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If you’ve been following our blog posts for any amount of time, you’ll know how much we at Workwolf advocate for equitable hiring. It’s the easiest way to make the biggest changes in workplace diversity and inclusion. But did you know that making your job applications can also improve your likelihood of finding the perfect candidate? After all, just because a candidate has the credentials you ask for in a job posting, that doesn’t mean they have the soft skills needed to succeed and thrive long-term in that position. In the same vein, candidates who do not have the credentials asked for in a job posting may very well be just as suited—if not even more well-suited—for the job at hand. You can start getting more applicants to your job postings by opening up the candidate pool to then narrow down candidates by necessary skills versus arbitrary credentials.

It’s time to tear down that “paper ceiling.

What Does It Mean to Make a Job Posting Equitable?

According to a recent LinkedIn survey, 19% of job postings based in the U.S. no longer require university degrees—a 4% increase in just the past two years. This change, as NBC reports here, may be because of a significant decrease in college/university enrolment and an increase in the employment market following the start of the pandemic.

While many students struggled to stay engaged when studying entirely online and many others even struggled to consequently pay for such studies, overall, the pandemic led to many young people entering the workplace instead of higher education institutions.

But this current generation is not the only group of people who are foregoing diplomas and degrees.

Many in lower-class families and lesser-privileged circumstances enter workplaces immediately after receiving their G.E.D. As such, when companies require post-secondary education for jobs that do not necessarily require them, they are inherently excluding an entire population of workers.

To make a job posting equitable, then, means removing any boundaries that might prevent certain populations from even applying. This includes unnecessary requirements for diplomas and degrees, experiences in unpaid positions such as volunteer positions or unpaid internships, and mandated returns to office settings when work could easily be done at home.

And as aforementioned, restricting candidate applications to only certain populations does not guarantee the candidates will succeed the position at hand.

Do both yourself and your candidates a favour and take these easy steps to making your job postings more equitable!

3 Easy Steps to Get More Applicants to Your Job Postings

While opening up your candidate pool might sound counterintuitive to many (especially if you regularly get TONS of applications), it is the crucial first step in making your job postings more equitable. Let’s start with the simplest ways to open up your job postings to more populations.

1. Remove university/college degree requirements where not necessary

As previously mentioned, post-secondary requirements are now becoming less and less mandatory in many job postings where it does not relate to the work. And even as this recent article from Vox shows, in many cases, unnecessary post-secondary credential requirements were only added to job postings to narrow down the number of applicants, especially during the recession.

So, let’s learn from the past and move onto a more forward-thinking workplace practice. Remove the need for university and college requirements in your job postings wherever it is not absolutely necessary.

2. Consider making the position online and async

As experts in their fields Bethany Goldson and Lance Robbins argue, remote and async jobs are some of the most worker-friendly positions because of the freedom they afford. Specifically, remote and async jobs are crucial for people who need to work from home or from a location far away from an organization’s office for many reasons.

Some who have disabilities or chronic illnesses may require work from home opportunities to survive. Others may be young parents or caretakers for family members and may not have the ability to leave a loved one at home alone. As well, especially in dense city centres and surrounding areas, such as the Greater Toronto Area, many may not be able to afford living close enough to commute to an office.

So, whenever work can be done remote and asynchronously, offer this suggestion in the job posting description.

3. Filter candidates by their soft skills

If you’re one of the many employers/recruiters who use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter candidates by keywords (i.e., a university degree, experience working with a specific tool), you may be missing out on countless candidates who are equally if not more suitable for the job at hand. This is because not everyone who has the potential to thrive in a given job will have the privilege or opportunities you’re filtering by.

And crucially, just because a candidate has experience and even a degree or diploma in a field, that does not mean they’re necessarily the best candidate.

As always, we at Workwolf suggest filtering candidates by soft skills over any hard skills that may be teachable. That way, you can also even further ensure that your employees are training specifically for the tasks and environment relevant to your available position(s).

As well, by ensuring your candidates all have the necessary soft skills for a given position, you’re ensuring your candidates are well-suited for a position based on their natural habits and personality traits. This way, they’ll find success in their position without compromising on their behaviour or personality, and will want to stick with their position long-term.

How Workwolf Can Help You Get More Applicants to Your Job Postings

While filtering candidates by soft skills rather than credentials is not necessarily a new concept, it’s still very uncommon. And typically, this is because many employers/recruiters think that making hiring decisions through an ATS or similar tool is easier than doing so by the former. But this is a misconception—and one that can really cost you.

To combat this very error that costs organizations billions in mis-hires, we at Workwolf created our very own soft skills assessment in partnership with experts in the field over at Self Management Group. Our assessment, Packfinder, uses psychometric profiling to determine a worker’s likelihood to succeed in certain fields of work over others.

And crucially, this survey, free for all job seekers to take online, can be paired with benchmarking tools so you can filter candidates by their soft skills rather than any identity markers. This way, you can guarantee your hiring is equitably accessible and approachable for all populations.

To learn more about Packfinder and how you can improve your candidate pools with the Workwolf platform, click here to book a one-on-one demo with an expert!


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