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DEI in job descriptions holds strong, despite rising controversy

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Mentions of “diversity,” “equity” and “inclusion” in job listings increased year over year, researchers for diverse recruiting tool Textio reported. But only slightly: “diversity” is up 1%, “inclusion” is up 0.2%, and DEI is up 0.1% year over year. 

Regarding the year-over-year increase, Textio co-founder and CEO Kieran Snyder said in a statement that, “What we can see in current public hiring data is that most organizations are not backing down.” 

Still, overall, Textio found that about 1 in 3 job descriptions mention diversity, and only 1 in 5 mention inclusion. Even less than that mention equity. 

Snyder notes both an increase in media coverage and headlines that largely signal the end of the DEI revival, adding, “If you were impacted by layoffs this year or you’re reading the news at all, you’re likely feeling overwhelmed and anxious by all the reporting on the end of DEI. How could you not be?” 

Not only may economic headwinds be to blame for DEI’s decline, Snyder adds; but the U.S. Supreme Court rolling back affirmative action — with similar legislation passing subsequently in Florida and Texas — may have put pressure on institutions to boot DEI programs.

A talent expert previously told HR Dive that centering “employee experience” may possibly be a way to meet in the middle: belonging and inclusion are DEI tenets that are supported, without the controversial moniker. 

Additionally, Textio suggested that “cutting clichés from employer branding” may be helpful as well — and that companies should “take care to not look like you’re trying too hard.” Along with avoiding trite symbolic imagery, the recruiting resource suggested that if employee pictures aren’t “great,” HR should skip the visual part of employer branding.

“Your words and actions carry more weight than looking the part,” the recruiting company said.

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