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Are You Limiting Candidates With Biased Job Ads? DT’s Tom Brennan to ZipRecruiter

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Decision Toolbox Master Writer Tom Brennan recently shared insights with ZipRecruiter on how employers may be created biased job ads without intending to, and even worse, how they might be missing out on great candidates because of it.

Excerpt from the article:

Your job ads may be biased. And they may be driving candidates away. And you may not even know it.

But when writing job ads, the issue is not which terms make you racist or sexist or otherwise discriminatory, says Tom Brennan, Master Writer at leading nationwide recruiting firm Decision Toolbox. And, the issue is not what you mean by a word or phrase, however innocent, he says.

“The issue is that making smart language choices can help you avoid driving good candidates away,” says Brennan. “Some have argued that there are upwards of 25,000 terms that can convey an unconscious bias toward men or women. You can’t avoid using all 25,000 problematic terms, but you can make sure your postings include a balance of both masculine and feminine terms.”

So what do you do? How do you avoid biased job ads that also drive candidates away?

Consider using a job posting service
Brennan points out there are services you can use to scan your postings for such biased, terms, such as Unitive and Textio.

Avoid trying to be gender neutral with everything
Brennan also recommends avoiding the use of terms like “he” or “him” as if they were gender neutral, but that can result in awkward writing like, “The Sales Manager will lead his/her team in exploring new markets.”

One way to avoid that is to use the second person, as if speaking directly to candidates: “As Sales Manager, you will lead your team in exploring new markets.”

Another way is to use the plural. Instead of “Each candidate will be judged on his/her individual merits,” you could write, “Candidates will be judged on their individual merits.”

For the full article, including additional tips on how to avoid biased job ads, click here.

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