If your company has set ambitious diversity and inclusion goals, you’ve probably already noticed that these aren’t that easy to reach. What you probably don’t know is that job descriptions play a key role here. In particular, the readability of these job descriptions. This is because most job descriptions are too complex for a large and diverse group of people to understand. Especially now that the average reading level is dropping, chances are that your job descriptions are written at a level that only a small percentage of people can understand or are motivated to read.
What you’ll need to do to reach as many candidates as possible is write your job descriptions at B1 level. But what is B1 level? And how do you write at this level?
The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)
To improve the readability of your job descriptions, you’ll need to write them at B1 level. But what does this mean? In Europe, the CEFR specifies three language levels: A, B and C. These are divided into two sublevels: 1 and 2. Language level A1 is the lowest (easiest to understand) and C2 is the highest (most difficult to understand). Most people (about 80% of the population) are able to read and understand content written at B1 level. So if you want to reach as many candidates as possible, you’ll need to write at B1. That’s the only way that job descriptions can help you reach your D&I goals.
Job descriptions at B1 level
Job descriptions that are too complex only reach about 40% of your target group. Do you manage to write your job descriptions at B1 level? Then you might reach as much as 80% of your target group. That’s worth the effort. But how do you write at B1 level? You should:
- Refrain from using difficult words and 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 white space.
By doing so, most of your target group can fully understand what you’re looking for in a candidate. In addition, people who suffer from dyslexia or who aren’t native speakers of the language you’re writing in can also understand your job description.
A little help from innovation
The readability of your job descriptions is extremely important if you want a diverse workforce and wish to reach your D&I goals. Following the rules for writing at B1 level can help you here, but they might prove more difficult than they seem. What you’ll need is a little help from technology.
The Textmetrics platform 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. Before you know it, you’ll get more applications from candidates who contribute greatly to your goal of a more diverse workforce.