Objective champions & compassionate enthusiasts – Gendered wording in job ads

You might have heard that the way in which job ads are phrased might have an impact on how attractive they are to potential applicants. Some companies offered paid services on improving your ads, other tools are readily available online or you can just check out the original word list here.

And it sounds promising, right? Surely, erasing typical male words is not only an easy thing to do, it´s intuitive that this will increase your influx of female candidates. An attractive low-effort-high-impact recruitment intervention. Or is it?

In this post, I walk you through the original research and some of the media coverage done on the topic and give some tips on how to implement a more gender-balanced perspective in your job ads. I will also take a critical stand regarding if – from a bigger perspective of attracting talents and making them apply – working on your job ad wording is worth the effort. Maybe not surprisingly, my answer is “no” but I believe that in your context, it might be an interesting puzzle piece to consider.

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Effective ways of reducing the number of competent (international) HR applicants (Swedish edition)

Feel free to copy this job posting blue-print for your next HR-professional opening for a Swedish company. You will greatly reduce the number of applications from competent (international) candidates and in addition severely harm your employer brand. All translations my work, originals taken from real job descriptions.

  • Du har en PA-utbildning och minst tre års erfarenhet av brett HR-arbete med HR-frågor. (= You have a ”PA”-qualification and a minimum of three years of experience from broad HR-work with HR questions.) [1]
  • Erfarenhet av att arbeta i process med ARUBA (= Experience from working according to ARUBA) [2]
  • Vidare är du en street-smart person. (=Besides that, you are a street-smart person.) [3]
  • Du älskar att vara spindeln i nätet. (= You love to be the spider in the web.) [4]
  • A sense of humour is greatly appreciated [5]
  • Swedish and English mandatory [6]

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