To make job descriptions attractive to job seekers, companies use words such as ‘rockstar’, ‘ninja’, ‘team player’. At Develop Diverse, we experience that a common concern with inclusive writing is that it might be boring to read, because it replaces these types of flashy phrases with more inclusive alternatives. This blog post gives a short answer to this concern.
The bold adjectives and nouns may work well in blogs and other media to captivate an audience. However – even though it is very common – using loaded words in job descriptions might not have the desired impact. It can send the wrong signal and turn off a lot of potential talented candidates, you wish to attract.
Avoiding phrases such as ‘we are looking for our next rockstar’ in your job description does not imply that you cannot reach a big pool of potential candidates – our customers’ results show the contrary. Eliminating bias and corporate clichés will only increase the number of applicants from all groups – including men, women and marginalised groups.
You will attract candidates who think they are awesome
Getting rid of loaded adjectives (excellent, unique, kick-ass, awesome etc.) will help direct the applicant’s attention to what really counts: the qualifications and requirements you need fulfilled for this job. When you say you are looking for an ‘awesome’ or ‘excellent’ developer, you will most probably get applications from people who think they are awesome, not necessarily the people who you think are awesome or excellent.
Corporate clichés such as ‘think outside the box’, ‘team player’ and ‘results-oriented’ are overused expressions and will irritate the reader. Job seekers are aware that multi-tasking is required to perform a job. Instead of using clichés, use words that precisely describe facts by which the candidate can get deep insights about the job. Avoid clichés if you wish to make your job description stand out in the crowd.
Toning down the language and making it more inclusive will make sure that what is really important for the role is clearly communicated and understood by the reader, because there is less noise in form of words that mean something different to you and the candidates.