Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: 7 ways to tailor your job ad to attract a more diverse talent pool
4 minutes | Posted 06 April, 2021

A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 57% of recruiters say their talent acquisition strategies are designed to attract diverse candidates. Like many organizations, you may be prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in 2021.

A commitment to DE&I is not only the right thing to do, it’s also smart leadership and good business. The evidence is clear: organizations that effectively recruit and manage a diverse workforce have a clear competitive advantage. Organizations with strong DE&I strategies retain engaged, innovative and dedicated talent. These environments drive productivity and cultivate employee satisfaction, leading to increased financial performance.

If you’re responsible for recruitment in your organization, you should make hiring for diversity a priority. As a recruiter, you’re the gatekeeper with massive control over how diverse your organization is. Failure to attract and recruit diverse talent, due to conscious or unconscious bias, or a lack of strategy, will likely result in decreased levels of creativity and innovation and can impact other areas of the business.

As we shared in The Talent Scout podcast episode about why diversity matters in the world of recruitment: diverse companies on average enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee and diverse teams are 87% better at making decisions.

Here are seven ways to tailor your recruitment advertisement to bring more diverse talent into your organization.

1. Ensure your jobs are consistent with your overall employer brand

Before diving into specific job ad tips, it’s important to note DE&I is not a one-off initiative. It should be a holistic, long-term priority that aligns with your overall employer brand.

For example, if someone reads your job ad, then visits your careers website, the brand messaging and imagery you share and promote should be in alignment. (Do you actually care about diversity, or are you just saying you do? Do you have a diversity statement? Do you support employees with disabilities?) Your employer brand should promote support and equal opportunity for your job ads to be truly effective at attracting diverse talent.

2. Define your recruitment marketing strategy

Improving diversity is more than choosing, for example, a female, from your candidate pool. It must be front of mind and a goal before you begin the recruitment process. Speak to experts in attracting different groups of candidates. Who are you targeting? How can you speak to them authentically?

The types of candidates you are looking for will determine your strategy. For example, your strategy to increase gender diversity will require a different strategy to attracting more Indigenous Australians.

Here’s how Alex Fraser and Hanson recruited female drivers by strengthening their employer brand and using targeted recruitment advertisements. After their first successful campaign, reaching 137% of their female hiring target, they used imagery and employee profile interviews with women to recruit for their next program.

3. Go to market  

If you’ve ever outsourced recruitment to typical external agencies, they’ll often draw on their existing database. Doing this severely limits your ability to attract a diverse applicant pool.

Your recruiter should use different recruitment processes and sourcing channels, including niche job boards, and both active and passive advertising channels.

One of Scout Talent’s key differentiators as a recruitment partner is that our Recruitment Marketing Specialists go to market to source talent from a wide range of channels. This gives you a far greater chance of improving diversity in your organisation and finding those who are a cultural add (not just a “cultural fit”).

4. Use the right language

Language choices in your recruitment advertisement absolutely impact the applicant pool you’ll be capable of attracting. In particular, remove coded language that can lead to gender bias.

Take Buffer, for example, striving to understand why they were struggling to attract female developers. They discovered the word “hackers” was limiting female applications. Removing this word and other gender-coded words enabled them to increase gender diversity in their applicant pool. (For example, “rockstar”, “leader”, “ninja”, and “dominate”.) Consider using online tools to assess the language in your recruitment advertisements.

You can also benefit from avoiding unnecessary jargon. While experienced candidates may understand your corporate lingo and terminology, studies show jargon and corporate language in job postings is one of the biggest barriers keeping talented young people from applying to entry-level positions. Use clear, concise language.

5. Limit your selection criteria

Research reveals women are less likely to apply for roles unless they meet 100% of selection criteria. (Even if some criteria states “desirable” – females are still less likely to apply.) Interestingly, this may not be necessarily due to a lack of confidence, but rather a mindset that recruiters wouldn’t hire them for not meeting their selection criteria and not wanting to waste their time and energy.

Recruit more diverse talent by tightening up your selection criteria list and including only the non-negotiables. You never know the great candidates you’ll be able to attract who may be your ideal match.

6. Reference your organization’s commitment to DE&I

Some organizations prefer to include a line in their recruitment advertisements about their commitment to DE&I; others prefer to weave this messaging throughout the copy.

Hubspot, for example, include the following paragraph in their jobs ads to attract a diverse field of applications“Confidence can sometimes hold us back from applying for a job. But we’ll let you in on a secret: there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ candidate. HubSpot is a place where everyone can grow. So however you identify and whatever background you bring with you, please apply if this is a role that would make you excited to come into work every day.”

A simple, but effective, personalized statement such as this can drastically improve the diversity of your talent pool.

7. Share inclusive benefits

What benefits do you offer that could make your role more attractive to a diverse talent pool? Benefits such as flexibility, parental leave, childcare subsidies, health insurance and more can make your ad more attractive to groups such as working parents and those with accessibility issues.

Draw attention to these in your job ad. You don’t have to include all your benefits, but adding a few perks works well.

DE&I isn’t a one-off tactical initiative. For your job ads to be effective, you must implement a proactive strategy and ensure consistency across your employer brand. These seven tips for tailoring your recruitment advertisement, from going to market to using the right language and sharing benefits, will help you bring more diverse talent into your organization.

If you would like to learn more about how to improve your Employer Brand, get in touch with us here.