In recent years, diversity and inclusion have become an important priority for many organizations. When your company’s strategic direction makes an effort to highlight diversity and inclusion, you can have a positive impact on your employees and develop an inclusive corporate culture. Although diversity and inclusion should involve many departments, not just human resources, many of the policies, procedures and processes that promote inclusivity are linked to recruitment. An inclusive business culture begins with implementing some simple basics, such as writing inclusive job postings.

what makes a job description inclusive? 

An inclusive job description is worded in such a way that no one feels excluded or uncomfortable when they are applying for the job based upon their gender, cultural or ethnic origin and background, or a disability they might have. Make no mistake about it—your wording is extremely important, it represents your first interaction with your future employees and provides you with an opportunity to highlight the values of your company. A few key elements must be included in an inclusive offer. Integrating the elements below will ensure that you attract a diverse pool of candidates. 


use inclusive, impartial and non-gendered language

Language is an extremely powerful tool that can play an important role in the recruitment process. Job descriptions that contain subtly coded language can affect the attractiveness of the position, as a result some people will not be inclined to apply. If relevant, to be as inclusive as possible consider using the phrase “all genders”, rather than specifying “men and women” and avoid using the pronouns “he” or “she” and opt instead for “you”. By focusing on gender-neutral job postings that appeal to everyone, job seekers are able to identify with the description and see themselves in the position and performing the associated functions.

avoid highlighting characteristics associated with genders

There is no doubt that certain job descriptions still tend to be associated with masculine or feminine traits. According to our recently conducted survey of unconscious bias, qualities such as empathy and active listening are traditionally associated with women while men are linked to confidence and analytical thinking. Avoiding the use of these personality traits when writing job descriptions helps ensure that all genders feel that the job posting is directed at them; it also avoids falling into the trap of reinforcing stereotypes. 

focus on essential skills

Did you know that men apply for jobs when they only have 60% of the qualifications, while women are reluctant to reply to a posting unless they believe they have 100% of what is requested? The more skills that are listed, the less women are inclined to believe they are qualified. By limiting your posting to only the essential skills you need most, you ensure that a more equal balance of men and women will apply.   

stay away from overly professional wording and industry-specific jargon 

All companies have a specific language that includes technical words that only company insiders may understand. Job seekers might be intimidated by this type of vocabulary and, feeling under-qualified as a result, might not feel they should apply.   

highlight your commitment to diversity and inclusion 

Most organizations emphasize their commitment to diversity and inclusion in job postings by including a standard formula that applies to most companies. However, more and more organisations are now also mentioning the specific measures they have in place to ensure that people with disabilities have everything they need to thrive within the workplace and enrich the company through their contributions.

Writing an inclusive job offer is the first step toward attracting candidates with varied profiles and building diverse teams who bring highly-qualified skill sets to the table. Companies that practice inclusion provide an atmosphere where employees feel supported and respected, which in turn increases their participation and contribution. On the other hand, when employees are uncomfortable within the workplace, they are at risk of taking more days off or quitting their jobs, resulting in high costs for organizations.

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