Do you want to make sure your job ads grab the attention of all kinds of people? Then, you’re in the right place. So, do you need to make your talent search more inclusive to attract diverse talent? Here are 7 tips for writing job descriptions to attract diverse candidates:

1. Avoid exclusionary words to attract diverse talent

If the words you use in job ads are biased or make some people feel left out, you might push away diverse candidates. So, try to avoid words that offend (or exclude) job seekers based on their:

  • race
  • ethnicity
  • gender
  • age
  • sexual orientation
  • disability
  • felony history
  • education
  • mental health
  • veteran status

When you’re writing job descriptions to attract diverse candidates, tools like Ongig allow you to remove bias in just a few clicks. Here’s a table with 25 of the most common exclusionary words Ongig flags (and their inclusive replacements):

Exclusionary WordsBias CategoryInclusive Replacements
a cakewalkracean easy task
bendphysical disabilitylower oneself
blacklist/blacklistsraceblocklist, denylist
brown bag sessionracelunch and learn, learning session
climb/climbingphysical disabilityscale, move up, scaling, moving up
criminal background checkformer felonsbackground check
culture fitraceculture add
digital nativeagepassionate about technology
English native speakerracefluent in English
degree from a top schoolelitisma degree
his/herLGBTQ+their, your
lift/liftingphysical disabilitymove, hold, moving, holding
maternity and paternity leaveLGBTQ+parental leave, parental time off
new graduateagea graduate
recent graduateagea graduate
sanity checkmental healthreview, audit, double-check
servant leadershipracegrowth leadership, supportive leadership
sit/sittingphysical disabilitybe stationary, being stationary
stand/standingphysical disabilitybe upright/stationary, being upright/stationary
the men and womenLGBTQ+the team, the people
triberaceteam, network
typingphysical disabilityinputting, entering
walk/walkingphysical disabilitymove, traverse, moving, traversing
walkthroughsphysical disabilityfinal checks


2. Trim the fluff and focus on your needs

Instead of listing every obvious requirement, just focus on the important things for the job. So, keeping your job ads clear and to the point helps people understand what you really need. Also, it makes your JDs easier to read.

For instance, let’s say you want to hire candidates with “strong communication skills” or “a team player”. But, do you really need to list those as requirements?

Listing too many “required skills” can scare off candidates. Especially women, who mainly apply for roles only if they meet 100% of the requirements.

Try focusing on what you actually need in a candidate (e.g., “experience creating a marketing budget” or “experience managing a content team”). Only list your “most-valued” marketing skills.


3. List work perks that will attract diverse talent

Work perks, like parental leave or help with tuition, are important for keeping employees happy and making them want to stay. So, it’s a good idea to create benefits that attract all kinds of people to your company. And these benefits can also make them stay with you longer.

Here are some examples:

Attract diverse talent: Let’s look at Spotify

Spotify offers generous parental leave – 6 months fully paid – for all new parents:

writing job descriptions to attract diverse talent work perks

This perk helps you attract working parents (women, men, or gender non-binary) who want to spend time with their new children. Also, paid parental leave might even help you keep current employees after having children too.

Attract diverse talent: Let’s look at General Motors (GM)

GM offers tuition assistance and student loan refinancing. A big perk for diverse talent.

In the 2020 Census, 88% of African Americans had a High School Diploma, and only 26% had a Bachelor’s Degree.

In addition, helping people with education is a great way to attract those who might not have had many chances. So, if they already went to college, offering help with their student loans is a really nice thing to do.

Attract diverse talent: Let’s look at Tinder

Tinder lists employee resource groups as a benefit to joining their team:

writing job descriptions to attract diverse talent tinder


4. End your JDs with a diversity statement to attract diverse talent

Include an EEO or diversity statement if you’re writing job descriptions to attract diverse candidates. Research shows:

“even a generic statement is still better than no statement”

source: LinkedIn Study of 764 members on Diversity Statements, June 2021.

Check out this link for 25+ examples of D&I statements. Here’s what Pinterest uses for its diversity statement:  

“At Pinterest, our mission is to bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love, including our employees. We’re taking on the most exciting challenges of our working lives, and we succeed with a team that represents an inclusive and diverse set of identities and backgrounds.”

Your company’s equal opportunity employer (EEO) tagline also reflects your commitment to equality and diversity. EEO statements are not required unless you are a federal contractor, but many companies still use them.

Here’s the EEO statement Microsoft puts at the end of their job descriptions:

“Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations, and ordinances.”

5. Include testimonials from diverse employees

If your team is diverse, let everyone know in your job ads. So, start sharing stories from your diverse employees to help job seekers understand your job and what it’s like to work at your company.

You can also add video or photo testimonials to your job description pages, or a special section on your career site.

Elastic has a video like this on their job listings page:

writing job description for diverse talent testimonials

Note: Some applicant tracking systems don’t have a place for videos or images in your job descriptions. So, try adding a link to your testimonials on YouTube or your career site.

6. Limit jargon 

“Jargon” is when a group or job uses words that are hard for people outside that group to understand. So, using jargon can make writing, especially job ads, more complicated than it needs to be.

While it’s okay to have some special words in certain jobs, you need to know where to stop. So, it’s a problem if your job ad has so many that people looking for a job can’t figure out what it’s asking for.

Here are 10 of the most commonly used jargon you’ll find in job ads are:

writing job descriptions to attract diverse talent jargon

When you write job ads to get different kinds of people interested, just keep it simple. So, use simple and clear words instead of complicated ones. This can help you bring in a more diverse group of candidates. 

Take the example of this Twitter job ad for a Software Engineer. There is very little jargon, and also the qualifications are written in simple language:

writing job descriptions to attract diverse candidates twitter jargon

7. Include salary (or salary range)

61% of applicantswant to see salary included in the job description. Sharing compensation in a job ad is not a requirement by law everywhere, but it’s required in some states like California, New York, Colorado, and Washington. 

Listing the salary (or at least the salary range) in your job descriptions to attract diverse candidates not only helps attract a diverse pool of applicants, but can also save you the frustration of finding the best candidate only to find out they are not happy with the salary you are offering. 

Here’s how Comcast displays the salary range for a Director for Design Operations:

job descriptions to attract diverse talent

Why I wrote this?

Writing job descriptions to attract diverse candidates doesn’t have to be hard. Ongig’s mission is to ensure your JDs are effective and bias-free. Please request a demo to learn more.


  1. Why You Need to Stop Using Jargon in Your Job Ads Right Now ( By Agency Central)
  2. These are the most common ( and annoying) jargon in job ads (By Stephanie Vozza)

by in Diversity and Inclusion