Believe it or not, the first step in assembling your all-star team isn’t coming up with a great set of interview questions or arranging an exceptional training program — it all starts with creating the perfect job description. The job description is your candidate’s first interaction with your company, so taking the opportunity to make a lasting impression is key.
As a hiring manager, you want to create the perfect job description that encourages all great candidates to apply. This includes candidates from different backgrounds, genders, ages, and personalities.
However, it’s far too easy for certain words, phrases, “required” skills, and other subtle cues to slip in that make perfectly qualified, competent people feel unworthy of even applying. Avoid including words like “hacker,” “rockstar,” “superhero,” and “guru.” We may often think our job descriptions are inclusive, but certain words — like the ones mentioned — will deter some candidates from applying.
Here are a few simple tweaks you can make to remove gender bias in your job descriptions to appeal to many highly skilled, one-of-a-kind candidates.
What You Need to Create the Perfect Job Description?
Put yourself in the shoes of a candidate. Pretend you are unemployed looking for work and come across your company’s job opening. What things would you want to know about the open position? You will want to include anything you think a candidate would be interested in learning more about in your job description.
You’ll want to provide as much information as you can about the position. From daily tasks and responsibilities to the salary range and any perks and benefits associated with employment, include everything that will help a candidate understand the role before applying.
Here is a list of standard information that you will need to include in your job description:
- A Specific Job Title
Don’t get too crazy with the job title you select, but make sure to be specific. Use a common job title that will attract candidates and perfectly explain the position you are hiring for. If the position title is Customer Experience Enhancement Consultant, make sure to simplify it.
The longer the job title, the less chance an applicant applies — so be specific in the shortest amount of words as possible.
- A Summary of the Job that Catches Seekers’ Attention
Summarize a job to the best of your ability. Rather than making a boring description of the position with 10+ bullet points, try only to include the larger job responsibilities and make sure to sell the position!
- Details About What Makes Your Company Unique
What makes your company stand out from your competition? If you let your employees out early every Friday, make sure to let it be known.
- Exact Job Location
Candidates want to be able to plan their drive before applying for a job opening. I know our staffing agency is in the small state of RI, so this doesn’t really apply, but if you lived in a state like Alaska, where 4 of their cities have an area of over 1700 miles, it is important to narrow down where your office is located.
- The Core Responsibilities and Duties of the Position
Only add the responsibilities and duties that take up the majority of the role. Leave out those responsibilities that the role only requires 1 to 2 minutes a week to complete.
- Include Information On How the Role Fits Within the Organization
Explain if the position is a team role, who the direct manager would be, and everything else that will help a candidate understand where the role fits within your organization.
- List Hard and Soft Skills Needed to Get the Job Done
Lastly, add skills that are necessary for the position. If your office is fast-paced and energetic, make sure to include organization, problem-solving, and time management skills.
Language is crucial.
Even something minor—like a word—can affect whether or not you are attracting a diverse talent pool. With diversity and inclusion among the biggest and most important trends in talent acquisition, companies need to make sure the job descriptions are inclusive. A few things you can check for to make sure you create the perfect job description include:
- Avoid gendered words. Even if the word isn’t outright gendered, certain words like “ninja” and “guru” can turn some applicants off, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. The Gender Decoder tool can tell you right away whether your job ad leans too much towards either feminine or masculine-coded words.
- Limit job requirements to only the essentials. For the requirements, soften your language with terms like “familiarity with,” “some experience in,” or “extra points for.” Even if you as an organization know there’s wiggle room on qualifications, candidates don’t see it that way.
- Avoid technical language. It can be intimidating to candidates who have the skills but come from less traditional corporate backgrounds.
- Mention your commitment to diversity and inclusion in the job description. Eliminate any confusion about whether or not diversity matters at your company immediately. For example, on all our job openings, we include the following blurb:
“City Personnel, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we do not discriminate against applicants due to race, national origin, religion, marital status, veteran status, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics. If you need special accommodation for the application process, please contact us.”
Highlight Inclusive Benefits
Do you offer great benefits or parental leave? Summer Fridays, flexible hours, or a 3-2-2 workweek? Do you offer continued education opportunities? Boast a wellness program? If you’re committed to something as a company, say it loudly and frequently!
As a female-owned boutique staffing agency in RI, City Personnel’s mission is to attract a highly skilled and diverse talent pool. We search for candidates with unique outlooks, skills, and experience who use their perspectives to work toward a shared goal. Our objective is to provide an effective and inclusive preview of the welcoming and motivating position to a candidate.
If you are finding it difficult to create the perfect job description, your company could be missing out. Hiring doesn’t have to be hard, but it can definitely feel like it sometimes. City Personnel can help keep the process simple and synchronized by optimizing your recruitment process. See for yourself, and lets us help you achieve a diverse workforce today! It all starts with you and the perfect job description.