4 tips to avoid gender bias in job descriptions

4 tips to avoid gender bias in job descriptions

Do you generally receive more applications from men than women? Then your job descriptions probably appeal to men more. Chances are, they contain words and sentences that are gender-charged. The use of more masculine words in job descriptions is very common. These are words that are often used by men. And less used by women. In fact, gender bias is one of the most common biases in recruitment. And that’s a problem. Because if you want an inclusive and diverse workforce, you need to reach both men and women.

How to avoid gender bias in your job descriptions?

  1.   Use gender-neutral job titles

Keep your job titles simple. Using neutral descriptive titles like “engineer,” “developer” or “project manager” appeals to both men and women. While popular titles like “guru,” “hacker” and “superhero’ mostly just appeal to men. Women will not read your job descriptions with these titles.  

  1.   Use “you” and “your” instead of “he” or “she”    

In writing, you mostly use ‘he.” It’s better to prevent the use of this masculine pronoun. You can do so by using “he or she.” But it would be even better to use “you” and “your.” That way, you don’t just appeal to both men and women. You also write in a more direct and appealing tone of voice. 

  1.   Avoid the use of more masculine words 

Words you often see in job descriptions are:

  •   analyze
  •   determined
  •   collaborate
  •   support

The first two are masculine words. The last two are more feminine. It’s best to avoid all of these words. Instead, you should opt for more gender-neutral words. Words that men and women can both identify with. 

  1.   Avoid listing too many requirements 

A long list of requirements might scare off women. Contrary to men, women only apply when they meet 100% of the requirements. Men apply when they meet around 60% of them. So it’s best to only list the must-have requirements.  To encourage more women to apply, it’s best to leave out the nice-to-have requirements.  

How Textmetrics can help you avoid gender bias

Do you want to receive more applications from women? Then you’re in need of the Textmetrics platform. The platform can help with avoiding gender bias. Just like the tips above do. But it requires less effort than implementing the tips yourself. You’ll end up with bias-free job descriptions. That have a more gender-neutral tone of voice and appeal to men and women alike.  

Curious to know more? Then get in touch. We’re here to help!

Why people don’t read your job ads – It’s all about language level B1

Why people don’t read your job ads – It’s all about language level B1

Did you know that a lot of people have difficulty reading? And have you considered what this means for you? More specifically, for the written communication you publish? It may be more troublesome than you think. Research in England has shown that 1 out of 8 job ads are too difficult for most people to understand. And when people don’t understand something, they don’t read it. Since it’s difficult to find qualified candidates, this is a real problem. And it sure doesn’t help your company become more diverse and inclusive. For that, anyone should be competent to understand and read your job ads. A first step is writing them at B1 level. 

Increase the readability of your job ads with 

The readability of your job ads is affected by many factors. The reading level B1 just means that approximately 60% of readers can understand your job ads. To reach this level in your job descriptions, you need to:

  • Reduce the length of words and sentences.

Longer sentences are more difficult to understand. You should keep it short and simple. A maximum of 15 to 20 words per sentence. And you should try to mix longer sentences with shorter ones. Keep your words short and simple, too. Avoid jargon and outdated words that very few people understand.

  • Write in an active tone of voice.

A passive tone of voice is often used in written communication. A sentence like “Your performance will be monitored” is passive. The active alternative to this sentence is easier to read. Just try it yourself. “We will monitor your performance.” That’s a lot clearer, right?

  • Use “you” instead of “the candidate” and “we” instead of “the company.”

In your job ads, you should always speak directly to the reader. That is easier to understand. And it gives candidates a better picture of the job. So, they can imagine what the role is like.  

Textmetrics and writing at language level B1

The readability of your job ads is so important. It’s a problem if potential candidates don’t understand them. Because they won’t read them. Leaving you with a limited group of candidates to choose from. Not great if you want the best talent. Or if you want to reach your D&I goals. 

Writing at B1 level increases the readability of your job ads. But since that can be more difficult than you might think, Textmetrics is here to help. It uses AI algorithms to assess the readability of your job ads. Then gives you suggestions to reach the desired B1 level. This is as easy as it sounds. All you need to do is follow the instructions. Before you know it, a diverse range of people will be eagerly reading your job ads.

The benefits of an augmented writing platform

The benefits of an augmented writing platform

Gender bias, age bias and jargon. These are just a few of the things that prevent job descriptions from reaching your total target group. While reaching as many people as possible is the only way to achieve your company’s diversity and inclusion goals. An augmented writing platform can be of help here. As a technology that serves as a writing coach, it prevents all above issues and more. Think of it as a virtual assistant that writes job descriptions for you. We’ll tell you all about the benefits below. 

An augmented writing platform removes bias from job descriptions

Bias in job descriptions is a problem. A lot of job descriptions suffer from gender bias and age bias. As a recruiter, you have the best intentions. You don’t want to exclude anyone. In fact, you really want to reach as many people as possible. But you fail to do so. One issue is that many job descriptions have a more masculine tone of voice. This is a gender bias that results in women not feeling spoken to. And as a result, they don’t apply for the role. Another well-known bias is age bias. Older people have to deal with this the most. They feel excluded through the words and phrases used in job ads. And because of that, they don’t apply. 

Spotting bias in job descriptions isn’t easy. That’s why you can really benefit from the help of an augmented writing platform. It helps you write job descriptions without bias. Do you succeed in doing so? Then you’ll reach a much larger percentage of your target group.

Less jargon and the right tone of voice

Besides bias, there are more things an augmented writing platform can help you with. One of them is eliminating jargon from your job ads. These are industry-specific words that not everyone understands. You use them because they are known to you. An augmented writing platform gives you suggestions for more common, easy-to-understand alternatives. Another thing an augmented writing platform does is determine if the tone of voice used fits the target group. And whether the words you’ve chosen are too difficult to understand. 

This all leads to the same result. More people will understand your job ads. The more people understand your job ads. The more people will apply.

The Textmetrics platform 

Augmented writing platforms can help you write better job ads. At Textmetrics, we offer an augmented writing platform. It uses algorithms based on artificial intelligence. Your job posts:

  • Will be free of bias 
  • Will use less jargon. 
  • Will have the right tone of voice 
  • Will have fewer difficult words. 

We’d love to tell you more about how you can benefit from Textmetrics!

The benefits of data-driven recruitment

The benefits of data-driven recruitment

Do you want your company’s workforce to be more inclusive and diverse? Have you set ambitious goals to achieve this? Then you’ll need to take a closer look at your recruitment strategy. That’s where a more diverse workforce starts. An innovation like data-driven recruitment can be a big help here. It uses technologies, techniques and data to analyze a large group of candidates, which is very useful for recruiters. It’s easier for them to find candidates with the right skills. And the right experience and mindset to be successful. And most importantly for your D&I goals, it eliminates biases in the recruitment process. 

The advantages of data-driven recruitment 

Using data-driven recruitment means quite the shift in your hiring process. Before, recruiters would choose candidates based on their application letters. Data-driven recruitment means collecting and analyzing data from several sources. Think of social media, past jobs and online publications. This valuable information is then utilized when it comes to selecting candidates. This different approach brings with it a number of advantages:

  • Remove bias in the recruitment process

For recruiters, it’s often very difficult to choose between candidates who seem equally suitable. It’s not uncommon for some emotion and bias to creep in. They might choose the younger candidate (age bias) or the male candidate (gender bias). In data-driven recruitment, emotions and bias don’t occur. A candidate is chosen based on data and nothing else. 

  • Decrease the length of the recruitment process

With data-driven recruitment, you choose candidates based on data. The candidates you invite for an interview are as skilled as you need them to be. This might not always be the case when a recruiter chooses a candidate based on their gut feeling. There is a greater chance that candidates selected in this manner will disappoint during the interview. Resulting in the recruiter having to invite another person into the recruitment process. 

  • Hire better candidates

With data-driven recruitment, you hire better candidates. A good interview doesn’t automatically mean good performance at work. But data can tell you all about the expected performance of candidates. 

  • Write better job descriptions

Data-driven recruitment can help you write better job descriptions. By “better,”  we mean job descriptions that are easy to understand and free of biases. And that use inclusive language, and appeal to your whole target group. The last one is extremely important if you want to reach a diverse group of candidates. 

Textmetrics and data-driven recruitment 

Are you ready to embrace data-driven recruitment? Then the Textmetrics platform is a great place to start. It uses algorithms based on artificial intelligence to help you write better job descriptions. The platform reads and analyzes your content, then gives you real-time suggestions for improvements. The result: better job descriptions that are free of bias and have a gender-neutral tone of voice. 

Curious to know more? We’d love to tell you all about data-driven recruitment and the Textmetrics platform. And how we can help you reach your D&I goals.

Writing without excluding people with an augmented writing platform

Writing without excluding people with an augmented writing platform

You want to reach as many people as possible with the content you write and publish. That means it should appeal to everyone and, above all, it should not exclude people. That is why it is necessary to write inclusively. If you are an inclusive organization or if you are working toward this, inclusive writing is extremely important. 

But what exactly is inclusive writing, why is it so important, and what is the role of an augmented writing platform in the prevention of exclusion? You can read all about it in this blog post. 

What exactly is inclusive writing, and why is it so important? 

With inclusive writing, you consciously pay attention to the fact that your target audience consists of all different types of people, with different origins, backgrounds, ages, and genders. Because even if you are targeting a specific niche, the people within that niche are all unique. 

By writing inclusively, you reach the largest group of people. You make sure that you use language that does not distinguish between groups, so that everyone feels addressed. Among other things, you can achieve this  by:

  •       Writing in a human-centered, gender-neutral way, rather than using only he/she or plural. 
  •       Addressing the reader directly, using “you”.
  •       Making sure your content does not discriminate based on age.
  •       Avoiding stereotypical words and/or associations. You unconsciously use these more often than you think. Think pink for women, blue for men.
  •       Applying the WCAG guidelines. 
  •       Always making sure that your written content is reviewed by others. As a man or woman, you have the habit of using the words that you want others to use when addressing you. The other person’s perspective helps you to write in a gender-neutral way. You should also consider having your content proofread by people of different ages or from different cultural backgrounds. 

Only through inclusive writing is it possible to reach as many people from the target audience as possible. Additionally, inclusive writing also plays an important role when it comes to attracting diverse talent. For instance, has your organization been struggling to recruit a more diverse workforce? If so, your current job descriptions probably do not appeal to a diverse group of potential candidates. Inclusive writing can help attract a more diverse audience. 

Writing inclusively through augmented writing platforms

The what and why of inclusive writing is clear, but the writing itself is trickier than you might think. As we’ve seen, there’s a lot to consider. One requirement is that you must be able to put yourself in the shoes of various audiences while writing. A good way to master this is by speaking to many different people and asking them how they would like to be addressed. 

Fortunately, there are handy tools that can help you to make inclusive writing a lot easier. We’re talking about data-driven tools like augmented writing platforms (e.g., Textmetrics) that can help you prevent exclusion through language. You can see an augmented writing platform as a writing coach. While you are writing, it gives you suggestions on how to make your content more inclusive. It also shows you how to create content that appeals to your entire target audience so that you can achieve your D&I goals. 

During the writing process, you don’t need to worry about whether your content is or isn’t gender neutral or discriminating based on age. A data-driven platform will do that for you using algorithms based on artificial intelligence that read and analyze your content. Based on these analyses, you will get suggestions on the use of inclusive language, such as avoiding age and gender discrimination. In addition, many augmented writing platforms also give you suggestions for tone of voice, SEO optimization, and how to avoid words that are too complex for your target audience.