- Employers should avoid certain words and use "open language" in job ads and throughout the hiring process, or risk repelling otherwise qualified applicants, LinkedIn advised in its Language Matters report. LinkedIn found that using the word "aggressive" in job ads to describe the ideal candidate discourages 44% women and 33% of men from applying.
- According to LinkedIn's research, one in four women would be discouraged from working for a company that describes its work environment as "demanding." Women and men both responded very positively to words such as "powerful" and "confident." Women were also "more likely to prioritize terms that relate to their character, such as 'likeable' and 'supportive,'" LinkedIn said.
- Both women and men use the same top three terms to describe themselves in a job interview: "hard-working," "good at my job" and "confident," LinkedIn found. However, women were 40% more likely than men to want to be seen as "qualified," "smart" and "competent" when leaving a job interview, according to LinkedIn.
LinkedIn said language affects every aspect of the hiring process, from how organizations describe themselves to the tone they set for applicants. Choosing the right words for an ad can impact a company's ability to attract "a balanced cohort of talent," the social media platform added in its report.
Recruiters must know which words, terms and content to avoid (and include) to appeal to all types of candidates. For example, a LinkedIn survey released in May found that salary and benefits information was the most important part of a job ad for 68% of the women polled because including it can demonstrate a commitment to pay transparency. But along with accidentally gendered ads, ageism has plagued some ads, as well. Terms such as "fast-paced," energetic" and "digital native" can imply that older workers "need not apply."
Many organizations have recognized the need to include equal employment opportunity statements and LGBTQ-inclusive language in their job ads. Though the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes protections for sexual orientation and gender identity on October 8 (and the Equality Act sits at the Senate), employers don't need to wait for a decision to commit to diversity and inclusion for LGBTQ workers, experts have told HR Dive.