Are you discouraging candidates?

We are in a candidate market. People looking for organizational cultures that prioritize diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging are in the driver’s seat. Successful cultures are set by leadership and sustained by a diverse workforce. If your organization hopes to compete for top talent in your industry, it’s crucial to invest in changes that attract and retain valuable candidates. Here are two things in your recruiting process that discourage candidates and a few things to keep in mind:

Gendered Language

  • Minor linguistic decisions can impact who feels welcome to apply. Unconsciously, job titles, requirements, and word choice can skew towards attracting or alienating one gender over another. Without intending to, gendered job descriptions affect job appeal for certain candidates while signaling to a candidate whether they’d “belong” in your organization.
  • Review the existing job descriptions for roles posted on your career sites for any subtle ‘gender-coding.’ CTE uses free tools like Gender Decoder and Total Jobs Gender Bias Decoder that can help you review job descriptions for inclusive and compelling language


Employment Brand

  • An organization’s brand has significant implications for hiring and retaining employees. When people think about your company, what comes to mind? Are those images and associations positive or negative? Will candidates be eager to work for your company or be turned off?
  • Identify what makes you different from other employers, both within and outside your industry. Have you reviewed how your company is viewed as an employer in the marketplace lately? What are former, present, and future employees saying about you? Are they saying anything at all?
  • Conduct employee engagement surveys. Review exit interviews and onboarding feedback surveys to find out what is keeping employees at your company and what’s driving them away.
  • Examine your current career site and “About Us” pages. Ensure that it speaks to your brand and the types of employees you are searching for.


How diverse is your leadership team and what will that signal to candidates about their executive aspirations?

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