HOW HIDDEN AND CONSCIOUS BIAS CAN STOP YOU HIRING AND RETAINING THE BEST EMPLOYEES

October 25, 2021
Wondering why mostly men or mostly women are applying for your company’s vacant positions? Or why no folks from diverse or accessible backgrounds aren’t applying for your roles? Look at the language in your job advert listings

IF YOU WANT YOUR BUSINESS TO BE SUCCESSFUL, IT’S TIME TO TACKLE UNCONSCIOUS BIAS IN THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS

Let’s not mince words: diverse workforces perform better. Disabilities shouldn’t hold anyone back, women are as good as men – while race, ethnicity and sexuality have no impact on a person’s ability to perform a job.

Yet despite the irrefutable truth that employees from different backgrounds bring unique knowledge, skills and experience to a business, the recruitment process is often influenced by unconscious biases – with the language in Job Ads adversely affecting the type of people who apply.

“Language is gendered,” explained Daniel Fellows, CEO and founder of  Get-Optimal – a UK based global technology company and diversity and inclusion provider whose core product is job ad optimisation.

“There are words that we perceive to be female-typed such as ‘warm,’ ‘team’ and ‘collaborate,’ while other words like ‘leader,’ ‘assertive’ and ‘aggressive’ are viewed as being more male-oriented,” said Fellows.

He continued: “If you write a job application and describe what you’re looking for as an ‘assertive leader,’ that language is going to disproportionately draw men and limit your pool of applicants.”

In many cases, employers may not even be aware that biases have crept into their job adverts – chances are they are simply recycling age-old job descriptions so as to save time – but there’s no getting away from the fact that unintended Job Ad biases ultimately influence who they hire.

Luckily, there are ways to avoid Job Ad bias and improve diversity throughout the hiring process.

Get-Optimal has built a propriety gender debias tool, pulled from open APIs which is built into its core product. The evolving technology analyses up to 16 different inputs ranging from coded language, gendered words and gendered pronouns and removes these subtle and unconscious biases from all of your job ads.

So now that you have successfully removed unconscious bias from your Job Ad, the advert is ready to be released into the world… right? Wrong.

There are actually six key steps involved in Job Ad optimisation which are as follows:

SIX STEPS TO OPTIMISATION

Content & engagement
Ensure your content speaks to all candidates and navigates all algorithms, search engines and taxonomies.

Gender bias
Optimise all-inclusive language in your Job Ads.

SEO
Optimise your job ads for SEO to help your business grow organically, and grow page rank authority and visibility.

Accessibility
Make sure your job ad is accessible by using a font that is easy to read and is a minimum of 12 points. Clearly state that you have an equal opportunities policy and offer alternative formats for application forms etc.

Social mobility
Build a future workplace for all candidates so companies can be more representative of the people they seek to serve.

Diversity & Inclusion
Create a more diverse and inclusive workplace online and when we all return. Build a better culture and one that ALL candidates want to be a part of.

Who knew that writing a humble job ad could be such a minefield?! It’s enough to make your head spin but happily, there is help at hand: enter the Get-Optimal job advert scoring tool.

Our free-to-use scoring tool analyses your Job Ad on the aforementioned six steps – and the result will reveal where there’s work, which we can help you with, to be done.

In a nutshell, eliminating unconscious bias in Job Ads can be overwhelming but it is incumbent upon all recruiters to do so if they are to ever realise their goal of selecting and hiring the best employees possible.


Daniel Fellows
CEO
Get-Optimal.com