A new LinkedIn report has looked at the language used in job adverts and found that certain things can deter a potential applicant from applying. The survey of more than 1000 employees and 250 recruitment managers found that more than half of women would be put off by an advert describing the workplace as ‘aggressive’, compared with only a third of men. Surprisingly, there are more than 50,000 jobs on LinkedIn which include the word ‘aggressive’ in their description. More women than men were put off by the term ‘born leader’ too. The approaches to annual leave and flexible working also differed between the genders, with more women than men giving these issues top priority.
The survey found that many employers don’t consider gender when writing job descriptions or track the genders of those responding to adverts. This means employers might be oblivious to the effect that certain parts of an advert might have on potential job applicants. If certain groups are put off applying for jobs, the pool of talent at a business’s disposal can shrink.
Employers should ensure that certain types of language, including ‘masculine coded’ phraseology, do not get past quality control. Make sure everyone involved in the recruitment process has proper training on appropriate language to use in job adverts and recruitment in general. The issue goes wider than this though. It is just as important to ensure that your workplace is free from accidental bias. Comprehensive equalities training for all staff should be mandatory. It’s no good talking the talk if your workplace doesn’t walk the walk.
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