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Is your careers site driving away candidates?

Sharon Florentine | July 31, 2015
A pleasant job applicant experience is your best chance of making a great first impression on candidates. Is yours up to par?

Watch your language

Did you know the language in your job posting could be repelling half of your candidate pool? A study by the American Psychological Association, "Evidence That Gendered Wording in Job Advertisements Exists and Sustains Gender Inequality" found that a lack of gender-inclusive wording in your job descriptions influences women to opt out and not to apply for open positions, even if they're qualified.

The study uses as an example a typical job description for an engineer and highlights the difference between "feminine" and "masculine" wording:

Engineer Company Description:

Feminine: We are a community of engineers who have effective relationships with many satisfied clients. We are committed to understanding the engineer sector intimately.

Masculine: We are a dominant engineering firm that boasts many leading clients. We are determined to stand apart from the competition."

The study results showed that women were less inclined toward the jobs with masculine wording, compared with the same types of jobs using feminine wording. This inclination persisted, even though these gender words composed a small fraction of the total words in the job advertisement. "This is one way to tackle the diversity issue from the very top of the funnel. We need new strategies to address a diverse audience and attract diverse candidates right from the moment of posting a new job, and using language of inclusion is a great way to start," says Nahm.

Be analytical

Finally, it's critical to build in tracking and reporting mechanisms to make sure your career site is delivering. If it's not, solicit feedback and see exactly where and how you can make it better. "It's important that user behavior and referral sourcing be tracked. The only way to properly track ROI on your sourcing and advertising efforts is to have source tracking built into your career site," Berkowitz says.

A job site is not just about the job postings, it is a reflection of the culture and environment, mission and values of your organization. Following these tips can help you refine your approach, improve your image and give you a competitive edge when finding talent.


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