Hey Ho! C’mon Textio!

He Ho Let's Go

In my pursuit of learning and trying all things tech that in the talent acquisition and recruitment market, I have encountered products and platforms on a range from MVP stage through to fully deployed into the market. In previous blogs I have mentioned propositions such as Cyra and Sniper AI which I have yet to see gain market momentum. In contrast, there are products such as Job Pal that have gained serious validation through the on-boarding of major clients – I had the pleasure of meeting the CEO and Founder of Job Pal, Luc Dudler, back in 2016 and I could tell then that he knew where the future of recruitment and talent acquisition was tracking.

The latest platform I am working with is Textio – “an augmented writing platform”; these fine folks are so confident that I’ll continue to use the tool, they gave me a free trial to begin with and then extended the trial for a further 2-weeks after I’d received a further induction on the full operability of the tool. Kudos to you Textio!

A little background….

Textio was co-founded by two people – both former Microsofties and both worked on the MS Office suite of products; this will become evident in the UI and orientation around Textio – it’s familiar and easy to use. The first person I spoke to in a v-meeting was Anthony Serna, one of the Product Specialists – cool guy and maybe a Seattle-based Chicago Bears fan.

Textio’s entrance into the UK market was catapulted by a round of investment reported back in June 2017 – they managed to secure $20 million from existing venture capital and investors. Quite a springboard!

Combine this to having active advocates such as Katrina Collier, The Searchologist – the person that made me aware of Textio – I think the team should be confident of more adoption and interest across the wider UK talent acquisition and recruitment community.

User-experience

When I cut-&-paste a recently created job specification into a new ‘Job post’ window, I’m instantly drawn to the score collating in the top-right hand corner and I start to have a growing sense of competition! – I need a higher score! The ‘Textio score’ is how you track your progress and I am also informed that ‘Textio is currently comparing your writing to 4,954,652 recent job posts in the United Kingdom’.

Upon reflection, this is a really simple, however, very clever way of keeping users engaged and motivated to want to continue to modify the job specification through creative writing, implementing the ‘tips’ and ‘guidance’ provided such as; too much bulleted content, sentences are too long, uses repetitive wording and not enough verbs. Additionally, there is a barometer for the ‘tone’ of the job post which informs you if you have a overly masculine or feminine tone or if your job post has a neutral tone.

I was actually quite surprised by one job post I added as Textio awarded it a possible ‘2 out of 100’ score and stated the post was “really bad”; it had an overly masculine tone, used repetitive wording, it was using very corporate language, the sentences were too long and it had too much bulleted content. A challenge had been set!

 

Fast-forward a day and half of intermittently redrafting the aforementioned job post whilst travelling on the train, between meetings and in the evening as part of my downtime; I managed to increase the job post Textio score to 81 which I was informed was “Strong” with a “feminine tone” and I’d managed to introduce more ‘we’ statements, add more positive statements that increase job post interest and phrases that attract more female applicants. The difference between the original post and the one that was produced by using Textio was very evident.

Why is it important?

Diversity in the any team and business will increase creative, collaboration and successful business and personal outcomes; however, building diverse teams starts with a considered discovery, attraction and engagement strategy. Understanding the person(s) you want to engage and actually finding out what is important to them is the beginning of your discovery phase.

Equally, the generational shift in the workforce from the Gen X to the Millennial majority demands attention as the juxtaposition between ‘traditional approach’ and ‘new world of work’ to talent acquisition is a key consideration. I’ve blogged about part of this subject in a previous post.

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Taking action

I’ve been an advocate for the Tech Talent Charter since my first workshop back in 2016 and I continue to promote the awareness of the Charter’s unpinning goals in the context of recruitment. I would recommend reading the material contained in the Charter if you work in HR, Talent Acquisition or recruitment. 

One of the key components of the Charter is the ‘Rooney Rule’ which aims to ensure that at least one female applicant is shortlisted for interview, thus, improving the potential female candidate pipeline within technology companies.

It’s also pleasing to note that the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport announced its commitment to promoting the Charter in its capacity as the UK Government’s Department for Digital.

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Buyer beware

One final note on Textio, as the sub-title suggests; the 14 Day Free Trial and the extended trial (available if you asked for it), is incredibly generous and certainly helps to ensure you become suitably reliant on the tool. HOWEVER….

“Textio subscriptions are company wide, last for 36, 24, or 12 months, with the price being based on the number of open roles on an organisation’s career site. Currently, we don’t offer individual licenses or user-based pricing.”

….this was an incredibly frustrating discovery! I’m hoping that the Textio team will take into consideration the mass-adoption that could be driven through single subscriptions – as an independent business (of one person), this tool has vast potential for my business and end clients.

HEY HO! C’MON TEXTIO! 

2 thoughts on “Hey Ho! C’mon Textio!

  1. Great article as always. Definitely sounds a brilliant tool for the less “creative” amongst us. However, even 12 months as a minimum sounds a heavy commitment even for a single user. Hopefully they can see your point of single user subscriptions.

    Liked by 1 person

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