Diversity language in job descriptions attracts talent from underrepresented groups. And encourages them to apply. So, how do you describe diversity in your job descriptions?
Here are 5 examples of “diversity language” I find in JDs. Some are more obvious than others.
1. Diversity Statement
A diversity statement in your JD shows a company’s commitment to inclusion and its impact on various communities. Including underrepresented groups in your diversity statement directly engages with candidates from those groups.
The best diversity statements in job descriptions encourage diverse applicants to apply regardless of physical limitations or identity.
Ziff Davis uses this diversity language in job postings:
“Spiceworks Ziff Davis is a safe, inclusive workplace for people of all backgrounds and walks of life. We strongly encourage you to apply if you are from a marginalized or underrepresented group, particularly in the technology industry. Some candidates may see a long list of job requirements and feel discouraged because they don’t match every single bullet point – we suggest, please apply anyway. We’re flexible on location wherever possible – we are a Work From Anywhere company. We don’t believe in a “perfect” candidate because we believe in our core value, “Evolve and Adapt Quickly”. If you believe this is a role that you’ll be excited to work in every day, want to be a part of a culture like ours, and will be relentless about pushing boundaries to succeed, please apply.”
Ziff mentions “underrepresented groups” specifically.
Other companies go into even more detail. Curology, for example, names specific groups to show their commitment to diversity:
“Curology encourages applications from people of all races, religions, national origins, genders, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, and ages, as well as veterans and individuals with disabilities. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records Notice to Applicants under the CCPA.”
2. Age Inclusive Diversity Language
More than 1/3 of workers in America are above the age of 50, while more than 45% of young adults 16-24 have entered the workforce. Older candidates provide your organization with advantageous on-the-ground experience, while younger hires may bring alternative perspectives.
Combining these dynamics helps drive your company to new heights. To avoid deterring valuable talent of all ages, be sure your JDs omit biased language based on age. Avoid statements that allude to energy levels or experience if the role doesn’t require these prerequisites.
For example, you might want to replace or remove terms like “athletic,” “youthful and energetic,” or “ideal for second careers” to avoid trimming down the list of qualified candidates.
Instead, if a role doesn’t require a specific type or amount of experience, use inclusive terms like “open to candidates of all ages” or “new graduates and experienced career seekers are welcome” to attract candidates of all ages.
Another effective way of creating age-related diversity is to say there’s “no experience required,” like this example for a forklift operator:
Age is just one example of the types of diversity language you can use in your JDs.
3. ERGs as Employee Benefits
According to Glassdoor surveys, 80% of modern hires prefer additional employee benefits over salary.
Employee resource groups (ERGs) are a strategic addition to job benefits that help fuel your DEI initiatives and attract top talent.
ERGs are usually employee-led groups that provide community, support, and resources for specific groups, fostering a sense of belonging at work.
Mentioning the types of ERGs you have (LGBTQ+, Latinx, BIPOC, and others) in your job postings shows your support for underrepresented groups and attracts diverse talent.
Alcoa lists “ERG opportunities” in their benefits section along with traditional benefits like 401k options, medical benefits, and vacation:
4. A Short List of Requirements
Employers constantly seek efficient workers with an endless set of skills and abilities. But, extra-long lists of requirements in a JD could do more harm than good.
Confidence levels vary across genders. And some studies say that women will only apply for a job if they meet 100% of the requirements (compared to men, who only need to meet 60%). It’s best to write JDs with the absolute necessities instead of sticking to a list of 8 or more traits, skills, and abilities for the perfect hire.
If you prefer candidates with specific abilities or knowledge, consider reducing the rigidity of requirements (e.g., say “a plus if you have” or “bonus points if you can.”). This helps you win the confidence of talent regardless of their previous work experiences.
Ongig flags long lists of requirements prompting you to start a new section, so your candidates don’t get bored or move on:
5. Gender-Neutral Titles
Another type of diversity language is found in job titles. Many employers accidentally use gender-biased job titles in JDs.
For example, you name a position “chairman,” “policeman,” or “cameraman”…
when you could opt for gender-neutral alternatives like “chairperson,” “police officer,” and “camera person.”
Other gender-neutral roles across industries include server, salesperson, crew person, chairperson, flight attendant, developer, and engineer.
You can find more examples in our post, Gender-Neutral Suggestions for the Top 25 Job Titles That Still Use the Word “Man.” And, Ongig flags any job titles (or other JD language) that aren’t gender-neutral so you can delete or replace them:
Why I Wrote This?
Ongig’s mission is to create effective and inclusive job descriptions. This includes giving you in-app tips and best practices for using diversity language in job descriptions to attract top talent. Please request a demo to learn more.
- Why Women Don’t Apply for Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified (by Tara Sophia Mohr)
- Salary vs employee benefits: which is better to offer? (by Coann Labitoria)
- Employment rate by age in the United States from 2000 to 2020 (by Statista)
- The U.S. Essential Workforce Ages 50 and Older: A Snapshot (by Jennifer Schramm, Carlos Figueiredo)