Writing job advertisements
Writing a job advertisement is not an easy task and we all tend to add too many things and make it overcomplicated. So you will find below a few tips that we hope will assist you in your next job search.
- Focus on job tasks: To avoid stereotypes, do not refer to the type of person you are seeking but to the job tasks. Do not include tasks or abilities that are not required for job performance.
- Keep selection criteria to a minimum: Research indicates that advertisements with more than five selection criteria deter applicants, particularly females. Women tend to apply only when they think they meet 100% of the requirements, whereas men apply when they meet 60%.
- Reduce focus on formal qualifications: While qualifications simplify the screening process, they do not predict job performance. Define the skills, experiences, and mindsets necessary to succeed rather than make assumptions based on qualifications. If you would prefer candidates to have knowledge of a certain skill, consider listing it as “desirable” rather than “essential”. When technical expertise is required, use ‘equivalent qualifications’ for professional designations.
- Use gender-neutral language: Don’t use gendered pronouns, be aware of terms that correlate with gender stereotypes, and avoid sports terminology. Conduct an audit of your job ads to identify gendered language that might discourage applications from women.
- Avoid requesting ‘years of experience’ BUT rather use ‘proven experience’ or levels of skill or knowledge. A requirement for continuous experience could indirectly discriminate against candidates who have taken time out from work for various personal reasons.
- Eliminate non-comprehensible language: Ensure job ads can be understood by a wide audience, including candidates from outside the industry.
- If necessary, describe physical requirements: Allow people with disabilities to consider whether a role is suitable for them. Don’t use terms like “physically” fit or “energetic”.
- Include diversity as a job criterion: Where relevant, include diversity as job criteria — for example, language skills for customer-facing roles.
- Promote career development: Be explicit regarding formal career planning and development opportunities in job ads. High-performing diverse talent wants to know they will be supported, and there are opportunities to progress.
- Offer flexibility in assessment schedules and location: Include potential assessment dates and offer flexibility in assessment timing and location. Allow candidates sufficient time to apply.
- Advertise flexible working arrangements: Highlight flexible working arrangements and other inclusive policies such as parental, carer, or religious leave.
- Ensure accessibility: Ensure your website is accessible to persons with a disability. Highlight accessibility policies and offer reasonable adjustments for people with a disability. Provide contact details for applicants if they require information in an alternative format or other support.
- Include a diversity statement: Highlight that you welcome applications from diverse candidates in your job ads.
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