Recruiters need to be the instruments of change as it relates to employer position/job postings. If your employers have not yet done so, you need to suggest that hiring documents be examined to remove exclusionary words and language.
The trouble with documents like these is, sometimes, when employers try to make the document more “folksy or salesy” boundaries are crossed. Their efforts are intended to make the job and the company feel fun and approachable, but the language used can be exclusionary. The chart below will show you some real-life examples of words pulled out of job postings and advertisements in the recent past.
If job descriptions have not been rewritten in the last 5 years, they almost certainly contain some exclusionary language. For example, “he/she” should be updated to “they/you” and words like “typing” should be replaced with “inputting.” Think through the audiences that need to be engaged to ensure the position being offered as viewed as inclusive. Avoid bias that will make any candidate or audience question your client company’s commitment to inclusion.
Since job descriptions are often the foundation piece used to create job advertisements, it is important to have well managed and updated foundational documents.
Just reading the list below got me thinking about how well is my everyday email in alignment with my intention to be inclusive and non-biased. Awareness is needed before corrective action or improvement can occur. Take a week to examine words, phrases and language you are using. You may have some opportunity for improvement, I do!
|Exclusionary Words||Bias Category||Inclusive Replacements|
|a cakewalk||race||an easy task|
|bend||physical disability||lower oneself|
|brownbag session||race||lunch and learn, learning session|
|climb/climbing||physical disability||scale/scaling, move up/moving up|
|criminal background check||former felons||background check|
|culture fit||race||culture add|
|digital native||age||passionate about technology|
|English native speaker||race||fluent in English|
|degree from a top school||elitism||a degree|
|lift/lifting||physical disability||move/moving, hold/holding|
|maternity/paternity leave||LGBTQ+||parental leave, parental time off|
|new graduate / recent graduate||age||a graduate|
|sanity check||mental health||review, audit, double-check|
|servant leadership||race||growth leadership, supportive leadership|
|sit/sitting||physical disability||be stationary/being stationary|
|stand/standing||physical disability||be upright/stationary, being upright/stationary|
|the men and women||LGBTQ+||the team, the people|
|typing||physical disability||inputting, entering|
|walk/walking||physical disability||move/moving, traverse/traversing|
|walkthroughs||physical disability||final checks|