From the diversity and inclusion goals that many companies have set for themselves, it’s obvious that their importance is understood. If you take a quick look at the benefits of a diverse workforce, it’s clear to see why. Diverse and inclusive workplaces are more likely to be successful, and they generate a higher profit compared to companies with a less diverse workforce. In addition, the employee satisfaction rates of diverse companies are higher and they have a better reputation. Still, what we hear is that a lot of companies are struggling to reach their diversity and inclusion goals? Why is that?
Diversity and inclusion and biased job descriptions
The biggest obstacle to reaching these diversity and inclusion goals seems to be biased language, or poorly written job descriptions. When job descriptions are biased—whether it’s an age or gender bias—they hinder your company’s acquisition of diverse talent. When you exclude women or people of a certain age, for example, you’ll never be able to reach your diversity and inclusion goals.
Poorly written job descriptions are another part of the problem. By poorly written, we mean job descriptions that are written in a way that many people find difficult to understand. If you want as many potential candidates as possible to understand your requirements, you need to write your job description at CEFR B1 level. Research shows that most job descriptions are written in more complex language than this, resulting in the exclusion of the large group of people for whom this is too difficult to understand.
Tips and tricks for inclusive writing
So, job descriptions are largely responsible for the possibility to reach your diversity and inclusion goals. If you follow the rules for inclusive writing below, you can eliminate biased language and make sure that your job descriptions are understandable for everyone.
- Clearly write down the requirements for the candidate.
- Identify the correct pull factors—or in other words, identify what will persuade the applicant to apply.
- Make sure that there is always a correct diversity statement in the job description.
- Prevent age discrimination.
- Make sure your job descriptions are understandable and not too complex.
- Apply the WCAG guidelines.
- Don’t use forbidden words.
- Use professional terms that apply to both sexes, such as nurse and teacher.
- Speak directly to the reader.
- Avoid stereotypes and combinations or associations. Thinking of pink for women and blue for men is a good example of this.
Innovation and diversity and inclusion in recruitment
Remembering the tips and tricks above can be quite challenging. Luckily, innovation can help you out here. At Textmetrics, we offer a platform that uses algorithms based on artificial intelligence to help you with all of the above. You’ll write job descriptions that are free of any bias, have a more gender-neutral tone of voice, and are understandable for your entire target group. Everything you need to take a big step closer to reaching your diversity and inclusion goals.