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Trying to get rid of potential talent? Use a crap ton of stupid jargon

(BUSINESS NEWS) Corporate speak is a good way to turn off potential talent that may be unfamiliar with the industry lingo.

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Insider speak

Of the many barriers keeping young people from finding good jobs, here’s one you may not have thought of: job ads that are full of jargon.

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A study by Business in the Community found that a large number of young job applicants feel intimated to apply for jobs when the job description contains unfamiliar technical terms, acronyms, and abbreviations. Young people aged 16 to 24 were asked to rate the accessibility of ads for entry level jobs at over 65 U.K. companies.

Failure to communicate

Over two thirds of respondents said that they ended up applying for jobs that they didn’t really understand, or simply opted not to apply because they didn’t recognize some of the language and assumed it meant they “didn’t deserve” or weren’t “good enough” for the job.

Among the most confusing terminology used in job ads were words like “procurement” and “compliance,” phrases like “fulfillment service” and “mergers and acquisitions,” and acronyms like “SLAs” and “KPIs.” Over a third of the ads reviewed in the study contained examples of jargon like these.

Speaking two different languages

Another study by American Express OPEN found that while 65 percent of U.S. workers admit to using some jargon themselves, 88 percent have found themselves smiling and nodding, pretending to understand the jargon of their bosses and coworkers.

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Mark Bevan, director of Business in Community Scotland is “concerned that the prevalence of ‘business speak’ in job adverts could inadvertently be limiting…opportunities” for young people looking for their first job or trying to break into a new industry.

“This is also a problem for business because it means employers could be missing out on great talent,” he added.

Besides being chockful of unfamiliar terms, many ads also lacked basic information to help candidates decide if jobs were appropriate for them. Many ads failed to mention the pay rate, the number of hours, and the location of the business. Over half failed to give any details about the hiring process, meaning young people turned in applications without any idea when to expect word, or what the next step would be.

If you’re recruiting experienced workers for upper level positions, it makes sense to ensure that candidates are familiar with the terminology you’ll be throwing around the office.

On the other hand, writing a lot of jargon into job descriptions for entry level roles will only scare off qualified young people who will be intimated when they aren’t familiar with the terminology.

Business in the Community has launched a #JargonFreeJobs social media campaign to encourage job recruiters to drop the lingo, and has published guidelines for companies on how to write effective recruitment ads and job descriptions.

#JargonFreeJobs

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Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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