Candidate

The way a business represents themselves in job adverts in many ways determines the quality of candidate that applies. Within this, there is an unconscious bias that unintentionally seeps its way through based on the wording and language used by the writer.

For example, companies find themselves only receiving male applications but they don’t understand why. Nothing in the job ad explicitly says we only want male applicants or says we don’t want female applicants.

So how can you combat this problem? One way is Textio, an augmented writing platform that analyzes the effectiveness of your job ad.

Overview

Textio synthesizes text from almost 300 million job posts using advanced algorithms to determine which jobs generate the most applicant interest.

It looks at the types of phrases you use, the tone in place, the format in which the ad is written and much more.

By considering the type of language you use, and integrating more gender-neutral wording, you will be able to have a much more balanced hiring pool and in turn, possibly a more diverse workplace.

Textio uses specific colors to highlight the areas that need improvement or work well. The ad is given a 0-100 scoring based on how likely it is to succeed in terms of attracting the candidate you want.

Textio recently raised $20 million in investment so we thought we should take a look at the product to analyze its effectiveness.

Who’s it for?

  • Recruiters
  • Hiring Managers
  • HR Managers
  • Employers

Product Test

Since Google has recently been caught up in a little bit of a diversity scandal, we decided to find a job ad by them online to see what Textio could uncover. So we found this Software Engineer job ad on their website:

We took the text and put it into Textio, and it gave us a score of 63 out of 100. These were the reasons why:

  • Needs more ‘you’ statements
  • Listing is a bit short
  • Sentences are too long
  • Not enough verbs
  • Could use more engaging questions
  • Too many adjectives
  • Slightly masculine tone

For instance, the job description uses the word ‘tackle’ a few times and Textio highlights it by saying this phrase draws more masculine job seekers. They recommend to use words such as ‘aim’, ‘pursue’ or ‘seek’ instead in order to balance the tone out for men and women. Understandably the word tackle does have very masculine connotations to it, so we were happy to make those changes.

Google also used words such as ‘communication skills’ and ‘interact with’ in the job ad, but Textio claimed these phrases draw more female job seekers. They recommend using words such as ‘get along with’ and ‘interpersonal skills’. Although we’re not sure if making those changes would have made any difference as the terms ‘communication’ and ‘interact’ have very inclusive feels to them. But we’re putting our trust in Textio as every word they suggest is backed by extensive research done by the company.

Textio also points out where the job advertisement does well in attracting software engineers in general, regardless of gender. As an employer, this is key as it allows you to make sure that you are getting the right points across. These were the areas where it did well:

  • Artifical intelligence
  • Growing
  • Scalability
  • Changing the world
  • Improve

As far as cleaning up the job ad, in its layout and format, Textio recommended we rephrase a few statements that were repeated and add more verbiage to offer more detail to the responsibilities of the job which helped in making the ad read a lot better.

Benefits

After making the changes recommended by Textio here were the benefits:

  • The Job ad scored a 78, an above average score
  • It was listed as having a neutral tone which was the main goal of this research
  • The text was clearly more engaging and positive

Problems

After making the changes recommended by Textio here were the main problems listed by them:

  • Lack of verbiage
  • Too many adjectives
  • Not quite enough bulleted content
  • Sentences are too long

These were problems they listed before we made any changes to the document, yet after making the recommended alterations to it, the problems were still listed.

The product should do more, especially if paid for, to automatically clean up grammatical issues as well as the layout of content to make sure it looks the best it can look. Although Textio state that the product is built to augment human abilities not automate them, which is fair enough,

Results

Based on my use of Textio, here were the key findings:

  • Overall goal of removing gender bias from text was achieved
  • Job ad become more engaging to read
  • Structure of the ad did not change
  • Grammatical and structural issues were not addressed

Price

Textio’s pricing is based on the number of open jobs a company has when they subscribe. Although you can create a free account for 2 weeks.

Here at the Undercover Recruiter, we found it is not a price worth paying for a product that we would only occasionally but if your someone who write job ads on a daily basis then it’s definitely a product you should invest in.

If you’ve purchased Textio we’d love to know if it has been worth your money! We’re sure other readers would appreciate it as well.

Rating

★★★★☆ (4/5)

Textio in many ways allows you to foresee success and failure. Hiring the ideal candidate is everything to your company, and it merits a tool like Textio in order to help you do so.

Unconscious bias is a known issue in the recruiting world especially when it comes to job descriptions. It’s hard to write an add with perfectly gender-neutral language so a product like this can go a long way.

Would you like your HR tech product reviewed by the Undercover Recruiter team? Check out our options today.

About Karim Ansari

Talent Analyst at Link Humans, download our 12 Essentials of Employer Branding eBook now.

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