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Prospective applicants typically compare multiple job postings in one search to determine whether a position is a good fit for them in less than 90 seconds on average. (according to Rework America Alliance). 

Writing inclusive skill-based job descriptions is important for several reasons:

1. Encouraging diversity and inclusion: Inclusive job descriptions help attract a wider pool of candidates from diverse backgrounds. By clearly articulating the required skills and qualifications without using biased language or exclusive terms, you create a more welcoming environment for candidates from different genders, ethnicities, abilities, and backgrounds. This promotes diversity and inclusion within your organization.

2. Tapping into a broader talent pool: Traditional job descriptions often use language that unconsciously caters to a specific demographic, which may exclude qualified candidates from underrepresented groups. By using inclusive language and focusing on skills rather than assuming certain qualifications or experiences, you open up opportunities for individuals who might otherwise be discouraged from applying. This widens your talent pool and allows you to tap into a more diverse range of skills and perspectives.

3. Reducing bias and discrimination: Biased language in job descriptions can perpetuate unconscious biases and reinforce stereotypes. It may discourage qualified individuals who don't see themselves fitting the mold described in the job posting. By focusing on skills, qualifications, and competencies, rather than making assumptions about a candidate's background, you reduce the potential for discrimination and create a more equitable hiring process.

4. Improving candidate evaluation: Skill-based job descriptions provide a clear framework for evaluating candidates objectively. When the focus is on the specific skills and qualifications needed to perform the job successfully, hiring managers can better assess candidates based on their abilities and potential rather than subjective criteria. This ensures a fair evaluation process and increases the likelihood of hiring the most qualified individuals.

5. Enhancing employer brand and reputation: Organizations that prioritize inclusivity and diversity tend to have a more positive employer brand. By using inclusive job descriptions, you signal to potential candidates and the wider community that your organization values diversity and actively works to create an inclusive environment. This can attract top talent, improve employee engagement, and enhance your reputation as an employer of choice.

In summary, writing inclusive skill-based job descriptions is crucial for promoting diversity, reducing bias, widening the talent pool, improving evaluation processes, and enhancing your organization's reputation. It contributes to a more inclusive and equitable hiring process, ultimately leading to a stronger and more diverse workforce.

Using ChatGPT to write job descriptions can be a helpful tool to streamline the process and ensure that the descriptions are well-crafted and effective. Here's a step-by-step guide on how and why to use ChatGPT for this purpose:

Understand the purpose: Job descriptions serve as a crucial communication tool between employers and potential candidates. They should accurately convey the job requirements, responsibilities, and qualifications needed for a specific role. Well-written job descriptions can attract qualified candidates and set clear expectations.

Gather information: Before using ChatGPT, collect all the relevant information about the job position. This includes the job title, department, reporting structure, key responsibilities, qualifications, skills required, and any other important details. Having a comprehensive understanding of the role will help you provide specific instructions to ChatGPT.

Start the conversation: Engage with ChatGPT by explaining the purpose of your interaction. For example, you could say, "I need assistance in crafting a job description for a software engineer position."

Provide necessary details: Share the information you gathered about the role with ChatGPT. Clearly outline the responsibilities, qualifications, and other essential criteria. Be specific and provide examples whenever possible to guide ChatGPT in generating accurate and detailed descriptions.

Refine the output: ChatGPT will generate a response based on the information provided. Review the output and make necessary modifications to align it with your organization's branding and tone. You may need to paraphrase or restructure sentences for clarity or add specific details that were missed.

Check for inclusivity and bias: Ensure that the job description is inclusive and avoids any bias. Review the language used and remove any gender, racial, or other biases. Focus on the skills, qualifications, and experience necessary for the role rather than using language that might deter certain demographics.

Customize for your organization: Tailor the job description to reflect your company's culture, values, and specific needs. Add information about your organization's mission, vision, and any unique aspects that make it an attractive place to work.

Review and finalize: Before publishing or sharing the job description, have it reviewed by relevant stakeholders such as hiring managers or HR professionals. They can provide additional insights, identify any errors, and ensure the description accurately represents the role.

Why use ChatGPT for writing job descriptions?

Time-saving: ChatGPT can significantly reduce the time spent on crafting job descriptions. Instead of starting from scratch, you can use ChatGPT to generate a draft and then customize it as needed.

Language expertise: ChatGPT has been trained on vast amounts of text and can provide well-articulated descriptions using proper grammar and vocabulary. It can help you find the right words to attract candidates and accurately convey the role.

Consistency: Using ChatGPT ensures consistency in the format and structure of job descriptions across different positions within your organization. This creates a unified experience for candidates and helps in brand positioning.

Guidance and creativity: ChatGPT can offer suggestions and ideas you may not have considered, helping you create more engaging and effective job descriptions. It can assist in finding unique selling points for the role and make it more appealing to potential candidates.

Remember, while ChatGPT can provide valuable assistance, it's important to review and customize the generated content to ensure it aligns with your organization's specific needs, values, and culture.

Finding subtle bias in job ads

Without realizing it, we all use language that is subtly ‘gender-coded’. Society has certain expectations of what men and women are like, and how they differ, and this seeps into the language we use. Think about “bossy” and “feisty”: we almost never use these words to describe men.

This linguistic gender coding shows up in job adverts as well, and research has shown that it puts women off applying for jobs that are advertised with masculine-coded language.*

This site is a quick way to check whether a job advert has the kind of subtle linguistic gender coding that has this discouraging effect. Find out more about how this works.

Tips for Getting Started (Provided by Rework American Alliance.)

1. Identify a shortlist of priority jobs. Start with 1-3 jobs that you expect to hire for in the next year and where you’ve had a hard time recruiting a diverse applicant pool.

2. Work with managers to identify skills required for the job. What skills do new hires need to have in order to succeed in the role? Include both technical or industry-specific skills and softer skills like communication and teamwork.

3. Distinguish between required and preferred skills. Which skills are most important to succeed in the job? Which skills does a new hire need to have on day one? Rank the skills in order of importance (low/medium/high). Then, divide them into skills that the candidate must have on day one and ones that can be taught on the job. Important skills that a candidate must have on day one are required skills. The rest are preferred. Embed descriptions of each competency in your job post. Use clear, plain language that avoids industry jargon.

4. Remove credential requirements where possible. Credentials and time-based experience requirements (e.g., 4 years sales experience) dissuade applicants, especially female candidates who are less likely to apply if they don’t check all the boxes. Consider what skill(s) you are equating the credential to, and ask if those can be acquired without earning a credential. If they can, work with managers to remove the credential and replace it with the specific skills needed for the position.

5. Check your job description for bias and clarity. Copy your job description into the free gender decoder tool to identify gendered words and alternatives. Research shows that masculine words like “ninja, rockstar, or decisive” act as a deterrent for female candidates. Check for gendered pronouns (e.g., salesperson not salesman). You can also share your job description with a diverse set of employees or peers for feedback as a final check.

6. Include an inclusivity statement. Even a basic statement saying “We are an equal opportunity employer” can reassure candidates and signal a commitment to diversity. Some companies offer longer and more explicit statements. Here’s an example from IBM: “IBM is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.” You can find other examples from leading employers here. Be sure to run any customized statements past a lawyer to ensure compliance with EEOC regulations.

7. Collect feedback from candidates and new hires to inform further revision.

8. Make it easy for candidates to apply, and keep them engaged through the process. Keep applications simple and any pre-screen assessments brief (5-10 minutes). Give candidates the option to share their skills as part of the application. Where possible, leverage technology to make skill and job suggestions to help candidates highlight their skills and identify positions they may be qualified for. Keep candidates informed of their status via email or SMS. STEPS TO GET STARTED (continued):

9. Consider adding an optional, anonymous demographic survey. An optional survey can provide aggregated data to help track the effectiveness of your diversity initiatives, identify potential barriers, and ensure you have sufficient diversity across key dimensions before moving to the next phase of the hiring process. You should not ask for demographic information as part of the application, are prohibited from asking about disabilities, and should never try to infer demographic information from applications. Instead, consider sending an optional follow-up demographic survey for applicants to complete anonymously. Clearly state that responses are only used in the aggregate to help the organization improve its efforts to recruit a talented, diverse workforce. To further reassure applicants, consider sending the survey after hiring decisions have been made, for a retrospective analysis, or using a third-party vendor if you need the information before a hiring decision is made.

Business Case

Inclusive job descriptions increase diversity and improve applicant quality.

  • 5x better hiring: Research shows that hiring for skills is 5x more predictive of job performance than hiring for education and 2.5x more predictive than hiring for work experience.
  • 42% more responses: Job descriptions that use gender-neutral language lead to 42% more responses and a two-week faster hiring time than those that use masculine language (e.g., assertive, dominant, competitive).
  • Increased equity: Women tend to apply to jobs only when they meet 100% of the job requirements, while men will apply if they meet 60%. Similar gaps exist for candidates of color.
  • 2.5x more engagement: Workers who strongly agree that the job description was a good reflection of their job are 2.5x more likely to be engaged as an employee.


  • Free tools like the Skillful Job Posting Generator, Skills Engine, and O*Net offer lists of skills mapped to job titles.
  • Instead of specifying the exact software used at the company (e.g., Taleo), list the type of software (e.g., Applicant Tracking System). Also, each job description should have at most 10 skills. Too many skills can turn off applicants and de-emphasize the skills you need most.

Additional resources and trainings available at Rework America Alliance

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