The Power of Gender Neutral Job Postings for Job Recruitment

Without a doubt, applying for a new position can be intimidating for a prospective candidate.

Typically, there are several things that come to mind when they’re reviewing your job postings.

“Am I qualified for this role?” “Do my skills match with the necessary job requirements?”

And last, but certainly most important:

“Will I enjoy and/or fit in working here?”

Prospective employees can tell a lot about a company based off of the initial job posting. Without prior research, this could even be their first point of contact with a company.

Often times, candidates are turned away by jobs that appear too ‘exclusive’. This simply means that they feel the recruiter is looking for too specific of a person.

Unknowingly, many recruiters use gender-biased vocabulary within a posting. This can suggest to candidates that they’re only hiring men or women. Even if that is not the case, it can deter a potentially awesome candidate from applying.

However, this isn’t the only issue that is prevalent with gender-biased job listings. Read on to learn the importance of promoting gender inclusivity within job recruitment.

Diversity Starts at the Beginning

More and more frequently, a lack of diversity within employees stems from a lack of diversity from candidates. Too many eligible candidates are turned off by the mere wording of your job post.

Job recruitment is one of the toughest tasks a human resources manager can face. Diversity isn’t something that can be created in a workplace. It can only be brought in by the appropriate candidates. This can be fixed from working your way back to the very beginning. By using gender-neutral language throughout job listings, you are setting yourself up for a diverse workforce.

To get more qualified candidates interested, you should avoid using male-skewing or female-skewing context. You will increase the likelihood of onboarding a candidate with a “fresh” or innovative way of thinking.

Candidates want to feel they would fit in with a company from a job posting.

Women and other underrepresented groups alike are more likely to consider a position based on this initial encounter.

Using “he” or “she” only means they could be joining a workforce that is male or female-centric.

Presenting your company as a diverse workplace can start with simple modifications. Attract the best by presenting yourself as the best through your job recruitment process!

Expedite the Job Recruitment Process

It’s obvious that when reaching a more extensive group, you’ll pull in a higher amount of applications.

With more qualified candidates (see below) applying for the position, you will be able to speed up the job recruitment process much quicker.

For example, did you know that job listings with gender-neutral wording receive 42% more of a response?

On average, it takes well over a month to fill a position after a posting was published. This can be trimmed down to 14 days when attracting more candidates. Job recruitment is already tough enough. Attracting candidates from underrepresented groups will mean more job applications to review.

(This is, in fact, a good problem to have. Trust us!)

More candidates mean that you are pulling in applicants from all different backgrounds.

Attract More Qualified Candidates

Gender-neutral job listings not only attract more candidates. They also attract more qualified ones.

As mentioned above, gender-biased phrasing can limit your job recruitment search. That’s because candidates who may be qualified for this position choose not to apply based on something as silly as wording.

However, using certain phrases can make the position feel disproportionate to the applicant. This could discourage your candidate for a few reasons. Personally, they could feel as though they aren’t cut out for the position.

Words and phrasing such as “strong” and “tough” can make women feel inadequate for a position. Comparatively, “caring” and “patient” have an overt effect on men for the same reasons.

Also, prospective candidates may feel as though your company is gender-biased. They may glance at your posting and view your company as male or female-centric.

As mentioned above, gender-neutral job posts will attract many more applicants. That means your chances of finding a qualified candidate have increased by nearly a half.

Making use of gender-free substitutions will lead you to find more candidates. In turn, gender-free substitutions will lead you to find you the candidate of your dreams.

Candidates Are Deterred Prior to Viewing a Job Posting

Prior to even hopping on LinkedIn or other job sites, candidates are already accustomed to what they’re going to get from recruiters.

Unfortunately, we have established a culture that alludes to roles for “men” and roles for “women”. By limiting our listings to only certain individuals, we are enforcing gender stereotypes.

Traditionally speaking, men are much less receptive to enter into women-dominated industries. In comparison, women are much more likely to pursue a career in a male-dominated field. However, both genders often face scrutiny prior to even scouring through job boards. Usually, they are aware of what type of candidate usually fulfills their roles.

We’re sure there are several positions that come to mind.

Women are more likely to be nurses and health aides, whereas a man is more likely to become a doctor. Women are administrative assistants, and men are their bosses.

Since this stigma already exists, it is even more important to present your company as a gender inclusive entity.

This could make you stand out in a candidate’s eye since they are used to seeing phrases pertaining to the other sex.

Help Attract Those Who Are Unemployed

Unemployment is a rising social, political, and economic issue that affects everyone.

The power to help fight this issue can actually be traced back to a job board posting. Let us explain. Those who are unemployed receive a lot of criticism for not finding work. To many, we have a seemingly abundant job market.

One of the more common criticisms is that people simply do not want to take jobs that are out of “their field”. However, this notion can be extended to say people do not want to take jobs that are out of their sex.

Especially as of recent, unemployed men are much less likely to take a job in a female dominated industry. This is for a number of reasons. Usually, the pay in these fields isn’t as great as what they are used to. Comparatively, women still tend to make less than men, even in fields that are female-centric.

Also, men in these roles often feel stigmatized and undervalued. This is an issue stemming from both ends- the employee and the employer.

Employees have to change the mindset that a certain position is undervalued.  Demographic factors such as sex do not determine a position’s worth. As the person in charge of job recruitment, it’s your job to promote that.

As an employer, you are responsible for creating an appreciation of diversity at work.

Hard work comes from all different backgrounds, so show appreciation when you can. This will foster a sense of belonging for all demographics.

When employers can create foster inclusivity, they are able to widen their job recruitment pool.

How do I create a more gender-inclusive job posting?

Now that we’ve discussed how a gender-neutral posting affects your job recruitment process, we will review some keywords to avoid.

A lot of the time, recruiters are unaware that their job postings are biased to one gender. Even if you don’t come out and say “he” or “she” in your post, it can be implied that you are looking for a man or woman.

Feminine Phrases/Words to Avoid

Some common phrases that are deemed as ‘feminine’ are:

  • “We need a candidate who can be nurturing and connect with clients”
  • “We need someone who is sympathetic/caring/empathetic”
  • “We are looking for someone with a polite/pleasant style”

Instead, try using these phrases:

  • “We need a candidate who can provide great customer service”
  • “We need someone able to listen and respond”
  • “We are looking for someone with a good-natured demeanor”

Masculine Phrases/Words to Avoid

Some common phrases that are deemed as ‘masculine’ are:

  • “We need someone with a strong personality”
  • “We are looking for a candidate with a superior ___”
  • “We would like a candidate who is assertive”

Instead, try using these phrases:

  • “We need someone with a go-getter attitude”
  • “We are looking for a candidate with an energetic ___”
  • “We would like a candidate who is can lead”

In conclusion, job recruitment can be made a lot easier and more beneficial by making small alterations. Something as seemingly little as a job posting actually carries a lot of weight.

In order to attract the best candidates possible, look for changes you can make from listings.