Man pays for services of attract retain and grow female talent through his laptop

Is your vacancy text scaring off diverse talent?

By Britt Staal

A new vacancy opens up. Where do you start? Do you just go ahead and write (or even copy) a standard vacancy text, like you always do? 


Because writing a vacancy text the same way, and in the same style as you always do, will lead to attracting the same type of candidates. This will lead to less diverse teams, which equals less innovation, less creativity, worse decision making, lower employee performance, slower problem solving and therefore a less effective team. This is the last thing you want, right!? 

Diverse hiring for more effective teams: how to go about it

Start with the basics and analyze the current team. What are the main strengths and what skills and qualities are missing? Then decide how to bridge the gap by deciding what type of person would complement the team and make it more effective. 

Do you need a male employee, that will most likely have masculine qualities like assertiveness, independence and decisiveness? Or would the team benefit more from a female colleague, that will most likely have feminine qualities like collaboration, commitment and empathy? Use this as a basis to start writing the vacancy text. Do you want to hire a female employee but don’t know how to? Read our 5 tips to attract female talent

At The xGen we help organizations create more gender diverse teams by reviewing and re-writing vacancy texts so it appeals to more female candidates and generates a bigger and more diverse talent pool. Because the way a vacancy text is written might actually scare off female talent. Therefore, we have developed a methodology by which we analyze how the vacancy text is written, as well as what content it contains. 

How does this work?

We start by analyzing the tone of voice and keywords in the vacancy text. Some words are perceived as masculine or feminine and using a lot of masculine words (like assertive, competitive or confident) can prevent female candidates from applying. While using more feminine wording does not only attract more female candidates, it also doesn’t make the vacancy less attractive to male candidates. A win-win, right? 

Also, the content of the vacancy text can scare off female talent. For instance, men apply if they meet 50-60% of the requirements mentioned in a vacancy text but women only apply when they are meeting 90-100% of the requirements. Therefore, we analyze the skills, competences or requirements that are written in the vacancy and determine which ones are most essential. 

But not only the vacancy text itself is important. Fish where there are fish: use the right media and platforms. And don’t run a recruitment campaign and then stop to analyse the facts once it’s finished. Analyze and adapt. And of course, practice what you preach. There is no use in writing the perfect vacancy text if the organization can’t deliver what it promises. 

Are you looking to attract female talent and do you want to learn more about our approach? 
Reach out!

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