When I’m asked to speak about job posts, it’s most often to groups focused on HR, recruiting. They are every day practitioners looking to upgrade their job postings, not figure out the future of work.
That’s why this conversation with Berkeley students was so special. It wasn’t just about HR – it was about how we advance work equitably with AI and automation.
Specifically, students take this course to develop an understanding of the value and velocity of AI and disruptive technologies in shaping the nature of employment, to understand the frameworks of ‘specialized’ versus ‘generalized’ intelligence, and explore innovation with entrepreneurs and other expert guest speakers.
I was one of those entrepreneurs. My goal? Convince those students job postings are a problem worth solving.
Job Posts Are A Problem Worth Solving
I began my lecture with a problem that has been bothering me. If you are implementing automation, machine learning, or AI solutions for hiring, how do you determine what data is unbiased?
That’s a trick question. It’s all biased, especially those skill libraries. However, skill libraries are just libraries of the writer’s bias. How do you know the right skills to source for if skills aren’t universally defined? We don’t have a mutual definition of these words between applicants and recruiters, so how can you make a hire with it?
The best way to get data scientists to listen is to point at problems. The students were interested now.
The next problem a great job post could help solve? Equity of access. Here’s what I mean. How does a person even know what to search or where to look if they’re entering a field without a mentor or parent that worked in that area of expertise? Getting a job shouldn’t be based on having more established families.
I’m the perfect example. I didn’t think I would go to college. My family has 2 career paths: military and teachers. I didn’t know jobs like mine existed – and I’m not alone. I talk to a lot of candidates that are unfamiliar with career paths and the strategies necessary to discover jobs they might be interested in or uniquely suited for simply because no one they knew did that work.
If anyone wants to attack bias tactically, job posts are a data point where you can dial in. Current job post writing tactics have a history of bias built in. We’re literally putting people at a disadvantage while telling the same people we want a more diverse applicant pool. That’s just ridiculous.
The Future Of Work Starts With A Job Post
I’m clearly biased, but I think job postings are a great place to start if we actually want to see a future of work that doesn’t look so much like today. We can change pipelines, employer brand preference, and remove bias from the workplace in 250 words. Seems like it’s worth your time.
I got a few calls from students who are looking to dive deeper on this topic, so I think I convinced them. Did I convince you to care too?
Katrina (Kat) Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive, unbiased job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.