6 Steps for creating an inclusive job advertisement
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  May 10 2022 | admin

The first step of making the workplace inclusive starts with inclusive hiring. Inclusive hiring starts with floating information about the job opening. Majority of diverse candidates do not apply for a job opening which sounds non-inclusive. Organizations often complain about a lack of talent pool in the diverse group of employees. It is common for many organizations to lack representation of a diverse group of employees even after implementing the DE&I policy. This situation arises when a company’s job opening advertisements sound non-inclusive.

Candidates from diverse groups, especially from the LGBTQIA+ community, are likely to go through the job description minutely to know about the company. Moreover, diverse candidates always apply in large proportions in inclusive companies. Here, the job description of a role in the advertisement plays a vital role. A job description is not only a piece of information but also a way to attract diverse candidates by letting them know about the company’s culture. An inclusive job description is a way of reaching out to more candidates from the talent pool of diverse groups.


Hence, it is advisable for companies that before floating any advertisement for a job opening, they should relook the description. Companies should make the job opening more inclusive which will help them reach out to more diverse candidates. Here are some of the tips which can help them in creating a diverse job advertisement:


  1. Inclusive Language: Language is an essential part of communication and helps convey the correct emotion and intentions. A gender-specific description for a job opening reduces candidates’ chances of diverse groups applying for the same. Most of the world still lives in the gender binary. However, gender is incredibly diverse and fluid. Individuals, especially from the LGBTQIA+ community, find the language to identify as something other than their assigned sex at birth. The most common language in corporate communication, like English, has pronouns that may or may not cover the range of this diversity. Use of formal language can help job postings sound neutral and reach out to more diverse candidates. Use of proper pronouns, and avoiding any gender-type words is crucial. An example of the same would be when companies use a description such as “requirement for a strong and dynamic leader,” it directly means the job posting is only for cisgender males. This is an example of masculinising the job and implies that the organization is not open to the inclusion of other genders. A job opening advertisement is the first introduction for prospective candidates to the company. Job advertisements with inclusive language constantly broaden the reach and give the company a positive and inclusive message. Inclusive language in an environment challenges inherent biases. Using inclusive words and phrases changes the mindset of team members and helps build an inclusive environment.
  2. Avoid aggressive languageAn ideal inclusive job advertisement should not carry words that sound forced and aggressive. This can deter candidates from diverse groups from applying. While preparing the job opening advertisement, avoid using phrases like “mentally tough” or “strong business acumen.” Words like these narrate an aggressive attitude and negatively impact candidates who are not cisgender heterosexual men. Moreover, it is also imperative not to use “must have.” It implies a negative thought process and shows aggression in the job opening advertisement. When a company uses such aggressive words, it puts a restraint on many candidates who seek employment in a safe environment. Moreover, aggressive language also implies that the organization is not an empathetic workplace. Hence, it is always advisable to avoid using aggressive language while posting a job opening to attract a more significant number of diverse candidates. 
  3. Keep it Simple: Use of complex language in a job description is likely to turn away a large pool of candidates. Keep the language simple and accessible. Lengthy sentences, jargon, and complicated phrases ultimately make job advertisements complex. Such complexity turns down the attention of many prospective candidates. As a result, the job advertisement may not reach or, if reached, will not create interest amongst candidates from diverse groups. Complex language also excludes candidates who might fit the position but could not find the advertisement understandable. It is also crucial that while keeping the language of the job advertisement simple and accessible, companies should also focus on not making the job advertisement a technical paper. A job advertisement should be short, crisp, and attractive. It is not just an advertisement for the job but also the company’s first impression of the prospective talent pool. Therefore, it is necessary to keep the job advertisement short and straightforward to reach a wider talent pool—the larger the reach, the bigger the chance of attracting diverse candidates. 
  4. Broaden your horizons: Talent does not come only from a specific corner of society. Job advertisements often carry a particular candidate requirement belonging to certain institutes. This practice of hiring exclusively from elite institutes shuts the door on a vast and diverse talent pool. When we discuss diversity, we talk about gender, race, sexuality etc. and often forget the diversity of educational backgrounds. Not many people from marginalized groups can afford to study at an elite institution. When job advertisements restrict the opening for candidates from such elite institutions, an organosation seizes the opportunity for a considerable part of a marginalized community. Such intentions also reflect the bias in the organization. This bias creates a negative impression on the prospective candidates and the existing employees who are not from elite institutions. Such job advertisements at the outset imply that the organization is not inclusive. Hence, while floating job advertisements, companies should avoid making requirements that sound elitist and thus will not reach a wider audience. 
  5. Address diverse groups: Diversity is vast and complex. Addressing every diverse group in a job advertisement is essential, but it is explicitly tricky in a job description. Hence, it is always advisable to use inclusive language and appeal to diverse candidates in unambiguous terms. Highlight the points on inclusion of diverse candidates in the job description. Hence, it is advised to use inclusive language in communication. Inclusive language means addressing everyone in the manner they want to be. Inclusive language acknowledges diversity and conveys respect to all people. It sends a positive vibe of belonging amongst people. Unless the job advertisement addresses diverse groups specifically and sends a message of inclusion, it will neither fetch nor result in getting the diverse candidate to interview on board. It is difficult to draft a job description that is crisp, short, with inclusive language addressing the large, diverse groups. In that scenario, companies can take the help of professionals and outside consultancy firms like The Outcast Collective to draft and float an inclusive job description. 
  6. Tell your story: Diverse candidates always prefer inclusive organizations. A job opening advertisement is a moment to showcase the inclusive environment of the organization to the prospective candidate. Hence, it must reflect how inclusive the organization is. Try to showcase the inclusive benefits of same-sex partner policy, caregiver leave, or transition support for transgender persons. It would also be great to show data supporting the diversity percentage in the company. Tell the prospective candidates about the internal ERGs and how they help employees. Attach a link to the company’s DE&I mission statement in the job advertisement. These steps will highlight inclusivity in the workplace. These are a few steps, and there are many ways a company can showcase its inclusive culture in the job advertisement. Highlighting these benefits and working culture attracts more diverse candidates. While drafting the job advertisement, the companies should always keep in mind to tell their story to the candidates. Diverse candidates must know why they should join the company.


The above are only six steps essential in making an inclusive job advertisement. Besides, the above companies can be more creative to attract diverse candidates. An inclusive job advertisement is an opening to the vast world of the talent pool of diverse candidates. The moment companies fail to float such inclusive advertisements; they lose out in the battle to get more diverse candidates. Remember, it starts with a job advertisement. 

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