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The 3 myths about job descriptions you need to stop believing now

No matter how long you’ve worked in HR, myths seem to pile up about how to do your job. Whether it is an expert coming in with a training, or just what your boss did that worked for them, it’s easy to confuse advice with outcomes. Today, it is time to dispel some of these long held myths, in order to break free of convention and actually write job posts that work.

Myth #1: Job post writing is subjective

One of the hardest parts about writing is that it seems subjective. Everyone has their tips of best practices, lists of things to do and not do, and experts have their tips & tricks.

But the truth is with the right data, you can take the subjectivity out of writing. By utilizing data on the scale of hundreds of millions, you can know what language patterns will attract people to your job post. Writing no longer becomes a matter of opinion but rather, trusting in data will allow you to know before you publish a job post who will apply.

Textio’s customers that followed the product’s data driven advice have seen hiring success:

Myth #2: There is a definitive list of feminine and masculine words

We’ve all seen the research that shows this word is masculine and this word is feminine and you should avoid or add these words. Sadly, these lists depend on research — studies that were often conducted years ago which leave these lists are often out of date and incomplete.

When you have access to hiring data, you can actually see which words attract more men or more women to apply for a job. By measuring the outcomes of job posts, not just a checklist of words, you can find out if those words are actually causing the effect you expect in today’s job market. Language is always changing, so you need to keep a constant pulse on what words are actually attract or deterring women or men to apply for jobs.

Also, once you let go of this myth, you’ll realize it is not only words that are attracting women or men to your job posts. Job post structure can also have a huge impact on who applies for a job.

Myth #3: Job posts that were written a year ago are as good as today

When you have a new role open up at your company, what’s the first thing you do? Grab an old similar job post from the last time you had an opening in that area, dust it off, add some new compliance language or requirements, and then ship it off to your ATS.

And as you sit and wait for the resumes to come in, you may wonder why your job post isn’t reaching new demographics. Well if you haven’t changed anything in your process, you aren’t going to be able to change the outcome.

The language that attracts job seekers is always changing. Last year in tech the words that were starting to attract job seekers at a rapid pace included gender identity, systems engineering, and written communication, but if you included Linux or fast paced environment in your job post it would turn people away. However in 2016 the picture was quite different the fastest movers were AI and real-time data, whereas today AI is reaching it’s zenith.

If you’re not aware of the changing language pattens that are working in today’s hiring market, then you aren’t going to be able to attract the best candidates.

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