Reducing bias in your recruitment comms.

Designer Yang Liu’s   Man Meets Woman   is a visual exploration of the age-old, constantly evolving interplay between the sexes.

Designer Yang Liu’s Man Meets Woman is a visual exploration of the age-old, constantly evolving interplay between the sexes.


Here are two quick ideas.

You might have heard about Textio? It's great — it analyses millions of job posts a month to assess whether the language used is more attractive to men or women. Their system — built on a platform of machine learning — gives you real-time tips as to how to make your language more gender neutral.

You can test a few of your job descriptions for free on their website.

If you're part of a large organisation, there is even a section of the site that will give you an analysis based on your competition. Like this one for PwC - you just have to type your organisation's name in and click 'go'. 

But how do you get people to the job description? Usually from a simpler message about why people should work for your company... maybe you call these the pillars of your EVP?

  1. There's great career progression.
  2. You can make a social contribution.
  3. The personal development opportunities are brilliant.
  4. You get free lunch!

It's possible that these motivations are gendered like many of the job descriptions that sit behind them. Do the motives you use today appeal more to men or women? Are you inadvertently appealing to one group over another in your campaign concept AND your day-to-day recruitment communications?

You can only find out through testing - and in this case, testing doesn't mean asking people why they want to work for you. This is not a valid way to predict behaviour.

Testing means conducting a randomised controlled trial. You present two or more of the motives above (or whatever motives you think are strongest for your organisation) to randomised segments of your audience. Then you measure the difference in the results. Not only will this improve the effectiveness of your media spend, with a little care, it will also make your talent attraction communications more inclusive.

The process might sound complex and time consuming but it isn't. It’s likely we could run an effective A/B test using the channels you’re already using. And simple and effective is all you’d need to optimise your content and creative to a whole new level.

So if you want to look before you leap into this year’s campaign concepts and employer brand propositions then...

John StorerComment