Picture or origami boats. This one word about leadership makes executive roles fill faster. Get the data at textio.com/blog.
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This one word about leadership makes executive posts fill faster

Everyone probably has an opinion about what qualities make someone a strong leader. But there are also many crossovers among different lists. Typically you’ll find some variations of “inspiring” and “patient” but also “decisive” and “persistent,” etc.

You might also expect to find a lot of these words used in executive job postings, and you would be right. A few of us word nerds at Textio got curious to know if this type of language showed any impact on hiring performance for executive roles. Fortunately, this is the exactly kind of thing that Textio’s predictive engine is built to know…

We took all of the words from one of the most popular articles on this topic (“22 Qualities That Make a Great Leader,” from Entrepreneur) and ran a search on Textio’s data set for them. Specifically, we looked only at executive-level roles where time-to-fill results were significantly affected, either positively or negatively, by the inclusion of one of these 22 words or their variants:

Focus • Confidence • Transparency • Integrity • Inspiration • Passion • Innovation • Patience • Stoicism • Wonkiness • Authenticity • Open-mindedness • Decisiveness • Personableness • Empowerment • Positivity • Generosity • Persistence • Insightfulness • Communication • Accountability • Restlessness

Out of millions of job postings, we found that some of the 22 words (like wonkiness, to no one’s surprise) didn’t show up at all. Others did show up, but not in a statistically significant way. Now here is the interesting bit … every word in the list that had a measurable effect on job post performance showed a negative impact. That means that it consistently took longer to fill an executive position when any of those words were included in the job ad.

All of them, that is, except for this one: authentic. The word authentic was the only one on the list that actually showed faster hiring time—by a difference of 10 days on average. Here are a few examples of how the word is used in context:

“Must be able to lead the team in an authentic manner that is consistent and predictable even in times of shifting business landscape.”

“Actively work to build authentic relationships with all stakeholders, and to realize our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.”

“…setting an example of mature, authentic leadership…”

It makes sense that most of the other words hurt job post performance, because a lot of them clearly fall into the “corporate jargon” category, which consistently causes an increase in time-to-fill.

But something special is going on for authentic leadership. The hiring data clearly shows that talking about authenticity is attracting the right kinds of candidates to executive roles, and getting them filled faster.

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