Think about the words you use
The language we use in job ads is crucial. According to LinkedIn, the average job seeker decides within 14 seconds whether a job description is for them or not. So it's vital to make sure there's nothing in the words you use that will put them off, and plenty in there that will encourage them to read on.
This is particularly key when it comes to gender as the language we use can be unintentionally gender-coded which could have a massive effect on the diversity of applications you receive.
If you want to check if your job ads are gender-neutral, try the free online Gender Decoder tool. It shows how your language is coded and suggests changes.
There are other paid for software services that do this like Applied, AdPro and Textio but none currently extend their analysis to other demographics such as BAME, LGBTQ+, or disabled candidates.
Check out this great blog from InnovateHer to hear about some local businesses who benefitted from changing their job ads.
Make sure your culture is right
If you want to build a more diverse team you need to make sure your business is ready. Talk to your team about your current culture, be open to different perspectives, and discuss any barriers people might face coming into your organisation. The way you work, the events you host, the hours, the training, the perks they could all play a role. It’s not just about getting people through the door – it’s about them wanting to stay because it’s an environment where they can thrive.
Building a more inclusive, equitable and more diverse business takes time. It’s not a one size fits all task but getting your roles in front of the right people, ensuring your job descriptions use the right language, and building a culture where people can thrive is a great start.