Attracting people to jobs isn’t always easy, especially when traditional marketing tends to use stereotypical models that can be unappealing to great talent. Inclusivity is becoming more and more important for society, with more acceptance of religions, races, beliefs and values. And, with bigger strides being taken towards equality for all, it’s important that your recruitment marketing campaigns reflect this, especially if you’re searching for fresh new talent.
In fact, inclusivity in marketing has already shown promising growth, with big brands like Dove, Coca Cola and Mars, all including the typically underrepresented in their campaigns in recent years. Doing so can have a range of benefits — from helping individuals to feel valued and accepted, to widening the appeal for a businesses’ products and services. So, if you’re looking for great candidates for your job vacancies, you’ll want to ensure you’re thinking inclusively. Here, I will be sharing my tips for how you can do this.
Examine the tone of job descriptions
One of the easiest ways to avoid stereotyping is to take a look at the tone of voice the brand or company you’re recruiting for is using, and note if there are any changes that could be made to make it appeal to a more diverse range of people. The way the company or brand comes across, whether that’s upfront and to-the-point or light-hearted and fun, can define who applies.
A brand’s voice can be made inclusive by balancing the severity of their tone. For example, having an in-depth description about the importance of the work and qualifications needed, as well as a section sharing great perks and fun social events, can make the workplace seem more appealing and desirable to a range of personality types.
Use gender-neutral language
When you’re a recruiter, it’s not about generating the largest pool of potential candidates, but also ensuring that these are all determined and well-suited to the job. And, using gender-coded words is a sure way to limit your chances of finding great talent within another gender. This was discovered by a commonly-referred to study of gendered language that revealed that when job adverts include more masculine words than feminine ones, they attract a much larger pool of male candidates (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology).
For example, this could include gendered words like “competitive” and “dominate”, which can be associated with aggression and confrontation. These words can put women off from applying as they feel they won’t fit in with the company’s ethos. Similarly, phrases such as “work hard, play hard” can insinuate frequent afterhours socials and drinking, which can be a turn off to some women, and potential candidates who are parents.
You should also consider the pronouns being used within the job description, as any gendered ones can instantly eliminate great talent from the opposite sex from applying. Instead, using second person pronoun ‘you’ will directly speak to the reader, regardless of their sex, gender, age or other categories they may fall into. All of this should be taken into consideration when writing the job description, the title and any advertising posts you use to draw attention to the vacancy.
Use your marketing as an awareness campaign
Storytelling is an efficient way to get people engaged with a brand, as it humanises the company and can help others to become inspired or relate. Your story can be anything as long as it is true and fits in with the brand’s past, current or future decisions. This could range from how the business grew from the ground up, to the hardships that the founder faced or inner struggles they’ve overcome. Sharing stories that others can relate to can spur them on to apply and be part of a strong brand missions and values.
Alternatively, including case studies or testimonials from people who have used or benefitted from using the company’s products or services can attract a more diverse pool of people who want to be involved with the change. These can then be shared to social media platforms or onto job sites through recruitment software that can help to track applicants and ensure you stay compliant every step of the way.
Highlight company values and inclusive offerings
When the companies and brands you’re creating marketing campaigns for already communicate inclusivity, it’s important that you highlight them at every opportunity. For example, if the company donates a proportion of their profits to an LGBTQ charity, making sure that this is at the forefront of your social and marketing posts will be key for attracting diverse talent for other companies.
Even if the companies don’t currently have any inclusive offerings, sharing any future plans or great company values that they have is sure to target a whole range of different people.
Counter stereotypes in your marketing campaigns
Using stereotypes or failing to represent numerous types of people across your marketing campaigns is a sure way to attract a limited set of people. So, to get the greatest results for the companies or brands you’re recruiting for, you’ll need to think broader.
There are plenty of big brands you can take inspiration from. For example, Dove have long been using a range of women of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities for their body lotion advertisements, while Gillette have started to include transsexual men on their razor advertisements. So, when managing brands marketing campaigns, it’ll be a good idea to look at their previous ones and seeing who they wouldn’t have appealed to. You can then begin making broader moves towards inclusivity.
These don’t necessarily have to be anything huge. Simply adding imagery of women as well as men on job advertisement posts can make the jobs appeal to both sexes.
Finding the best talent for your clients will be incredibly important, so make sure you’re incorporating inclusivity into your marketing campaigns to ensure you can do just that. Follow my top five tips and you’ll soon be generating a more diverse pool of potential candidates.