Data Bank

Inclusive Hiring

Why use Inclusive Excellence Language in your Position Descriptions?

The position description is typically the first item an applicant sees when making the decision to seek out your institution for possible employment. One might say that the position description is similar to receiving an “invitation” to attend an event. Research suggests that words within a position announcement can detract diverse candidates from applying for the position. Conversely, words can increase the diversity of your applicant pool when aligned with your Inclusive Excellence strategy.

Inclusive Excellence Language Strategy

  1. Avoid gender-coded words, like “rockstar,” “ninja,” “unicorn,” and “dominate.” Studies show that gender-coded words can significantly reduce the number of women applying to your open positions, even though this type of bias is usually unconscious.
  2. Limit your position requirements to “must-haves.” Your hiring manager might have an unending list of qualifications in mind for a given role, but in order to highlight your commitment to inclusion, it’s important to trim the list down. That’s because studies show that while men are likely to apply to jobs for which they meet only 60% of the qualifications, women are much more likely to hesitate unless they meet 100% of the listed requirements.
  3. Avoid using unnecessary Institution speak and jargon. One of the quickest ways to turn off candidates is to include loads of unnecessary jargon in your descriptions. That includes things like KPIs, procurement, SLAs, P&L, and so on. While candidates with plenty of experience in a similar role might know what you’re talking about, studies show jargon and corporate language in job postings is one of the biggest barriers keeping talented young people from applying to entry-level positions.
  4. Emphasize your Institutions commitment to diversity and inclusion. If your company is already making major strides toward becoming a more welcoming and inclusive place to work, you might want to consider including this in your job descriptions. While you can simply state at the bottom that you are “an equality opportunity employer,” a statement in your own words is more powerful.
  5. Call out inclusive benefits like parental leave and childcare subsidies. You already know that benefits like paid parental leave, childcare subsidies, paid family sick time, and even health insurance go a long way toward supporting diversity and inclusion, while also boosting retention and morale.

Integrating Inclusive Excellence language into your position announcements provides an inclusive, welcoming, and positive communication with possible applicants. Inclusive Excellence language includes being mindful and respectful of the terminology used by and to describe a variety of socio-cultural groups. Incorporating inclusive language into your position description not only ensures a larger selection of diverse and qualified candidates, it also reaffirms the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

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