“We have [insert augmented writing tools here.] We’re going to write better job postings!” They say it with such pride that I hate to break their hearts by sharing that most augmented writing tools can barely identify a fart, let alone create content.
Let me explain. Yes, I meant to say fart.
Before I go too far into this post, there are a handful of people wondering what augmented writing tools are in the first place. Augmented writing tools analyze words and score that content for things like inclusive language. They also make recommendations that help you improve the vocabulary and tone.
There are augmented writing tools that look at emails, subject lines, blog posts, job posts – pretty much whatever you paste into their site. If you’re using an augmented writing tool like Textio or Grammarly, like this post now – I’m curious how widely adopted the software is now.
How do augmented writing tools work for recruiting?
I’ve been aware of augmented writing technology for a long time. I use Grammarly every day and call it the copywriter’s best friend. But I’m wary when I hear people suggest using augmented writing as a replacement for writing training for teams, especially in recruiting.
Have you read those “machine learning job postings?” Eek. They’re a slightly elevated version of what already exists. I’m being nice saying they’re any better. Some of the writing advice they offer is just ridiculous.
So, after recent conversations about augmented writing tools, I decided to do a test. I randomly selected augmented writing tools, then asked friends for access to their accounts. I tested a few free tools, too.
My test? I typed the word “fart” into the tool. That’s it. Just a fart. If these tools can’t even sniff out a fart, how are they going to make your job post and recruiting content any better?
- Two told me I didn’t input enough content.
- 8 provided scores.
- By their average scores, “fart” gets an average score of 88. Fart is officially B+ content, y’all.
Job Post Writing Lesson: Shit In, Shit Out
We can’t have augmented tools without training because they are machines that process inputs. It couldn’t catch a fart in the subject line and tell me that probably wasn’t the best lead for candidate outreach. They don’t have a filter that says, “this is what a hiring manager cares about.” It doesn’t help you imagine what this person’s life is like. That’s where you need humans. That’s where you need better insights from hiring managers.
That’s what you learn in great writing training for recruiting.
Augmented writing tools are a supplement, not a standalone, in the process to create better writing. You have to teach people to write first, so they have a mutual understanding of expectations and tone.
People need to build confidence. Pretty much everyone I meet tells me they are not writers, and that’s not true. They just need writing training. A team can go from writing good to excellent job posts with a combination of team training and augmented writing tools, but not by relying on technology alone.
Have you implemented augmented writing tools without training? I want to help. My company, Three Ears Media, offers virtual and in-person team writing training for teams of all sizes that’s tailored to your team and challenges. I love it because I see people transform their writing in a matter of hours. They go from “I’m not a writer” to “I got this.” I’ll tell you more of my cheesy stories on our first call. You can book that here.
Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.
Katrina has written for Monster.com, HR.com, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.