door Marcel Leeman | jan 14, 2023
…but fortunately there is the continuous support of Textmetrics
It is important to make your communication comprehensible to as wide a group as possible. But do you already consciously take sufficient account of the fact that not everyone in your target audience is the same? It’s not surprising if the answer is ‘no’. The step towards inclusive communication is very difficult to make. Koen Brummelhuis, Customer Success Manager at Textmetrics, talks more about this in this interview.
Koen sets up the smart AI writing software so that users can write high-quality texts. He gives advice where necessary, and implements all customer guidelines in the software. From branding to communication guidelines for inclusive communication, among other things. Because only by communicating inclusively will you really reach your entire target group, says Koen.
Just a quick note: what is inclusive communication again?
Inclusive communication is nothing more than:
- choosing understandable language;
- adding explanations in images;
- and making your communication accessible to people with disabilities.
But as easy as that sounds, unfortunately it is not. Communicating is done on the basis of what you know. You incorporate your own norms, values and beliefs. And you communicate on the basis of what is recognizable to you. With that, it is hardly rational. Whereas to do the right thing – in this case communicating inclusively – you have to make informed choices.
Why is the step towards inclusive communication so difficult to make?
Fixed behaviours are hard to unlearn. You have been communicating based on what you know for so long. A real behavioural change is needed. Inclusive communication is not something you just do on the side. It has to become standard in all communications. You also have to remember that society is constantly changing. So you have to keep asking yourself: do my texts really still appeal to everyone? People of all ages, genders, religions and cultures?
How does such a behavioural change work?
It is not that easy. Of course you can train people to communicate inclusively. But what if colleagues find another job? Then they take their knowledge away with them. And new colleagues will need training again.
And that’s not the only obstacle. Behavioural research shows that discussions, education and training are often only marginally effective in the long run. There are two very human reasons for this:
- after a while you forget what you learned during training;
- and you fall back into your old way of communicating.
We don’t do this relapse consciously, but we prefer to keep on behaving the way we always did. Unconsciously ignoring new information turns out to be innate and we all have innate reflexes that block reason.
But how to change behaviour? Social group norms can tempt you to change your behaviour. And influence your immediate environment. It is also important to get concrete information about why you want to change behaviour. And does the language you use and how you do it offer opportunities for behavioural change.
So what is the solution if training is not it?
We are not saying that training is not at all useful and necessary. They help participants understand why inclusive communication is so important. In doing so, they raise awareness. In addition, training is a first step in mastering inclusive writing. But for the longer term, training is not the solution.
To make inclusive communication the standard, continuous support is needed. That is possible with Textmetrics’ Smart AI Writing Software. In our platform for text improvement, you get a text optimiser in which we implement all the advice for inclusive writing for you.
You don’t have to think about inclusive language yourself: we do that for you! All year round, for every text you write. So you can be sure that you always write good, inclusive texts in understandable language that really appeal to your entire target group.
door Marcel Leeman | nov 9, 2022
Age bias is a persistent problem in recruitment. Older people still experience age discrimination when they are looking for a new job. They tend not to get invited to interviews as often as younger applicants do. When they do get an invitation, they are less likely to be hired than younger candidates. This is problematic for a number of reasons. For starters, as an organization ignoring older candidates, you’re missing out on an experienced group of employees. Besides that, without older employees, your workforce will never be diverse. Because diversity also means hiring people of all ages. So, what can be done to prevent age bias? We’ll discuss that below.
Preventing age bias requires significant changes
Stereotypes play an important role in age bias. Common stereotypes about older employees imply that they are:
- Less motivated
- Less willing to participate in training
- Less healthy and strong
- Less willing to change
- Less happy to put in the hours
Of course, these stereotypes are just that – stereotypes. They don’t reflect real people. In most cases, recruiters don’t realize that they think this way. That’s why age bias is often referred to as an unconscious bias.
You might think that eliminating these stereotypes will help defeat age bias. But new research suggests that this isn’t the case. Even if recruiters are provided with more information on older candidates, age bias still prevails. Preventing age bias is thus more difficult than you might think.
One thing that can help is involving more older employees in the hiring process. Managers and recruiters over the age of 50 tend to discriminate less based on age than their younger colleagues do. Another measure you can take is not asking for dates of birth on job applications. The emphasis will then be on other criteria than age.
The role Textmetrics can play
What if you want to work on preventing age bias, but you receive very few applications from older candidates? Then your job descriptions might be written in such a way that older people avoid applying. You can use the Textmetrics platform to solve this age bias problem.
The platform analyzes your job ads and highlights words that discourage older candidates from applying. It also gives suggestions for alternatives to prevent age discrimination. As a result, your job descriptions will be free of age bias. And you’ll receive applications from people of all ages. An important first step to a hiring process that is free of age bias.
Want to try Textmetrics? Click here for a free trial!
door Marcel Leeman | jun 30, 2022
It’s a sad observation, realizing there is age bias in your company. But it’s not uncommon, unfortunately. Contrary to what we wish to believe, age bias is not a thing of the past yet. In many companies, young and older workers still experience age bias in the workplace. Even in companies with ambitious diversity and inclusion goals. The examples of this are numerous. Older employees might notice that they only get to work on routine assignments. While young employees might be considered too inexperienced to get a promotion. Older candidates get invited to job interviews a lot less often because they are “too experienced”. While young candidates are bypassed because they have too “little experience”.
The best way to deal with age bias in the workplace
So, how do you deal with this age bias in the workplace? There are a few things you can do:
- Like many other biases, age bias can go completely unnoticed. Managers and recruiters don’t realize that there is age bias in the workplace. A prejudice, like older employees are uncomfortable with change, is hard to get rid of. So you need to tell people over and over that older workers aren’t low on energy. And that they do not lack ambition. Instead, they are full of knowledge. The same goes for thoughts on very young employees. Just because it may be their first job, doesn’t mean they have nothing to offer. What about all the fresh and new ideas they come up with?
- In the recruitment process, in particular, you can decide to use anonymized resumes. This allows you to base your decision to invite someone for an interview solely on their experience and skills. You’ll find out how old they are, approximately, when they sit right in front of you.
Let Textmetrics help you deal with age bias in the workplace
In recruitment, there is often another problem when it comes to age bias. Job descriptions are often written in such a way that older people, in particular, refrain from applying. You can use the Textmetrics platform to solve this problem. It analyzes your job descriptions and gives you suggestions for improvement while you’re writing. For example, words that discourage older candidates from applying are highlighted. You can replace these with words that appeal to everyone. As a result, your job descriptions will be free of age bias. And you’ll receive applications from people of all ages.
Want to try Textmetrics? Click here for a free trial!
door Marcel Leeman | feb 17, 2022
Textmetrics completes 2021 with huge success and accolades from Gartner Digital Markets brands (Capterra and GetApp). Our products got recognized in various flagship reports in 2021!
“Textmetrics is an incredible tool! This acts as a personal writing assistant for us, assisting us in improving the quality of our written stuff. It has a simple & user-friendly UI.”
~ Vishnu A. ~ [Source: Capterra]
“Textmetrics helps me create the best content in a really easy way. We use it for writing job descriptions that are gender neutral. For us it’s the perfect tool to do that.”
~ Matthijs P. ~ [Source: GetApp]
Textmetrics is rated 4.7(out of 5) on all Gartner Digital Market brands. We would like to sincerely thank all our users for loving us so much and rating us so high on Gartner Digital Markets websites.
Want to review Textmetrics? Click here.
Textmetrics (Arnhem) is a tech company specialized in the realization of communication strategies through the use of AI and text technology (including text distribution, text comprehension, target groups, and text conversion). Textmetrics supplies commercial companies and organizations with specialized software that allows them to use text to optimally assist customers/target audiences in their purchases and their understanding of the information provided. The machine learning and AI-based technology is successfully applied by large companies and customer organizations, such as energy companies, banks, insurance companies, and temporary employment and HR service companies within departments such as Marketing, Corporate Communications, Recruitment and Customer Services. Boasting approximately 40,000 users worldwide, the platform supports all modern Western languages.
About Gartner Digital Markets:
Gartner Digital Markets is a Gartner business unit composed of Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice. It is the world’s premier source for software vendors to connect with in-market buyers, through research, reviews, and lead generation.
For more information, visit https://www.gartner.com/en/digital-markets
door Marcel Leeman | sep 30, 2021
Dutch version below
Textmetrics wins MKB 2021 Award
Words should not only be spelled correctly, but should match the character of a reader. The formatting of a text must be understandable for everyone, even search engines. Google, Indeed, and Google for Jobs rate your website lower when the text is not understandable for all readers.
Textmetrics, a software company based in Arnhem (The Netherlands), develops a software platform for the improvement of texts.Textmetrics looks together with you while you are writing the text and gives direct feedback. Kind of similar to the spelling and grammar checker of Microsoft Word, but with way more options included. Although spelling errors are addressed, the feedback goes far beyond grammar alone. SEO suggestions increase the online findability. Suggested words and sentence lengths are tailored to the language level and identity of the target audience you are trying to reach. All for the best readability and findability of all your texts.
The platform, based on AI and Machine Learning, analyzes texts at a glance and provides feedback that increases readability and effectiveness. Textmetrics’ AI algorithms have a better and faster view of the effectiveness of words and phrases than a human could ever have. Giant amounts of language data are interpreted in a split second and turned into understandable, quickly applicable feedback.
The whole thing is wrapped up in a dashboard. The software runs in the cloud and is therefore available on any device. In the dashboard you will find a word processor, file browser of completed or current projects and insight into the effectiveness of published texts.
Various plugins make it possible to integrate the software with another word processor (e.g. Google Documents) or website back-end (e.g. Drupal). Textmetrics is available in twelve languages, including Dutch, English, French and German.
Textmetrics wint MKB 2021 Award
Woorden dienen niet alleen correct gespeld te worden, maar aan te sluiten op het karakter van een lezer. De formattering van een tekst moet begrijpelijk zijn voor mensen – en zoekmachines, want in elk ander geval belandt de pagina onderaan de zoekresultaten van Google, Indeed of Google for Jobs. Textmetrics, een Arnhems softwarebedrijf, ontwikkelt een softwareplatform voor de verbetering van teksten.
Textmetrics kijkt, soortgelijk aan de spelling- en grammaticacontrole van Microsoft Word, met je mee. En hoewel spelling aan bod komt, gaat feedback veel verder dan grammatica alleen. SEO-suggesties verhogen vindbaarheid. Voorgestelde woorden en zinslengten zijn toegespitst op het taalniveau en de identiteit van de doelgroep die jij probeert te bereiken.
De tool, gebaseerd op AI en Machine Learning, analyseert teksten in een oogopslag en geeft feedback die de leesbaarheid en effectiviteit vergroot. Textmetrics’ AI-algoritmen hebben een beter en sneller zicht op de effectiviteit van woorden en zinnen dan een mens ooit zou kunnen hebben. Reusachtige hoeveelheden taaldata worden in een fractie van een seconde geïnterpreteerd en tot begrijpelijke, snel toepasbare feedback verwerkt.
Het geheel is in een dashboard verpakt. De software draait in de cloud en is daarmee op een device naar wens beschikbaar. In het dashboard vind je een tekstverwerker, filebrowser van afgeronde of lopende projecten en inzicht in de effectiviteit van gepubliceerde teksten.
Ook maken diverse plugins het mogelijk om de software in een andere tekstverwerker (bijvoorbeeld Google Documents) of website-backend (bij- voorbeeld Drupal) te integreren. Textmetrics is beschikbaar voor twaalf talen, waaronder Nederlands, Engels, Frans en Duits.