Have you ever wondered whether your job postings could be more effective? Many hiring managers prefer to select from an applicant pool that is as broad as possible, to find someone great for an open position. The AmeriFlux DEI committee has compiled best practices and tips to craft an effective job ad, to prevent potential applicants from screening themselves out and to provide enough information to attract a wide group of people.

For many of us, hiring is a constant source of frustrationlearning. If you are looking for jobs, the job description is often confusing, or lacks important details, or accidentally discourages you applying for a job that might be great. If you are hiring, the application process can be a black box, and you know there are great people out there, but how do you get them to apply, so you can hire them? In 2023, the AmeriFlux DEI committee developed and ran a poll on Twitter (now X) to gauge what makes a job posting attractive or less attractive. Very common issues that we heard from the community were

  • skills listed as required are highly specific (when in reality there might be wiggle room or opportunities to train on the job)
  • it’s not clear whether foreigners can apply/could have a visa sponsored
  • practical topics like compensation, telework, benefits are not addressed
  • unconscious bias can creep into postings, for example by using certain pronouns, or emphasizing parts of the job that are commonly ascribed to a specific demographic (see this blog post with many examples)

Our new Resource for Effective and Inclusive Job Ads is a 1-page guide that focuses on two things: What information should be included to make a job ad most insightful? And: What are some common pitfalls that lead to applicants ‘screening themselves out’? Everything can be tailored to your position and the institutional needs, except we explicitly recommend including “Please apply, even if you think you do not meet all requirements”. This is an unwritten rule in almost all cases, so spelling it out can level the playing field.

Besides insights from our very own community, the committee poured our shared experience about hiring and being hired, lessons learned about DEI and institutional guides and hiring best practices into this resource. If your institution does not prescribe a specific format, you are welcome to use this editable template, to make this whole thing look good! Including a photo or cool data visualization can be a way to catch attention on social media.

Lastly, writing the job ad is obviously one of many steps in hiring. Your home institution might have advice or pointers on anything from reviewing applications, interviewing candidates, preparing offers, and onboarding new team members. If you are looking for more, Searching for Excellence & Diversity, by Eve Fine and Jo Handelsman goes over every step in the hiring process (focused on academic jobs), with practical and evidence-based tips. It’s a great place to start revamping your hiring.

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