The Powerful Way HubSpot Lets Candidates Know It’s Inclusive

December 15, 2020

Photo of woman wearing HubSpot sweatshirt

If you want to get a more diverse field of applicants, you need to put some care and thought into creating more inclusive job postings. They are your company’s virtual front door, particularly at a time when your actual front door may be sealed shut. And done right, a job posting can be a welcoming invitation to “Come on in.”

Most of the advice for writing inclusive job postings comes in the form of “Thou shall not’s” — a list of things to avoid. Watch out for gender-coded language. Beware of jargon. Remove the call for bachelor’s degrees. Don’t include too many other requirements.

All worthy suggestions, but employer brand teams may also want to know what they should do — especially if they’re trying to attract a more diverse field of applicants. We’ve got a suggestion. Read the paragraph that HubSpot added to its job postings and be inspired:

“Confidence can sometimes hold us back from applying for a job. But we’ll let you in on a secret: there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ candidate. HubSpot is a place where everyone can grow. So however you identify and whatever background you bring with you, please apply if this is a role that would make you excited to come into work every day.”

They’re only four sentences but they bristle with empathy, encouragement, and inclusivity.

And they are the product of a career website redesign HubSpot did in 2018. “A core focus of that redesign,” says Hannah Fleishman, the senior manager of employer brand at Hubspot, “was to make the entire website experience inclusive.”

As part of that redesign, the team at HubSpot reviewed dozens of peer websites, looking for ways other companies were signaling that they valued inclusivity. They stumbled onto this memorable line on the careers site of B12, a website-building company in New York: “Please apply anyway: there’s a good chance you’re more wonderful than you think you are.”

“We all saw that and said, ‘This is so cool,’” Hannah recalls. “This immediately makes you feel so empowered to apply for the job.”

Inspired, Hannah and her team took a turn copywriting and crafted their own invitation to apply.

“I don’t think you can emphasize enough how important it is to put yourself in the candidate’s shoes,” Hannah says. “Look at your own career website as a secret shopper and ask, ‘What would make me feel extra excited about working here — and what would have the opposite effect.’”

The HubSpot team seems to have hit just the note it was looking for. Hannah says that her team regularly receives emails from candidates who want to share how moved they were by that small bit of copy in the HubSpot job descriptions.

“It’s just a good reminder,” Hannah says, “of how little things can have a big impact.”

*Photo from HubSpot Life

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