Inclusion Statement in Job Postings: What are they and should you use one?

Inclusion Statements are a couple of sentences or a paragraph in a job posting that signal to applicants the company’s values.

The inclusion statement has evolved from a ‘legalese’ EEOC statement to employers specifically addressing members of minority groups, the barriers they may face in the application process, and inviting those groups to apply.

Why have employers started to include this statement?

There are many reasons an employer may choose to have an inclusion statement on their career page or job ad. Below are a few to consider:

If You’re a Federal Contractor, an EEO statement is required:

Workday has a great article about EEO statements if you want to dive deep, but essentially if you’re a federal contractor or subcontractor, you need to include the statement: “[Company name] is an equal opportunity employer” in every job ad along with a statement of non-discrimination practices.

Beyond EEO: Companies want to Diversify the candidate pool

In recent years recruiters and HR departments have been following research on diversity and inclusion in organizations. Many organizations have recognized that their applicant pool lacks diversity, and this contributes to the organization having a homogenous population. Signaling the company is committed to diversity and inclusion may help encourage people from less represented groups to apply.

Inclusion statements also encourage great candidates to apply, even if they’re not 100% qualified

One of the most common pieces of hiring advice out there is: “Hire for potential,” meaning potential is a far greater indicator of success than years of experience or meeting all the skills checklists.

There’s evidence to suggest that women tend to apply to jobs that they feel they are fully qualified for. On the other hand, men are more likely to apply for jobs that are a stretch for their experience and skills. To counter this, some employers call this out directly and encourage candidates to apply even if they don’t meet all the requirements.

Example Inclusion Statements

Insitu, an aerospace company in the Columbia Gorge frequently contracts with the government. Here is their EEOC statement:

Equal Employment Opportunity: Insitu’s policy on equal employment opportunity prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or veteran status. This policy applies to recruiting, hiring, transfers, promotions, terminations, compensation and benefits and also states that retaliation against any employee who files a complaint regarding possible violations of this policy will not be tolerated. All information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Moving beyond the EEOC statement into inclusion statements, we especially like what we’ve seen on MCEDD job postings:

Studies have shown that women and people of color may be less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet every one of the qualifications listed. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job. We would encourage you to apply for a job at MCEDD even if you don’t meet every one of our qualifications listed.

Another Inclusion statement we love from included.ai:

We know that confidence-gap and imposter syndrome can get in the way of meeting spectacular candidates, so please don’t hesitate to apply — we’d love to hear from you.

What we love about MCEDD and Included’s statements: they are a kind extension of welcome to candidates who ASPIRE to fill your job. In our personal experience, this statement does help persuade hesitant applicants and boost the diversity of the candidate pool.

And a final example, Mt Hood Meadows has a broad inclusion statement that ties into their employer branding:

At Mt. Hood Meadows and Cooper Spur Mtn. Resort our mission is enriching the lives of our team, guests, and community. We believe this is a place where feeling a sense of belonging, rocking the team and guest experience, and exceeding expectations leads to your life being enriched. We welcome all to their mountain home.

Also Inclusive: Posting the Wage

More and more, individuals in the workforce are looking for authenticity and for employers to be transparent and upfront with them. Here at Gorge Hired, we have heard from job seekers loud and clear that posting the wage range for the job is also a key motivator for considering a job. Pay transparency in job postings sends a powerful message about your organization’s commitment to reducing the pay gap.

Do Inclusion Statements Work?

One study, conducted by datapeople.io, found that having an inclusion statement is better than no statement. “The presence of a diversity statement significantly increased perceived inclusiveness among participants. In other words, just having it there made the company appear more inclusive,” in other words, it doesn’t hurt.

Another study conducted by HBR back in 2016 found that pro-diversity statements encourage non-white applicants to “let their guard down and disclose more racial information.” The study found that these resumes that indicate to the employer that the applicant is not white get fewer call backs than the whitened versions. So, unfortunately, the diversity statements backfired.

The takeaway for employers is that if you use an inclusion statement, be sure to scrub your hiring practices for biases – ensure your hiring team, including managers, supervisors, and leadership are checking their biases and considering non-white applicants.

In other words, back up your words with actions.

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