We’d like to say that nowadays finding a job advert with obvious discrimination and bias is fairly rare. Instead, there are ways in which job ads are a little more subtle and often unintentionally bias. When creating your next job advert it is important to be aware of these three unconscious bias examples. Which can imply an inclination or prejudice for or against one person or a group of people.
There’s a lack of gender-neutral terms
The choice of language you choose to incorporate within your job advert can cause a gender bias. Research carried out by The University of Waterloo and Duke Universiy suggests words such as lead, active, decisive and outspoken are male-gendered. Whilst words; support, responsible, understanding and dependable ranked highly in the most common female-biased words in UK job descriptions.
Whilst incorporating gender-bias terms within a job description may be unintentional. It’s important to be aware that certain adjectives can create an unconscious bias. There are different sites that can scan your job text for gender terms and can determine language that is subtly gender-coded such as this one. To help you create a job advert that appeals to all potential applicants.
Company culture description
How you choose to describe the company culture can be a factor in contributing towards the bias in a job advert. Using age-related terminology to describe your work culture can also add to this. In some cases, you may be unconsciously appealing to millennials by describing the potential work environment. Instead, to describe a company culture in a job advert it should be used as a mechanism to showcase different workstyles, the environment and people within an organisation. And not an excuse to state characteristics you as an employer or recruiter believe a candidate must possess to ‘fit in’.
Asking for a specific length of experience
You may think that by simply stating the potential candidate must have over 5 years experience, in a certain area of work is harmless. It is often interpreted by a job seeker that the employer is seeking a candidate who is older than they are. They have the desired skill set and experience necessary for the role… So what does it matter if it’s not the right number of years? This is usually more of an issue in senior and managerial roles. As younger people can feel pushed out if the employer is actively seeking a candidate older than they are. Their age should not matter but instead, their ability should be based on past roles and responsibilities. To measure their capability for the next potential role.
Do you agree with everything we have said? Let us know on Twitter @BubbleJobs or in the comments below!