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Towards a more inclusive recruitment process, part 1: ads

This is the first post in a series of, erm, I can’t say at this stage – I’ll update this when the other part(s) go up.

Part 2: Towards a more inclusive recruitment process, part 2: applications

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about inclusive recruiting recently.

We’re currently looking for people to join our Research & Design team at Wayflyer, and as a senior leader in that team, I want to make sure we’re being as inclusive as possible in our recruitment process.

I’ll write a more fulsome post soon about what we’re doing and learning. For now, I’ll be summarising and reacting to the responses to a post I put up on LinkedIn a few weeks ago “looking for ideas on how to set up a recruitment process as inclusive and equitable as possible, from job ad to joining”.

This post focuses on the job ads.

Write job ads in an inclusive way

As Aaron Morris said: “Review job descriptions and requirements: Make sure they are inclusive and truly necessary for the role. Avoid gendered language & consider how requirements may exclude certain groups.”

There are a number of tools you can use to check for inclusive language. 1

Textio was recommended by Jonathan Rez.

At Wayflyer, apart from Textio, we also use Writer. Writer checks for, among many other things, how inclusive your language is. They’ve got a nice guide about this: Inclusive language in the workplace.

Also worth noting is a couple of phrases I put in our job ads that resonated with people to the extent that we (Wayflyer) received unsolicited positive feedback about it:

In the intro:

As you read this ad, if you think you tick a lot of the boxes, but not all of them, we’d love to hear from you anyway, especially if you’re a woman or were raised in a culture that makes you underplay your achievements.

In ‘What happens next?’:

We want to hear from you even if you think you’re not a 100% fit, especially if you consciously or unconsciously normally shy away from celebrating your achievements.

Include the salary in the job ad

I wanted to post the salary range and have been happy to share it in private conversations with people who asked, but I wasn’t able to do this in the job ads we posted recently.

Any pointers to research and data – for, against, neutral – about this gratefully received.

Look beyond the usual places to reach a diversity of candidates

Debbie Turner offered to connect me to “someone who recruits ex military personnel into ‘civvy street’ roles”. I don’t know if they still do it, but I know Barclays had an intiative in this area in the mid-2010s. Debbie’s comment was a good reminder: I confess I had been thinking about gender and race primarily but diversity takes many forms (by definition!).

I was hoping to get suggestions beyond advertising on LinkedIn but I didn’t get any other pointers. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been surprised about this given I asked the question on LinkedIn.

Otta has been mentioned by a few people as a good place to advertise tech roles. I like the cut of Otta’s DEIB jib having seen a few things by them highlighting diversity issues, backed up by their own data. For example, from a recent LinkedIn post:

Women of colour set their minimum expected salaries as 40% lower than white men. Men of colour set their minimum as 30% lower than white men. White women set their minimum as 25% lower than white men.

13 Feb edit: Something screwy’s happening with the embed so here’s a direct link to the LinkedIn post

Here’s an embed of the LinkedIn post so you can see the original post and the responses inline.

  1. Or, to be pedantic, check if you’re using non-inclusive language before suggesting alternatives.↩︎

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