Textio has discovered a secret to getting companies to recruit more diverse employees: Put words in hiring managers’ mouths. Textio is a writing-enhancement service powered by a proprietary data set of more than 350 million job posts. It uses AI to analyze job descriptions in real time, highlighting jargon, boring bits, and words that could come across as particularly masculine or feminine. It also predicts how different people will respond to the content and suggests alternatives. The proposed text varies by client—Textio tailors recommendations after first studying the company’s prior hiring data, including applicant qualifications and demographics.
Last year, the Seattle startup, which initially released its writing-analysis tools in 2015, grew its client base—including Nvidia, CVS, and Evernote—by more than 200%. “We’re at the point where there are enough customers using Textio that they can prove out the results,” says CEO Kieran Snyder. Johnson & Johnson, for example, reported an additional 90,000 female applicants (a 9% increase) in its pipeline last year after using Textio to refine its job postings. Nvidia now fills jobs twice as quickly, and Evernote’s apply-through rate on Glassdoor’s online job boards tripled. With a recent $20 million funding round, Snyder plans to apply Textio to recruiting emails, which take up gobs of hiring managers’ time and often go unanswered. Eventually, she envisions growing Textio into a full-service augmented writing resource for the workplace. “We had a vision that if you knew how your audience would respond, that would be powerful,” she says.