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Computational Linguistics Arrives in HR

On June 1, 2015, in HRExaminer, by John Sumser

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This week, I got a chance to look at two interesting (and complementary) recruiting tools. Gild showed me their cradle to grave recruiting tool. Textio walked me through their job listing optimization tool.

Computational Linguistics Arrives in HR

“The meaning of your communication is the result that you get.”

There is no better way to explain that there are very specific consequences for the language that we choose. Slight shades of nuance effect everything from the kinds of people who apply to a job listing to the SEO performance of that same ad to the impact a bit of email has on the workforce. Word choice drives perception. Word choice discloses intent and performance.

It used to be the case that these sorts of ideas made sense in the abstract. Empaths and intuitives could get at the essence of meaning. Great editors make ideas explode. The rest of us took it on faith.

This week, I got a chance to look at two interesting (and complementary) recruiting tools. Gild showed me their cradle to grave recruiting tool. Textio walked me through their job listing optimization tool.

Gild’s tools are built on a database of 120 million profiles (including resumes). Textio uses job listings (and performance info associated with those listings) to work its magic. Textio promises that you can find out if your job listing works before you publish it. Gild promises a complete organize hiring process turbocharged by ‘big data’. Gild is a suite. Textio is a point solution.

Textio currently works like a word processor. You paste the job listing into the interface and it offers a critique. It notices terms that have positive value, negative value and are repetitive. It also notices and highlights the terms that give gender bias to the ad. Textio scores the job ad on a scale of 100 and offers graded assessments of major strengths and weaknesses. Textio is built to improve written work.

Take a look at the Textio product description. Join the beta. You can use this tool to improve the quality of your written communications in any form.

While it is possible to publish job ads from within the Gild platform, the tool is best suited for mining Gild’s database of 120 Million profiles. The company keeps those profiles as current as possible through a massive web scraping endeavor. Where Textio looks to drive advertising effectiveness (and improve gender equity), Gild showcases passive candidates and helps Recruiters understand who might be good at what.

Gild is headed towards building the next generation Recruiting system. In its current incarnation, it offers some level of prediction (including an assessment of whether a passive candidate is likely to respond). The suite is well on the way to replacing ATS functionality.

Where Gild focuses on the recruiting process, Textio is dedicated to communications effectiveness. Great recruiting requires both.

The two firms are just the leading edge of Computational Linguistics. HR is the best testing ground for tools that make sense out of the world by looking at large volumes of human related data. Expect to see the discipline splattered all over HR Tech in the next couple of years.

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