Hiring to fill a position for your company is a complicated and delicate process. Even though most companies try to promote diversity and inclusivity, unconscious bias can crop up at some point during the process, including sexism, ageism, and racism. The most common form of job bias is against women and other marginalized groups like minorities and disabled people. Qualified applicants who feel that a job posting is targeting a particular demographic may become discouraged, negatively affecting the talent pool available to the company.
Though it is extremely difficult to eradicate this menace overnight, all members of your organization can work collectively at every stage of the hiring process to minimize the chances of unconscious bias. The first step towards ensuring a bias-free hiring process is to make job postings bias-free. There are several ways to ensure bias-free job postings.
Create inclusive job titles
The first thing an applicant notes about your job posting is the job title. Make sure you create a job title that includes all demographics. Avoid gendered job titles like fireman or chairman and use inclusive titles like firefighter and chairperson, respectively. When using fun names for your job titles, ensure you do not alienate older people. When job titles sound too fun, older people may feel they may not be considered for the job. Creating job titles that give off a male-dominated vibe may discourage females from applying for the post.
Consider the requirements for the job.
Avoid making lengthy job descriptions that might make selective job seekers apprehensive about the position. Near-qualified or qualified individuals, particularly women, will be hesitant to apply for a position if the job description is detailed and explicit. Give only the essential and desired requirements using direct and succinct language. Make them easy to read, follow, and digest.
Gender-neutral use pronouns
This is an extremely easy technique that can make your job posting bias-free. Avoid using pronouns that are specific to one gender in the job description. Refer to the applicants only as you and them/their. You can also use ‘S/he’ in place of gender-specific ones. You can apply this rule to collective nouns as well. Instead of using a gender-specific word like “guys,” try using more gender-neutral terms like “folks” or “team.”
Don’t endorse a negative work culture.
The terminology you use to describe your workplace culture should be chosen carefully so that your organization does not come off as toxic. Think about the diverse range of lifestyles your prospective employees might want to choose from and make the aspects of your workplace culture appealing to as many people as possible, not just one group.
Use online analysis tools.
There are several online tools available now that can be used to analyze any form of unconscious bias that might have cropped up in your job postings while keeping the language powerful enough to motivate unique talents to apply for the position.
Removing unconscious bias from job postings may seem like a gargantuan task, but by being a little vigilant and following some simple steps, you can make sure that no kind of prejudice crops up in your job postings.