Got Job Vacancies? Here’s What Not To Include In Your Job Ad

When vacancies arise in your workplace, you need to get them filled as quickly as possible so that the effect on productivity is as minimal as possible.

Whatever the type of role you are going to be advertising and whatever the type of company you are, you might have a particular type of person in mind who would be the ideal fit for filling that vacancy. And you could be thinking of creating your job advert so that it targets those types of people and you receive relevant applications.

Of course, this is the right way to go about creating your job adverts. A flimsy job advert that doesn’t make its point can create a headache. The last thing you need is a stream of applications from applicants who are completely unsuitable for your role. This wastes both your time and your applicants’ time, too.

A past article has offered lots of tips about how to write the perfect job ad. These are all tips that try to avoid the headache of sifting through reams of application forms. In summary, when creating your job adverts for filling your vacancies, it is a good idea to:

  • Come up with a clear job title that also includes the role’s location.
  • Be clear and to the point with the wording of your whole job advert.
  • Make sure the job advert flows naturally.
  • Make sure you sell your company to he candidate. Job adverts can be good company branding.
  • Expand on your job headline. Make sure the candidate knows the exact duties.
  • Tell the candidates exactly who you are looking for. Are you looking for qualifications, experience, entry level candidates, any other particular skills?
  • Give an idea as to the wage or salary the successful candidate or candidates will be eligible for, along with any other perks offered by the company.
  • Add a call to action. Direct your candidates to apply for your role.
  • Proofread your job ad before posting.

Knowing what to include in your job advert is important but what is also extremely important is knowing what not to include.

What Not to Include When Writing Your Job Adverts

In trying to choose words and phrases that will attract that ideal candidate for your role, you could inadvertently land yourself in hot water. You need to be careful that, whether directly or indirectly, you don’t choose a word or phrase that discriminates against certain candidates.

As with many areas of law, there are always grey areas in situations like this but this article aims to give you some ideas on phrases that are best avoided when writing your job ads.

Eliminating discrimination in the workplace has long been on the agenda an as an employer, you no doubt have policies in place and accessibility within your company that prevent discrimination. It is a subject, however, that isn’t written about too often when it comes to the start of the recruitment process. If you are not careful, discrimination can begin right with that initial job advert. As well as for filling vacancies, job adverts are also a chance to brand your company. Make sure you present your company in a positive light rather than branding yourself as the company who found themselves in trouble for using discriminatory language.

Your common sense will tell you the areas where you could inadvertently stray into the world of discriminatory language in your job adverts. Age, gender, religion, race, disability.

These are all the areas discussed in our recent article about keeping it legal when asking interview questions. In some cases, it’s not so much a case of avoiding questions altogether but rather, being careful as to how you word those questions to get the information you are looking for.

It can be similar with your job adverts. Let’s take a look:

How To Avoid Age Discrimination

You are no doubt already aware that you shouldn’t be specifying a particular age for someone to work in your company. Obviously, there are exceptions to this if the nature of your businesses requires a minimum age by law. Serving alcohol, for example.

But, if you are just looking to get a bit of diversity in your workplace and you feel as though you need more young people around the office or work space, your job advert should not be specifying the fact that you are looking for ‘young’ or ‘youthful’ people.

Likewise, if you are looking to add someone to your team who has a wealth of experience – someone who can perhaps guide your younger team members – don’t specify a number of years required experience.

This can also be deemed as age discrimination because you have taken away the opportunity for younger people to apply if you stipulate a number such as ‘5-10 years experience.’ You can also be deemed to have assumed that someone who is older, with more experience, is going to be better at their job than a younger person who hasn’t got quite as much experience.

Focus on the skills and/or qualifications of the applicant rather than their age and number of years of experience.

You can read more about updates to the advice and guidance for employers with regards to age discrimination, here.

How To Avoid Gender Discrimination

When you are writing your job advert, stay away from specifying any type of gender preferences for your role. Again, you might be an employer that works in a traditionally male-dominated industry and you would like to encourage more diversity in your workplace when it comes to gender.

Whilst diversity can be beneficial in your workplace and whilst you might be a great supporter of it, refrain from going down the route of mentioning which gender you would like to apply for your roles. This can be treated as gender discrimination.

For some roles, there is obviously a requirement for particular genders to work in certain roles – prison services and certain medical or healthcare services, for example. For all other roles, however, the job title and the description should not mention gender preferences. Headmaster, head mistress, waitress, salesman and any other job titles that relate to gender should not be used.

You should also stay away from any language that mentions someone’s marital status. Even if you think your role might be ideally suited to a single person, if you mention the word ‘single,’ you are discriminating against those in any kind of committed relationship.

How To Avoid Racial Or Religious Discrimination

There are certain situations, within particular roles or professions, where people of a certain race or religion are actively recruited so that they have a representation in that field.

This is especially the case in community roles, for example, where people from particular backgrounds need to be recruited so that they can communicate with the local community and that local community can feel they are represented and understood.

However, when writing your job advert for the vast majority of roles, reference to race and religion should not be included.

If you need to recruit a member of staff who can speak a foreign language such as French, you can state that you are looking for someone with a good command of the French language. Stating that you are looking for a French person, however, is not okay.

Again, it could be a case that you are really keen to have a team of staff in your workplace that is a diverse as the population in the local community you are operating in. Whilst it is perfectly legal for you to check that a person is eligible to work in the UK, showing a preference for people of a particular race or religion in your job ad is not okay.

How To Avoid Disability Discrimination

You have an accessible workplace and have made specific alterations for staff members with particular disabilities so that they can carry out their role effectively. You have made sure that your interview location is accessible to people with disabilities. But is your job advert written in such a way that you could be deemed to be discriminating against people with disabilities?

Unless there is a very clear job reason, you should never say in your job advert that the role you are advertising is unsuitable for a person with disabilities.

Be An Inclusive Workplace

So, not only is it important to get your job ad right by including all the information you need to so that you get the ideal candidate you also need to get your job ad right by not including certain language.

Before you post your next job ad to fill your current vacancies, make sure it ticks all the boxes in being clear and concise whilst also not discriminating against anyone. State in your job advert that you are committed to inclusivity and equal opportunities and you should be attracting quality applications from people from all walks of life.