Job Postings: What They Say About A Company's Inclusion Policies

April 26, 2018

When creating a job posting for your company, the wording you use is important in attracting the best talent and creating an inclusive workplace, according to CSNews. How you write your recruitment ads and job descriptions is the first step in attractive diverse candidates and recruiting the "21st century" leadership skills you need. These skills, which are often called "feminine leadership traits," include empathy, collaboration, a willingness to seek help and the capacity to encourage and uplift others, and they don't apply just to women. These skills are necessary for managing today's multigenerational, multicultural work teams.  

Millennial, women and multicultural leaders will not respond to job posts filled with "bro-speak" typically written by men and, subconsciously, for men. Even companies that value diversity will scare off talented prospects if they continually emphasize "hard-charging" candidates who will "do whatever it takes," according to researchers.  

Job hiring analytic company Textio, which analyzes the hiring outcomes of more than 10 million job posts each month, found that companies with job posts with gender-neutral language - such as using "extraordinary" instead of "rock star" - attracted a more diverse group of candidates. These companies also filled their jobs an average of 14 days faster.  

The words used in job posts reflect the company's culture, but this also needs align with the values of the company. Some words are more likely to attract men, and others women. Textio says that words and phrases that correlate to a higher proportion of female applicants are "our family," "building alliances," "care deeply," "meaningfully," "passion for learning," and "diverse perspectives." Men are more likely to respond to "disciplined," "tackle," "hungry for," "weed out," and "bull by the horns."  

Taking these things into perspective, some advice is to create job posts free of gender bias that will lead to a broader pool of candidates to build a strong and diverse team. Here are a few tips: 

  • Use gender-neutral titles 
  • Check pronouns. Use he/she or "you" to whenever describing a job's responsibilities 
  • Avoid or balance gender-charged words. For example, "fast-paced" and "analyze" are more likely to attract males, while "comfortably" and "collaborate" are considered and will attract females.  
  • Express your commitment to equality and share your values.  If your company's vision and values promote diversity, or you have a policy on diversity, include that in your job descriptions. Make note of employee business resource groups, mentoring programs, and other female-friendly initiatives.