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How gender-neutral job postings decrease time to hire

Sharon Florentine | Nov. 8, 2016
Want to attract more applicants for open positions? Hire faster? Improve diversity at the same time? Get rid of gendered language in your job descriptions.

Doing so doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming, either, says Siegel. The Journal of Social Psychology has a list of "masculine" and "feminine" words, and making some simple changes can improve recruiting results pretty quickly, he says.

ZipRecruiter's data showed that job listings with gendered language attracted an average of 12 responses, while job listings with gender-neutral language attracted an average of seventeen responses.

A partial list of gendered language can be found here, but some examples of gendered language include "aggressive" terms like "strong," "competitive" and "assertive," which skew male, while words like "concerned," "community" and "nurture" skew feminine. Your best bet is to keep things gender-neutral and avoid the most biased terms, Siegel says.

"For example, instead of saying you're looking for '…a strong programmer who thrives in a competitive atmosphere,' you could say something like, '…an exceptional programmer motivated by goals,'" the ZipRecruiter research suggests.

The simple act of reframing your job ad offers tremendous upside for employers -- and ignoring these keyword fixes could be limiting the talent that's attracted to your business. By taking just a few extra minutes to review your job description, you can make sure you're keeping the doors wide open for the best candidate for your job.


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