How inclusive is your job brief?

When looking to diversify your leadership team, you need to consider how your job brief looks to diverse talent. An inclusive brief can broaden the pool of candidates and result in an outstanding placement.

When you work with executive search firms that focus on diversity, like Audeliss, it’s important that the role’s brief is open to a wider array of potential candidates. When you give us the brief, we not only make sure that we understand the role and create any resources required for the search (candidate brief, job advert, etc), but we will also help create an inclusive role description and advocate for a candidate prospectus over a more one-dimensional role description to ensure a commitment to diversity is outlined.

Placing importance on lived experiences that fit with the company culture is incredibly important as that can help widen the pool of candidates.

Things that you should consider when creating an inclusive role description are:

  • Making job titles gender-neutral, e.g. chair or chairperson, rather than chairman or chairwoman.
  • Reviewing gender-coded language. Words such as ‘assertive’, ‘competitive’ and ‘ambitious’ are masculine coded, whereas words such as ‘enthusiastic’, ‘compassionate’ and ‘committed’ are feminine coded. Consider if such words are absolutely necessary for an individual/employee to be successful?

Something that you always need to reflect on is the fixed idea of experience and background you want the ‘right candidate’ to have.

If the profile of your ideal candidate is for example, an Ivy League graduate with a decade of senior role experience at a Big 4 Accounting firm, you are unlikely to get diversity. Historically, diverse candidates haven’t had such a linear climb to Executive or Board positions due to factors such as lack of support and mentorship at previous jobs, or financial and family opportunities to attend elite schools.

The key is to think wider when it comes to ‘suitable’ candidates; considering lived experiences over academic and professional experiences can result in you finding candidates who can meet the skill requirements but also bring something additional to the role.

This article is part of our Inclusive Recruitment Guide. To read more, download it here.