The Mentra Publication
JD Blueprint: How to structure Neuroinclusive Job Descriptions:
The majority (80%) of recruiters cite applicant quality as a challenge, emphasizing the need for accurate and inclusive job description content.
Job descriptions (JDs) serve as more than role lists; they are critical communication tools that if crafted poorly can overlook potential top talent, especially neurodivergent candidates.
Consistent, cognitively accessible JDs should be structured to provide clear insights into the role, company, and expectations, while also promoting inclusivity and transparency.
Essential JD writing practices include avoiding jargon, balancing gender representation in language, and emphasizing a growth mindset.
When it comes to job descriptions, the landscape tells an interesting story. As much as we'd love to trust our instincts about what sparks interest in our ideal candidate, a staggering 80% still cite applicant quality as a main stumbling block in their talent strategy. The data doesn’t lie- finding the right talent begins with sharing the right content. Especially when assessing what language truly attracts the talent you're looking for.
Writing a job description goes beyond listing roles; it's a way of communication that demands precision and
understanding and consistency. Without the right structure and language, we not only miscommunicate our message but risk overlooking exceptional candidates - a diverse spectrum of thinkers, doers, and innovators that can change the future with your company.
In a time when HR leaders are measured on the inclusion of the organization, consistent and cognitively accessible job descriptions are not just an HR best practice – they're the cornerstone of talent acquisition. As we chart the path forward, let's remind ourselves that our words have the power to shape opportunities and attract the right talent.
Your job description (JD) is the first impression that potential candidates get of your company culture and the role itself. Poorly framed JDs have inadvertently alienated a whole subset of neurodivergent candidates, leading to a loss of top talent. To attract a diverse and qualified talent pool, it's crucial to consider the structure and content of your job postings to ensure cognitive accessibility.
1 Job Title:
While classification may be evident from the given JD, some descriptions also provide a job grade or level (e.g., "Junior Analyst" vs. "Senior Analyst").
2 Position Details:
Location: Where is the job based? Is remote work allowed?
Term of Contract: Is the position permanent, temporary, contract-based, or part-time?
Team/Department: This provides context on where the role fits within the organization.
Salary Range: Not all JDs include this, but some might provide a salary range, hourly wage, or mention that
the salary is negotiable. Including compensation promotes transparency, reduces wage disparities, and helps candidates of all backgrounds make informed decisions about whether to apply for the position.
Reports To (optional): This can help applicants understand the reporting structure and who they would answer to.
3 Company Overview:
Provides a snapshot of the company, including its mission, services, and scale. It aims to attract applicants who align with the company's goals. Delineating the essence of your company in a concise manner isn't just about drawing in potential candidates—it's about connecting with those who resonate with your mission and who will champion your company’s impact.
Mentra is on a mission to empower 1.2 billion neurodivergents to find fulfilling careers. We believe that diversity drives innovation, and our mission is to break down barriers to create a more neuroinclusive world. If you have experience with a high-growth startup backed by Sam Altman and want to be part of scaling the next LinkedIn for the neurodiverse, we'd love for you to apply.
4 Job Overview:
Summarizes the role being offered, outlining the main duties. By presenting a clear picture of the role, you not only streamline the application process but also ensure that candidates align with your specific needs right from the outset.
Example: We're searching for a Sustainability Analyst who is committed to environmental conservation and is keen to leverage data to make real-world impact. This role will work closely with our Product and Operations teams to ensure our sustainability goals are met
5 Key Responsibilities:
Opting for this title over the traditional "Responsibilities" shifts the emphasis. The term "Responsibilities" often implies a potentially daunting weight and leaves room for confusion about shared tasks versus sole ownership. By using "How You'll Make an Impact," we're not just enumerating duties; we're highlighting the broader outcome and purpose behind the tasks of this role.
Example: Conduct sustainability audits and provide actionable insights for product development and operational efficiencies. Partner with vendors to ensure a sustainable supply chain. Track and report sustainability metrics to influence company-wide decisions. Create educational materials to improve sustainability awareness among employees and customers.
6 Key Competencies:
(rather than "Requirements"): Lists essential and desirable skills, knowledge, and traits needed for the job. This shifts the focus to the actual competencies that would make one successful in the role. By demarcating must-haves and nice to have competencies, you are enabling candidates to self-assess, ensuring the applications you receive are from genuinely interested and qualified individuals.
Must Haves: Project work or educational background in Environmental Science or related field, strong analytical and data interpretation skills, effective communication skills.
Nice to Haves: Experience in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), familiarity with regulatory guidelines in the sustainability space.
Question what skills you list as “must haves”
Often, folks can be trained, coached, taught, or upskilled in professional settings if they are teachable and coachable. For example, maybe you have an applicant who is an expert in Python but not in lesser-known programming languages your organization uses. Clearly, they are capable of learning programming languages, they simply don’t have the “must-have” skill you seek. Consider if the skill is something candidates can learn on the job. If so, move it from “must have” to “nice to have”.
Many neurodivergent professionals have specific environmental needs or accommodations in place to put themselves in the best possible place for success. If you allow employees to work from home, what expectations do you have about their visual background? Or dress code? Or what hours of the day they must be available online?
Explicitly listing physical competencies or environmental conditions not only meets compliance standards but also ensures that potential hires are aware of the physical demands, leading to better job-candidate fit.
Example: Comfortable visiting and auditing manufacturing facilities. Ability to carry up to 20 pounds of audit equipment. Work in an environment with small private office noise and light levels can be controlled.
By explicitly stating your commitment to inclusivity, you extend a welcoming hand to all candidates, ensuring they feel valued and understood, and further indicating a clear action item to request support needs. Rather than mentioning terms like “special needs or requests,” bake accessibility into the existing process. Specifically mention any accommodations made for candidates with support needs.
Example: At [Company], we foster an inclusive environment by actively recruiting a diverse workforce, hosting regular diversity and inclusion workshops, and creating affinity groups where employees from various backgrounds can connect and share their experiences.Should you need any accommodations during the hiring process or employment, don’t hesitate to reach out to email@example.com with your request.
8 Benefits and Perks:
Details the compensation package, work-life balance, and other perks that come with the job. Transparently highlighting the perks and benefits not only attracts candidates but sets the stage for trust and openness.
Example: Reasons To Consider Us
Full-time, W-2, employment
Weekly pay (40 hours per week), regardless if you work a shift or not
Medical, dental, and vision benefits effective on your first day of work
9 Application Process:
Describes the steps involved in applying for the job and what to expect during the hiring process. This ensures transparency, manages expectations, and reduces application anxiety.
1. Email your resume for initial screening.
2. Take a sustainability knowledge assessment.
3. Virtual interview with the Hiring Team.
4. Final interview with the Department Head.
10 Equal Opportunity Statement Definition:
This is a declaration by an employer affirming their commitment to fair employment practices and non-discrimination, assuring potential employees of a merit-based hiring process where all individuals have an equal chance to succeed.
Example: "[Company Name] is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability."
11 Tips to Keep in Mind Across the JD - Best Practices from Industry Research
Refrain from using technical jargon or acronyms that may not be universally understood.
Completely eliminate any exclusionary or derogatory language from your JDs.
Strike a Gender Balance - Job descriptions often unconsciously lean towards a gender bias. Research indicates that balanced JDs attract a more diverse talent pool. Rethink your language choices to ensure you're inclusive of all genders.
Use Growth Mindset Language- Words that emphasize learning and growth can attract a broader range of applicants, including more women, according to studies. Use phrases that focus on development opportunities and the capacity to learn.
Taking the First Step Towards Neuro-exceptional Talent (Conclusion)
In today's competitive job market, the importance of well-crafted job descriptions cannot be overstated. They are not just lists of duties; they are a powerful means of communication that can shape your organization's future. By sharing the right content in a clear and inclusive manner, you attract a diverse pool of talented individuals and also convey your company's values and mission.
If you would like to learn more about how you can create inclusive job descriptions and transform your hiring process, reach out to the Mentra team at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a demo. By empowering neurodivergent individuals to find fulfilling careers and breaking down barriers, Mentra not only transforms lives but also champions the cause of diversity and innovation. Neuroinclusion, with its capacity to unlock unique talents and perspectives, is the pathway to a richer, more vibrant, and forward-thinking future for both individuals and organizations alike.
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