How to create inclusive job descriptions

varsha sarkar

August 22, 2023

8:31 am

Biases during hiring must be minimised, if not completely eliminated by businesses, especially when communicating with candidates. Writing inclusive job descriptions that encourage applicants from a variety of backgrounds to apply is the first step in the diversity hiring process.

Avoid gender-coded words, like “rockstar,” “ninja,” and “dominate”

Being careful with your job description terminology can have a significant impact, as Buffer discovered. Even though this kind of bias is typically subconscious, studies show that using gender-coded phrases can drastically lower the number of women who apply for your available positions.

Start by replacing gendered job names like “ninja,” “rock star,” or “guru” with more basic ones like “developer” or “sales person” in order to make your job descriptions more inclusive. Although if these names lack some flair, they are more inclusive and are less likely to turn away candidates who believe they don’t suit the image you want to project.

Utilize job titles that are not gendered

Use gender-neutral job names to persuade candidates to click and read the remainder of your job advertisement since they are the first thing an applicant sees in your job description.

If you use the word “policeman” in your law enforcement job posting, for instance, you can discourage highly qualified female police officer candidates from responding to your job posting.

Keep the criteria for your work to a minimum

Although your hiring manager may have an endless list of requirements in mind for a specific position, it’s crucial to cut the list down in order to emphasise your dedication to inclusion. That’s because research indicates that women are far more likely to hesitate unless they satisfy 100% of the given requirements, whereas men are much more inclined to apply to jobs for which they only meet 60% of the standards.

Avoid using jargons and corporate speech that aren’t necessary

The use of excessive language in your descriptions is one of the simplest ways to turn away candidates. This covers items like KPIs, purchasing, SLAs, P&L, and so forth. Although individuals with extensive experience in a comparable position may be conversant with your terminology, research reveals that corporate jargon and language in job advertisements is one of the main barriers preventing smart young people from applying for entry-level roles. Some candidates may feel underqualified for a position for which they are more than qualified as a result of these subtle word choices.

Stress the dedication of your business to inclusion and diversity

You might want to think about mentioning this in your job descriptions if your organisation is actively working to become a more inviting and inclusive place to work.

Even though you can just write at the bottom that you’re “an equality opportunity employer,” saying it out loud has more impact.

Accentuate your genuine competencies and skills

Because they are written without our unconscious biases, results-based job descriptions support your inclusive hiring efforts.

Focus on the position’s everyday duties rather than listing bullet points of unrelated qualifications. Occasionally, having a lengthy list of job criteria can frighten off candidates, generating the idea that working for your firm could be an ordeal.

Describe how you support disabled employees

Avoid terminologies that might discourage qualified disabled candidates from applying and how you support disability in your workplace.

Instead, of concentrating on the “what,” consider the “how” of completing a requirement. For instance, a substitute “must be able to stay in a stationary position during shift” or “must be able to stand for the whole of the shift.”

Use conversational writing style

A conversational tone in the job description will attract more applications. Write as though you were describing the position to a friend. Make sure not to sound overly casual because this could cause candidates to question the validity of your company. Employ simple language that is not overly technical. Compose with adequate spacing between phrases and paragraphs to make it easier to read, especially on a mobile device:

Mention benefits

You are already aware of how important benefits like health insurance, paid time off for ill family members, paid parental leave, and childcare assistance are for promoting diversity and inclusion as well as employee morale and retention. While not every employee will necessarily benefit from them, you might not think it is necessary to mention them in job descriptions if your company provides them, but doing so gives you the chance to demonstrate your dedication to inclusion straight away.


According to research, inclusive businesses perform better than their rivals and bring in more money. Thus, recruiting diversely is the first step in creating an inclusive workplace. Start by creating and posting inclusive job descriptions that appeal to all demographics in order to draw in a diverse pool of candidates.

varsha sarkar

August 22, 2023

8:31 am

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