How to Make Sure Job Adverts Attract a Diverse Range of Candidates
Job Adverts are key to attracting the top talent to your organisation. But how do you make sure you’re not alienating one section of the community? Ultimately you want the best man or woman for the job, but you also want to invite applications from people from across the spectrum regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality or disability.
And it can be easily done thanks to these tips from our panel of diversity and inclusion experts.
I often talk about organisations having a ‘If we post it they will come’ philosophy towards attracting diverse talent, which is unlikely to yield a successful response. There are two key reasons why adverts fail to attract diverse talent:
1. They are not inclusive – Subtle language can dramatically increase engagement from diverse groups, with issues such as: gender coding, masculine wording, and disability or age related wording all having an impact on diverse candidate applications.
2. The attraction strategy is not targeted – While diverse candidates look for jobs in traditional places, advertising roles on inclusive job boards, organisations can increase diverse candidate applications.
Natasha Broomfield-Reid, Head of Development at Equal Approach.
Language is crucial within the copy of the advert as well as a company diversity statement to demonstrate a company’s commitment to diversity.
From a job description copy perspective, gender neutral language is important. I saw an advert distributed on Facebook yesterday where the social media manager said they were looking for a rockstar. Similarly, looking for a ninja or guru will discourage women from applying. I’d encourage every company to revisit their corporate language brand guidelines to become more empowering and gender neutral for everyone.
Caroline Stokes, Executive Headhunter & Coach. Founder of FORWARD.
The recruitment process can be a varied and complex process. It can often be an opportunity to maintain a representative demographic staff profile or address any imbalance that might exist within the organisation. However, despite some best endeavours on the part of employers and recruitment agencies, minority groups are still disadvantaged through many recruitment campaigns. Many organisations overtly state on job advertisements that applications are welcomed from a broad range of applicants – this is sending out a positive message to encourage people to apply.
Nicola Crawford, CFIRM, Chair of the Institute of Risk Management.
Consider the language you use; is this inclusive, welcoming and accessible? Ensure the advert is in readable formats for those who are visually impaired and use imagery that represents the individuals you are open to hiring. Ensure you consult with experts who do specialise in supporting the kinds of individuals you would like to attract into your business. I once heard a very insightful phrase at a diversity conference, ‘nothing for us that doesn’t involve us’ so if you’re a business and want to know how to engage with diverse talent? speak to talent that you haven’t typically hired.
Make sure that the advert doesn’t include a feature within the application process that would eliminate people from a range of varied backgrounds where it’s not a skill that is completely necessary for the job.
Joanna Abeyie, Managing Director, Hyden, SThree.
There are a few simple things you can do to ensure your open vacancies attract a diverse set of candidates. If you advertise in places that appeal to a wider group than those you traditionally employ, you’ll automatically increase the range of candidates that apply
Taking on board the advice and insights from third-party specialists is crucial. Engaging with diversity networks and diversity focused talent specialists, like Audeliss, will improve your success in finding more diverse talent.
Don’t be afraid of sharing diversity credentials within job postings. If you show that diversity is part of the fabric of your organisation, you’re more likely to attract a diverse range of candidates.
Suki Sandhu, CEO and founder of Audeliss.
There are a number of actions you can take to get your job advert right and in front of the people you would like to attract. These include, insuring that inclusive language is used within the job advert. Software such as Textio will guide you in using inclusive language that doesn’t switch some people off.
Promote the availability of flexible working for the role you are advertising – this goes a long way to attracting a diverse group of people who are looking for progressive employers that take it seriously. Promote the adverts in a wide array of publications and places – think about the visuals that are used and ensure they mirror the demography of the people reading the publications. Promote different aspects of the business. Different parts of the business attract different generations. For example, school leavers recently told us that the décor of the office environment was a selling point to them.
Charlotte Sweeney, Managing Director of Charlotte Sweeney Associates Ltd.
Rather than running classic job descriptions, write impact descriptions that focus on what the individual will accomplish in the role. Men apply for jobs when they meet only 60 percent of the outlined qualifications, but women don’t feel confident to apply unless they meet 100 percent. Doing away with the “requirements” section and checklists that keep women and minorities from applying broadens your access to talent.
Also, just say it! It’s okay to state your commitment to diversity and inclusion in your job descriptions. A simple sentence can go along way.
Sarah Nahm, CEO, Lever.