The Equality Act, which became law in October 2010, states that it is unlawful to discriminate against people at work because of nine key areas: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The aim of this act is to improve equal job opportunities and promote fairness in the workplace.
As this is the case, how can we, as recruiters, advertise job roles in a gender neutral way to show potential employees that we are supporting this act and expressing a commitment to equality and diversity?
1 – Avoid using he/she
It sounds fairly simple but by eliminating the words ‘he’ and ‘she’ you are already creating a more neutral setting. You want to attract the best talent you can and by using he/she in your advert, you are potentially putting someone of the opposite sex off applying (someone who could be the ideal candidate for the role).
2 – Think about gender-heavy vocab
Whether we like to admit it or not, through language’s history and development, certain words have formed gender associations. Look at the following descriptions and have a think about the ones that may be directed more at men or women:
1 – As a community of creatives, we are passionate about building trustworthy relationships with our clients through effective communication and producing great work that represents your brand in the most honest way.
2 – We are a creative agency, responsible for delivering results for many leading clients. We focus on achieving goals that stand apart from the competition.
It’s crucial to note here that the way you apply your language can make a massive difference on the way people interpret your text. By simply changing ‘creative agency’ to ‘community of creatives’ you are showing applicants that you are a company that truly values the people who are involved and you aren’t solely consumed by money/results.
3 – Consider your company’s personality
Behind every job description is a human who has composed it but often job descriptions are so robotic that it’s not completely obvious what the company’s culture is. As much as you are looking for the ideal candidate, the ideal candidate is also looking for you, and the way you sell a job role could be the difference between them clicking ‘apply now’ or leaving your website altogether. If you are a more relaxed, fun company, talk about this in the job description so that applicants can get a feel for what the working environment might be like and whether or not they can see themselves as a part of the team.
4 – Do your research
You may know your company inside out and you may know the role you are recruiting for really well but that doesn’t mean you can’t do a bit of research before you put your ad out there. Even reading other the job descriptions of other companies can be great inspiration for your own. Using these tools and reading about tips for attracting the right audience will making writing job adverts much easier.