Developing job roles

How you structure your job roles, as well as how you promote them in job adverts, can have an impact on who can or will apply to be part of your organisation.

Before you even post a job ad, consider the external view that applicants and candidates have of your organisation.

  • What do they see, read or hear on your social media and/or website?
  • What are your organisation’s values? Are these clear – and most importantly are they demonstrable? See the page on demonstrating values for more guidance on this.
  • Why would they be attracted to your organisation? What do you offer beyond an interesting role and salary? See the page on being an inclusive employer for more.

Then write an equitable job listing.

  • Centre your organisation’s values and culture to demonstrate inclusion and equity.
  • Don’t ask for a ‘culture fit’. Instead consider how everyone can add to your culture.
  • Keep them a reasonable length – you’ll attract more people including those with skills and experience you might not have realised your organisation needs.
  • Provide flexibility in the role.
  • Use inclusive language and avoid coded language that can signify masculine or feminine traits or that allude to power imbalances.
  • Be creative with how people can apply – videos are a great way to be more inclusive.

This post by GoodFoodJobs in the US sums up the key considerations very well. Be aware of factors that might exclude or limit people to apply.

Advertise in a range of places to reach a breadth of candidates. Roots to Work will, of course, be your go to spot for sustainable food and farming jobs! There are specialist agencies that target groups underrepresented in the workforce including BME Jobs, Ethnic Job Site, BAME Jobs, LGBT jobs and Proud Employers

You might also consider placements, internships, apprenticeships and volunteering as a way to grow your team. These can be a great way to build capacity, but they can also build on structures on inequality due to who has the capacity to take on unpaid or lower paid roles. It is a legal requirement to pay interns in the UK at least the minimum wage – we advocate for Living Wage or above. Consider how the salary compares to others within your organisation – there should not be a seismic jump between an intern and the lowest grade, particularly if the intern is tasked with responsibilities that another member of the team could or would do.

You can target employability programmes at people or groups that are underrepresented in the sector such as people from racialised or minoritised ethnic backgrounds and people with disabilities. Before you do so, make sure that you have created an inclusive workplace  using the guidance on the page below. Otherwise the experience for the individual(s) will not be positive or developmental. You should pay particular attention if there are no staff members from a similar background as the individual might feel alone. This doesn’t mean you should not recruit people from underrepresented background, however it does mean that you need to consider how to be a welcoming, inclusive and responsive organisation that takes their views and experiences into consideration.

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