“Hire people based on skills and competencies, never gender. Recruiters need to be aware of unconscious bias – subconscious processes that affect our decision-making.” There are four areas in recruitment you can practice gender-neutral recruitment, according to Beth.
1. “Write job ads in an unbiased way. For jobs where we offer flexible work arrangements, we need this to be really clear so that women who have young families are more likely to apply.”
2. “Practice ‘blind recruitment’ where we mask a candidate’s name, age, and gender when assessing their applications and hire based on the candidate’s skills and competencies.”
3. “Use objective-type assessments and score cards to determine whether a candidate is qualified or not.”
4. “Conduct a job evaluation by looking at the rankings and hierarchy of jobs within your organization.”
When it comes to de-biasing language in job ads, a report from Recruit Smarter highlights studies that show how the language used to recruit can influence whether the role will appeal to men or women, affecting the gender split of applicants. Certain language can even deter women from applying for certain roles by inferring that the job is male dominated, and vice-versa.