How to Avoid Discrimination in Job Advertisements?

How to Avoid Discrimination in Job Advertisements?

Well-crafted job ads matter

The main role of a job advertisement is to inform people about a job opening and to attract the targeted applicants. Crafting a proper job advertisement is a must-do.

An effective job advertisement can save time and money for the company as the requirements are communicated upfront. A good job advertisement makes the company stand out from the crowd in a competitive job market. Outstanding talents have the choice, and they will certainly prioritize roles in companies that embody their values. In fact, a job advertisement is the best way to showcase your company’s values and culture.

While large companies brand their commitment to social responsibility and anti-discrimination policies; the reality is different when looking at their job advertisements.

In this article, we will explain what constitutes discriminatory job advertisements, together with actionable tips on how to avoid discrimination in job postings.

First, what is a discriminatory job advertisement?

A discriminatory job advertisement is an advertisement that explicitly or implicitly excludes candidates by age, gender, race, language, disability, or religion.

Here are some examples of discriminatory job advertisements:
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Beware of unconscious bias

It is often the case that the person drafting the job advertisement writer may not intend to discriminate against candidates. Discrimination may be a result of  an ‘unconscious bias.’

Unconscious bias (or implicit bias) is an underlying attitude that creates fondness or hatred towards a person or a group of people e.g. gender bias, ageism, beauty bias, etc.

An example of unconscious bias is a hiring manager who prioritizes applicants coming from the same school. Hence, blocking the path for other candidates coming from equally good schools.

Thus, some people may discriminate against others because they do not realize that they have unconscious bias. Learning more about your own bias is another way to lessen discrimination.

Here are some practical tips to tackle unconscious bias: 

  • Perform structured interviews asking standardized and skill-based questions 
  • Give applicants some time to share their full stories during interviews: don’t judge too quickly 
  • Cross-check and challenge your opinions about applicants together with the hiring team 
  • Conduct blind screenings of applications that exclude aspects of a candidate that may reveal their assumed gender, like name and interests

Beyond focusing on the clarity of a job advertisement, companies should also pay attention to discriminatory words in job descriptions. Below is a compilation of practical guidelines to avoid discrimination in job advertisements.

How to avoid discrimination in job postings

1. Age discrimination

Avoid using age or implied terms like ‘youthful’ or ‘mature’ in your requirement. Enquiring about years of experience instead of asking their age is more appropriate.

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2. Gender discrimination 

Do not use gender preferences, unless that position involves practical requirements such as the need for a male actor to play an uncle role. The job title should not specify gender, for example, waitress, salesman.

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3. Race and language discrimination

Do not bring race and language to be one of your requirements. But if it is necessary, provide a valid reason for applicants.

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4. Disability discrimination 

Welcome all applicants by not stating any disabilities, unless some physical activity is necessary; ensure to provide a reason.

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5. Religious discrimination

Do not use religion in your requirements, unless the role is specific to religion for a religious need. For example, a Christian baptism.

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All the tips provided should help draft a better non-discriminatory job advertisement. It is advisable to re-check and cross-check with the hiring team a job advertisement before posting. Drafting a non-discriminatory job advertisement would attract the right candidate and send a strong signal to society that your company is responsible and fair.

About Huneety 

Huneety is Southeast Asia Talent sourcing platform connecting talents to opportunities. We help organizations navigate talent shortages by creating new talent pools of qualified applicants. With Huneety you can quickly find, assess, and select the right talents according to your unique skills, behaviors, and cultural fit requirements.