Still looking for that "rock star" candidate? Here are 5 more terms that statistically mean your job post will fill very slowly.
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Still looking for that “rock star” candidate?

Plenty has been written over the last couple years about how using the term “rock star” in your job posts is not the best idea. But if you only focus on avoiding that specific phrase, you’re missing the bigger picture.

Image of Tweet. Poll for recruiting: which of these descriptions in a job posting do you think is the worst for filling the position quickly?  21% overachiever, 15% perfectionist, 47% rock star, 17% genius

We polled Twitter yesterday and asked which of the terms “overachiever,” “perfectionist,” “rock star” and “genius” was the worst performer in job postings. Voters said “rock star” was the worst by a huge margin (47%), with the next highest being “overachiever” (21%).

Textio’s data shows that neither of those words is actually the worst offender. “Rock star” is in distant second place behind “genius.” Asking for a “genius” in your job post means the position is 11 times more likely to take a long time to fill.

The truth is, “rock star” and “genius” have a lot of other ugly siblings, and they all cause hiring performance to drop. Last week Textio and Paradigm co-published new research about the effects of fixed mindset vs. growth mindset language on hiring performance, and Fortune magazine picked up the story. Fixed mindset language is consistently associated with job posts that take longer than average to get filled. Some fixed mindset phrases also impact diversity: “overachiever” makes a job post 3 times less likely to result in hiring a woman. Meanwhile, growth mindset phrases like “love to learn” do exactly the opposite, attracting many more women applicants.

Below are some real-world statistics for 6 “rock star” phrases from the fixed mindset lexicon. You can see for yourself how “brilliant” they are.

Chart illustrating all these terms are less likely to result in hiring a woman and much more likely to fill slowly

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