Appcast, a leading programmatic recruitment advertising platform, has released an analysis of data looking into how gendered wording impacts candidates. The “Impact of Gendered Wording on Candidate Attraction” report was developed by Appcast with a focus on how gendered wording impacts cost per application (CPA), apply rate (AR), and the average number of applications per job. Appcast reviewed 473,742 jobs advertised between August 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020 for the study. The Appcast report uses the gendered wording originally identified within a University of Waterloo and Duke University academic study, job ads from Appcast's extensive jobs database, as well as data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and other sources to provide gender context for the 22 different job functions examined in the report.
The report examined 22 different job functions – from construction, technology, transportation and warehousing to retail, healthcare, customer service and education – to explore how gender-coded words impact job advertising results for predominantly male, predominantly female and gender-balanced job functions. The report used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to provide gender context for job functions.
The findings - while not shocking - are fascinating. Job ads with gender-neutral language (i.e., language without male- and female-coded words) resulted in:
Adding to this, industries that are perceived as male-biased still do better with job-ads that are gender-neutral. In technology, 72% of the workers are men according to the BLS, and yet Appcast found:
“Recognizing how word choice in job advertising impacts results and adjusting ads accordingly are crucial to attaining recruitment objectives,” said Heather Salerno, senior vice president of marketing at Appcast. “Our goal with this report is to provide hiring organizations with a guide that they can continuously turn to and use as a resource to achieve their specific recruitment advertising objectives.”
Despite data that shows clear impact between word-choice and butts-in-seats, the majority of job ads fail the test. There are tools available to solve the problem, so this is less a technology issue versus one of awareness. Engaging with an experienced job description consultant is another good step to consider. Getting budget - always tricky - should be a bit easier with the data collected by Appcast. Walk your finance team (or whomever you work with to get extra budget) metrics they'll get - time to fill vs the cost of empty seats, the savings on advertising dollars with a lower CPA. You may well find yourself actively encouraged, and supported, in balancing your jobs.
To download the full report, please visit here.