Are you using an EEO statement like below?

There are a few reasons that the above EEO statement is less effective at attracting candidates/diversity. It’s:

  • Too long. At 64 words, it’s a tough read
  • Not punchy (21 words per sentence) (8 to 13 would be better)
  • More likely to offend (it’s tough to keep track of which words are politically-correct/offensive these days! When you throw in the kitchen sink of words you don’t discriminate against, you up your risk that you offend someone.
  • Exclusive (not inclusive). Studies show that humans sometimes react negatively to the words “not” and “discriminate” (even if they are in proper context). Why use words that some candidates could see as negative?
  • About what they are against (not what they are for)

Below is a more effective EEO statement from SurveyMonkey.

Why is SuveyMonkey’s EEO statement more effective? Because it’s:

  • Shorter (20 words total)
  • Punchier (10 words per sentence)
  • Got the word “inclusive” (a positive word in diversity)
  • Positive — it has words like celebrate, diversity, committed and inclusive are considered by humans to be positive
  • About what SurveyMonkey is for (versus what they are against).

It’s no surprise that SurveyMonkey’s board of directors has both Sheryl Sandberg and Serena Williams on it (2 forward-thinking business leaders who happen to also be women!).

The “Kitchen Sink” EEO Statement compromise.

Now some of you might be saying:

“But, Rob, my Legal team is not budging on this! they need to include the “kitchen sink” items.”

If you have to go with a “kitchen sink” approach, at least add in (before the kitchen sink items) a positive line about your commitment to diversity. Levy Restaurants does a nice compromise here:

I wrote this article because words matter. They can affect your apply rate, quality of candidate and how diverse your new hires are!

If you’d like some help rewriting your EEO statement and job descriptions, you might try Ongig. Ongig analyzes your text and recommends more effective language!

by in Diversity and Inclusion