Tips for Inclusive Recruitment

UCD’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion is echoed in the University’s Strategic Objective Number 5 to 'attract and retain an excellent and diverse cohort of students, faculty and staff.'

The below guides and resources were developed to support hiring managers consider the role of equality, diversity and inclusion in the recruitment process and how they can best attract diverse talent. These resources allow you to consider how your School/Unit is presented to potential candidates and how you can make your job descriptions more inclusive.

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Writing an Inclusive Job Description

Language is a powerful tool and can play a significant role in the recruitment process. Inadvertently, job descriptions can have subtly coded language that affects how attractive a role is to a particular gender, LGBT people, people with a disability or from a different cultural or ethnic background.


Consider the type of language used in job descriptions: for instance, remember to use 'you/your' and 'they/their' rather than 'he/she' or 'him/her'. Research shows that some words have masculine or feminine connotations and may appeal to or put off one gender specifically. Being aware of this can help you ensure your job descriptions are more inclusive and may help you attract an underrepresented group.

This table contains a list of gender-coded adjectives. You can also refer to the helpful gender decoder under ‘Resources’ below: 



  • active
  • ambitious
  • assertive
  • autonomous
  • challenge
  • champion
  • competitive
  • confident
  • courageous
  • decisive
  • determined
  • dominant
  • driven
  • fearless
  • independent
  • individual
  • lead
  • logic
  • objective
  • persistent
  • principled
  • self-confident
  • self-reliant
  • self-sufficient
  • superior
  • agree
  • collaborative
  • committed
  • compassionate
  • connect
  • considerate
  • co-operative
  • dependable
  • empathic
  • honest
  • interpersonal
  • interdependent
  • loyal
  • nurture
  • pleasant
  • polite
  • responsive
  • sensitive
  • support
  • sympathetic
  • together
  • trust
  • understanding
  • enthusiastic
  • inclusive


Please find useful resources below for drafting inclusive job descriptions and hiring diverse talent.

  • Recruitment Language Guide – PDF
  • Gender Decoder – Link. This tool is a decoder that allows Hiring Managers to gender-proof their Job Descriptions.
  • Augmented Writing – Video
  • UCD Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Access and Lifelong Learning created a ConnectAbility Guide to Disability and Reasonable Accommodation. See ‘Employee and Job Applicants’ document – Link.
  • Advice and Information from Employer Disability Information – Link.
  • UCD has partnered with Ahead to introduce the Willing, Able, Mentored initiative for employing graduates with disabilities. Ahead’s Tips for Inclusive Recruitment – Video.
  • LGBTI Best Practice Guide for Employers – PDF. This document includes tips on gender-neutral language.


For more information on inclusive recruitment practices, please contact