In my post from a couple weeks ago, What happens after Blackout Tuesday, I encouraged business owners to “make a plan to adopt more inclusive and equitable hiring practices,” among other things. There’s a lot that can be done on that one point alone, and I wanted to share one.
Just this week, I was presented with the opportunity (actually, I more or less demanded the opportunity) to write an announcement that one of my clients was hiring. They want to encourage black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) to apply, but didn’t know how to actually make that happen.
So how do you write an announcement or a job description that truly encourages BIPOC to apply? I don’t know, actually. But I gave it a shot. And there are two very important things that I made sure I included:
The “encouraged to apply” statement
I don’t know about you, but the usual “Women, people of color, and individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply” statement makes me think that the employer only included it because they felt like they had to to cover their butts, legally.
Thanks to guidance from this article by Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, I wrote, “We believe that bad behavior on the part of businesses disproportionately hurts the most marginalized people in society, including people of color, people from working class backgrounds, women, and LGBTQ people. Because we believe that these communities must be centered in the work we do, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other marginalized communities.”
In other words, say why you’re encouraging them to apply. (And, you know, mean it.)
You know how fancy restaurants often don’t have prices listed? And the old saying that if you have to ask, you can’t afford it? Well, not including salary info in a job announcement is kind of like that.
The excellent nonprofit blog, Nonprofit AF, has covered this before and it’s probably my all-time favorite post. I won’t copy and paste the whole thing (though I’d like to—go read it!), but I will pick out a few key points author Vu Le makes.
When you include a salary range in your job announcement, you…
Respect their time (and your own). How do you know if you can afford to eat at this restaurant if the prices aren’t listed? How do your candidates know if they can even maintain their lifestyle if they don’t how much they can make doing a job? And if they have to wait until the end of the interview (or even later) to find out, whoo boy; what an investment of time and effort.
Acknowledge that people need money to support themselves and their families. Otherwise, they could get an internship or volunteer.
Level the playing field for women and BIPOC by giving them the intel to negotiate if they need or want to. In general, women and BIPOC are less likely to negotiate aggressively (or at all) and, without knowing a salary range, would be going into the negotiation blind.
Sure, what you’re going to pay someone might “depend on experience,” but you’re only going to pay someone within a certain range, aren’t you? Share it, and, when extending an offer to a candidate, be prepared to justify why your offer landed where it did.
(While this is critical for jobs with nonprofit organizations, I think it’s a good practice for all sectors.)
Adding these two things to your job announcements won’t suddenly get you an influx of BIPOC candidates, but it’s an excellent start—especially when combined with other tips like the ones in Stinebrickner-Kauffman’s article.