Things to consider when writing job adverts to ensure you aren’t excluding disabled candidates.
Here at Evenbreak, we talk about diversity, inclusivity and overcoming barriers daily. But how do employers keep disability awareness up front? Writing a job advert that appeals to disabled candidates is a great place to start! Employing disabled people means your workforce is far more likely to gain insight and understanding. It’s far more likely to talk openly about disability and far more likely to challenge the status quo. It also brings huge business benefits to the company (but that’s another blog and indeed a book!).
Here’s how to write a job ad that appeals:
1. Make it clear from the offset that YOUR company commits to equality.
Disabled candidates have already had to overcome many challenges. They often face discrimination daily. They are less likely to engage with companies that only pay lip service to equality. The paragraph that begins “We are an equal opportunities employer…” is often dropped at the end of a job ad. Does anyone ever utter a ‘yippee’ at seeing this included? Does anyone ever read to the end of the job ad? A study by TheLadders, found that job seekers spend an average of 49.7 seconds reading a job advert before deciding whether it was a fit. Instead, please shout out about your inclusive culture at the top of the job ad. Talk to job seekers in a human voice about the changes your company has made to make sure they are open to all. Tell us about your culture and any initiatives you’ve launched. Add a bit of personality – this is your chance to sparkle! For tips on writing in a human voice, have a peek at what Founder of Human Workplace Liz Ryan has to say on the subject.
2. Avoid the never-ending list of bullet pointed job responsibilities.
It’s understandable that recruiting managers have a long list in mind of skills they’d like for each role. But this approach can at best, turn off brilliant candidates. At worst, it makes companies look delusional, if the list of wants doesn’t tally up with the benefits offered. Disabled candidates are very unlikely to apply for jobs they don’t believe they’re qualified for. If anything, candidates are usually overqualified. One study found more than half of disabled people have applied for jobs they know they are overqualified for. Instead of listing ‘employer wants’ for a role, consider listing only the essential ‘employer needs’. Use the extra word count to market your company to candidates. To receive three times as many applications and attract a better quality of candidate write a job ad that focuses on candidate needs. Not employers.
3. Tell candidates what you do differently and how you work smart.
Smart companies have fast cottoned on to the benefits of flexible working. With today’s technology there’s no need to commute an hour, to sit at a desk to work, to commute another hour home. Agile working is one of the smart working initiatives used by savvy employers to add value to their workforce.
Some benefits to employers include:
- access to a more diverse talent pool
- reduced attrition
- increased productivity
Some benefits to employees include:
- opportunities for disabled candidates
- a better quality of life
- reduced travel costs
- increased time spent with family
By embracing smart working you’ll be able to attract a greater number of disabled candidates and a larger pool of talent. Not convinced about smart working? Why not try it for a day and sign up to the Smarter Working Initiative.
4. Be mindful of the language you use.
Job ads often come peppered with industry specific jargon. Acronyms and corporate buzz words like “KPI,” “onboarding”, “ITIL”, “compliance” are off putting. These can not only send your job seeker to sleep (the acronym KPI has the same impact on me as a strong sedative); But also alienate potential candidates unfamiliar with your company’s lingo. Instead, use straightforward language. Tell candidates more about the potential career pathway offered. What does the job entail day to day? What is your company’s mission? What skills might your ideal candidate have?
5. Make it clear you judge candidates only on how well they fit the job criteria.
More and more businesses are signing up to become Disability Confident Employers. The scheme helps people identify those employers committed to equality in the workplace. Disabled candidates look for employers with good recruitment policies. If your company:
- is a Disability Confident Employer
- offers a guaranteed interview scheme
- uses disabled jobs boards such as Evenbreak
Then make sure this is obvious across your job ads, social media and marketing materials. Tell candidates about what makes you great, they’re keen to find you!