James Lawson

Sep 05, 2022

Top Tips For Creating Job Adverts With Diverse And Inclusive Language

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Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a hot topic at present. We’ve written about the importance of it before, but unfortunately, some job adverts are still falling short when it comes to incorporating diverse and inclusive language.

To help you make sure yours are up to scratch, we’ve put together five key tips for creating job ads that meet the mark.

Steer away from gender-coded words

Masculine and feminine words often get used in job adverts which unconsciously end up targeting those specific genders. Terms like ‘competitive’, ‘active’ and ‘confident’ are commonly seen in ads for senior roles, particularly for jobs in science, sales and marketing – positions that tend to be dominated by men.

On a similar note, ‘support’, ‘understanding’ and ‘dependable’ are popular in jobs ads for social care and administration – roles typically filled by women. Making sure your ads are more gender inclusive doesn’t just mean avoiding such words. It means using more gender neutral language too, like ‘you’ or ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’.

Limit your corporate language

Qualifications for jobs aren’t always relevant. Our blog came to the consensus that they’re only needed in specific businesses and industries. So if your role doesn’t require a particular qualification, don’t bog it down with jargon that candidates might not understand.

Competent people can be hired and trained up, but not if you’ve already deterred them with corporate language which suggests they do need a dedicated qualification. And remember, asking for select things can exclude people. Since access to university degrees isn’t actually inclusive, you might be doing it without even realising.

Don’t target a certain age

If you ask for a ‘recent graduate’ or someone ‘extremely energetic’, or you use the terms ‘digital native’ or ‘tech savvy’, it’s clear you’re looking for a younger candidate. This isn’t inclusive language as it comes across as discriminating against older applicants.

Likewise, if you request someone to be ‘highly experienced’, this can put off younger people from applying. Make sure you only put this in your job ad if it’s genuinely needed – so many roles really just require a bit of training.

Avoid words that suggest a certain background

Some phrases can have a racist undertone. A key one is ‘strong English language skills’, which might deter non-native English speakers. Race or national origin should never be mentioned in a job advertisement at all.

‘Cultural fit’ is also a troublesome term. This comes across as only wanting people from certain backgrounds. Plus, you should never want someone who ‘fits’ into your culture, as having a very exclusive culture means you’ll only hire people similar to those in the company already. We recommend hiring on ‘cultural add’ – they should be pushing the organisation forward, not keeping it where it is.

Consider accessibility

It’s not just inclusive language you need to think about – take into account the format of your job ads too. Using the sans-serif font, rather than serif, makes them easier for people with dyslexia to read. And if there are any buttons on your ads, putting plenty of space in between them is helpful to those with low vision or mobility impairments.

Audio recordings, large print and braille may also be needed. You should make sure the language you’re using doesn’t exclude those with a disability too.

 

Access support from Cast UK

By following this guidance, you can incorporate more inclusive language into your job ads, and appeal to a more diverse range of candidates.

Every consultant at Cast UK has been thoroughly trained in this area. If you’d like to know how we can help your business, get in touch today. You can contact us on 0333 121 3345 or at hello@castuk.com.

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