'Aggressive' discouraging descriptor to job candidates: Report

Men and women react differently to recruitment language
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 08/02/2019
recruitment
Men and women react differently to language used both in the hiring process and in the workplace, according to a LinkedIn report.

More than 50,000 job descriptions on LinkedIn include the word “aggressive,” but that description could discourage almost half of women from applying to a job.

That’s because men and women react differently to language used both in the hiring process and in the workplace, according to LinkedIn’s Language Matters Gender Diversity report, based on a survey of more than 12,000 employees and 3,000 employers, and analysis of billions of data points created by more than 630 million members on LinkedIn.

When words like “aggressive” are used in a job description to describe a company’s workplace, 44 per cent of women and 33 per cent of men would be discouraged from applying.

Similarly, if a role or workplace was described as aggressive during an interview, 29 per cent of women and 19 per cent of men would decline an offer of employment, said the report.

A quarter of women would also be discouraged from working somewhere described as “demanding.”

Both men and women favour the same top three words to describe themselves in a job interview — “hard-working,” “good at my job,” and “confident,” said LinkedIn.

But women are 40 per cent more likely than men to want to be perceived in a job interview as “qualified”, “smart” and “competent.”

Women also prioritize terms that relate more to their character; specifically, “likeable” and “supportive” were cited by women more than men, said the report.

Both women and men respond very positively to descriptors such as “powerful” and “confident” — with about 30 per cent of both sexes indicating they would feel uplifted if colleagues described them as “powerful."  

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