How are the diversity and inclusion goals set by your company coming along? Are the results of your efforts what you expected them to be? Or are you a bit disappointed by the progress you’re making? Maybe you need to have a look at the hiring process. And an even closer look at your job descriptions. Because these are often too complex for a large and diverse group of people to understand. Lately, the average reading level has been dropping. So, it’s not unlikely that your job descriptions are written at a level that few people can understand.
That’s the exact opposite of what you want. Because you want to reach as many candidates as possible. To do so, you need to write your job descriptions at language level B1. But what is B1 level? And how do you write at B1 level?
The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)
In Europe, the CEFR specifies three language levels: A, B and C. These are divided into two sublevels: 1 and 2. Language level C2 is most difficult to understand and level A1 is the easiest to understand. About 80% of the population is able to read and understand language level B1. So keep it simple and write your job descriptions at CEFR level B1. Even if you’re looking for candidates with a university degree. They can understand a job description written at level C1. But it does require extra energy and motivation to read it. And when motivation and enthusiasm are lacking, they probably won’t apply.
How to write at language level B1?
At Textmetrics, we have researched the average language level of Dutch job descriptions. Most of them (76%) were written at language level C1. These job descriptions are too difficult for most people to understand. If you do want job descriptions at language level B1, you need to:
- Refrain from using difficult words; instead, use words that everyone is familiar with.
- Keep your sentences short, active and easy to read.
- Don’t forget to give your job description a clear title and subheadings.
- Add bullet points and keep your paragraphs short.
- Use readable fonts and enough whitespace.
How Textmetrics can help
You need to follow the rules above to write job descriptions at language level B1. This seems pretty straightforward, but it can actually be quite challenging. Luckily, the Textmetrics platform can help you here. It uses AI algorithms to assess the readability of your job descriptions. And it gives you suggestions on how to reach the desired B1 level. This is truly as easy as it sounds. All you need to do is follow the instructions you’re given. And before you know it, you have a job description at language level B1. One that almost everyone in your target group can understand. And one that will help you become a more diverse company.
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