4 Tips to Eliminate Job Description Gender Bias and Improve Your Hiring

Photo by Yan Krukau: https://www.pexels.com/photo/three-people-looking-over-printouts-on-a-table-7691671/

Because unconscious gender prejudice and preconceptions are so ingrained in the hiring process, they frequently show up in settings where we are unaware of them, such as the language used to market and promote a position.

Did you know that, according to the Job Description Library, a badly worded job description can cut the number of applications received by 52%?

Job descriptions are important because first impressions matter.

Here are four suggestions to make sure you speak to all applicants by eliminating gender bias from your job listings:

  1. Check that your position’s title is gender-neutral.

Why is this crucial?

Since your job title is where prospects first interact with your job posting, it must be both alluring and truthful.

The most important component of any job posting has the potential to either make your company look like an attractive place to work or just the opposite.

What should you do?

It’s crucial to think carefully about your terminology when creating a job title to avoid preventing particular groups from applying. For instance, overtly masculine or feminine phrasing is likely to act as a barrier, preventing some genders from clicking on your job posting.

2. Pay attention to the terminology you employ in your job description.

Why is this crucial?

Candidates are either screened in or out based on the language used in a job description.

Studies have found that while feminine language is more expressive, male language is related to authority, power, and leadership.

Male-coded words and female-coded phrases were used to classify particular job marketing wording, according to researchers at Duke University and the University of Waterloo. They discovered a distinct difference between masculine and feminine terms.

What should you do?

Any terms having a specified gender should be replaced with more inclusive, gender-neutral equivalents.

This involves recognizing whether terminology is connected to gender norms and has an underlying connotation that may discourage particular genders rather than merely reevaluating masculine words like “weatherman.”

What is your method?

Avoid using words like “honest,” which is more appropriate for female applicants, and “ambitious,” which is more appropriate for male candidates.

Avoid superlatives since they tend to be more sexist. Words like “most competent,” “powerhouse,” and “strongest” are examples of this.

Keep it straightforward and simply give the most important data. Although it may seem necessary to show your culture by including creativity and color in your job description, it’s crucial to be deliberate with the words you choose.

3. Scale back the requirements

Why is this crucial?

In order to assess if an applicant is a good match for a position, language is crucial. This notion is especially crucial for female candidates since they are more inclined to look for evidence that they aren’t a good fit for a position and will find reasons to support this.

A Hewlett Packard internal analysis claims that if a man meets 60% of the requirements, he is confident in his abilities. However, ladies are hesitant to apply until they have reached 100%.

Why does this matter? From a hiring standpoint, female candidates are more likely to apply for a position if they believe their talents match what the business is asking for.

4. Demonstrate your dedication to diversity and equality

Why is this crucial?

Working for equality and diversity in the workplace requires more than just doing what is morally correct. Despite being significant, statistics indicates that diverse businesses perform better across the board.

Organizations in the top quartile of those with gender-diverse executive teams were 25% more likely to generate above-average profitability than rivals in the bottom 25%, according to McKinsey’s 2019 report. As more women are represented on executive teams, this number rises.

Additionally, employees have a better feeling of inclusion and belonging when diversity and equality are acknowledged as top priorities inside a business.

Last thoughts

Language is a key factor in determining if an applicant thinks they are a good fit for a position.

In addition to cutting the number of applications in half, research has found that women are less inclined to apply for a job if they believe they can’t meet all the standards.

By itself, this has an effect on workplace diversity and pushes us farther away from gender equality. Lack of workplace diversity may have a big influence on an organization’s overall business success because it has been shown to boost profitability, productivity, creativity, and employee retention.