the job posting; a very public display of a company’s commitment to diversity in recruitment.

Get it wrong and be accused of box ticking. But get it right and you can attract top talent, who also represent the full diversity of experiences, of thinking and of every other characteristic found in your customers, clients and the communities where you do business.

Here are five aspects to consider when writing an authentic D&I job posting:

1. Inclusive language

In the main body of the job posting, actively challenge the language used as a matter of course and consider how the specific wording might contribute to a homogenous workforce. 

Tired corporate communications can have a pervasive impact on how colleagues interact, the company culture and, importantly, application rates. 

For example, the overlooked use of gender-coded language in job postings – ‘salesman’, ‘chairman’ – can make those who don’t identify as male feel unwelcome to apply, when a simple switch to the suffix ‘person’ might attract a more balanced workforce. 

Similarly, words like ‘walk’ or ‘talk’ could alienate those with disabilities. These could be substituted with ‘communicate’ or ‘move about’ respectively, to express the same intent with a far more open approach. 

Make use of the many inclusivity style guides and DE&I glossaries available, which index and define terms related to race, ethnicity, disability, immigration, sexual orientation, gender identity, drugs and alcohol and geography. 

Never be worried about accidentally or unconsciously using the wrong word and, instead, inform yourself about the right one.

2. Growth mindset

It is rare that one company has all the answers to D&I, so recognise that in your job posting. 

The world is becoming more progressive and inclusive as we listen to individuals’ needs, and any attempts at diversity and inclusion should be viewed with a growth mindset. 

This should be reflected in job postings in the form of statements like, ‘If there is something we can do to help make the recruitment process or the job more accessible, let us know.’ 

This is not admitting a lack of understanding, instead acknowledging that an individual candidate has the opportunity to help the business learn and grow, working together to make a more inclusive workplace for all.

3. Direct statements

To complement any job posting, direct statements about your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion should be embedded across the business’ communications. 

Not only because culturally diverse teams show a direct correlation with increased creativity and innovation, but today’s job seekers actively look for opportunities with inclusive organisations that reflect and advocate for the progressive values in which they believe. 

Generic, copy/paste statements at the end of a job posting are counterproductive. Instead take the time to incorporate a more heartfelt and genuine statement about your commitment to D&I. 

Do this authentically. An honest and original message – one they’ve not seen a million times on other listings – is more likely to resonate with candidates. 

An individual candidate has the opportunity to help the business learn and grow, working together to make a more inclusive workplace for all.

4. Salary transparency

One of the first things a candidate will look for in a job description is salary. A recent report by showed that, of 2,000 employees surveyed, 98 per cent believe it’s important to know the salary of a job before applying. 

Whilst important to any individual employee, it’s also essential for improving diversity and inclusion across a company’s talent pool.

Studies show that by setting salary expectations of a role, it can reduce hiring biases and help close the wage gap. Individuals who are historically less likely to negotiate their wage – women and minority groups – are immediately put in a stronger position from the moment they apply and leave less money on the table in salary discussions.

By displaying salary information front and centre of a job posting, a company signposts its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion publicly from the outset. At present, 25 per cent of jobs listed on UK portal currently share salary information, up from 20 per cent in July 2022. 

For those recruiters unable to disclose pay, it becomes even more important to share information about other benefits of financial value such as healthcare, fitness and lifestyle subsidies, paid leave or employee discounts. 

Never be worried about accidentally or unconsciously using the wrong word and, instead, inform yourself about the right one.

5. A truly inclusive hiring process

Of course, drafting job postings that demonstrate a commitment to D&I is less impactful without a recruitment process with D&I at its core. Make your intentions for the hiring process clear, from job descriptions through to acceptance. 

In the spirit of combatting discrimination and fostering intercultural dialogue, recruiters play a critical role. Recruiters must ensure that no candidate is disqualified or discouraged from joining an organisation at any stage based on their gender, nationality, age, sexual orientation, ethnic background or a disability.

Through advertisements, job descriptions, application forms, CV screening and interviews, identify how greater attention on D&I could improve the hiring process overall. Consider setting SMART goals to track, taking into account the particularities of your business and industry. 

Representation has an impact, so if you want to attract a diverse pool of candidates, make sure your corporate content is aligned with your ideals.

If you enjoyed this, read: Diversity and inclusion in 2023: The age-old problem persists



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