From analytical to data-driven and other ways Seattle hiring language changed in 2017

Self-starters reign over cross-functional teams in Seattle

Marissa Coughlin
Jun 2, 2017 · 3 min read

Our home city, Seattle, is a bonafide tech hub. Not only are we the base for Amazon and Expedia, Silicon Valley based companies like Facebook, Google, and Pinterest are all opening offices and growing their teams here. And Seattle continues to attract fantastic healthcare and medical talent. The city is booming, and hiring competition is fierce!

If you’re looking to hire in Seattle, this is for you - Textio analysis reveals what particular phrases in job posts are attracting the best candidates this year. The phrases on the Fastest Movers list statistically show up in jobs that fill much faster than average. Sadly, the words on the Biggest Losers list are all slowing you down.

In January 2016, if you included one of the Fastest Movers in your job description, your role performed just like everyone else’s. But when it comes to language, what a difference a year makes! Since January 2017, people have applied to jobs containing these phrases in record numbers — and as a result, jobs containing them fill much faster.

The reverse is true for the Biggest Losers list. All of these have performed a lot worse in 2017 than they have in the past.

Textio’s predictive engine analyzes almost 10 million new job posts (and outcomes) each month, and the engine is constantly learning the language patterns that make job posts work right now to attract qualified, diverse candidates.

One unique output of this is Textio can surface how language patterns change in real time, and how these patterns vary by region.

Let’s take a look at the list! The biggest winner of the year is gender identity. With the boon in tech jobs, and the increasing awareness around the complexity of gender and the value of inclusive hiring, using this phrase decreased the time to fill a position. Next on the list: proud equal opportunity (employer), which is also not surprising in this context. However, if we look over at the losers list, just using a simple eoe slows down hiring. Perfunctory statements like that just won’t cut it; you actually have to say what you mean when it comes to equal opportunity.

Another interesting juxtaposition is strong communication (skills), which is a winner, whereas excellent communication (skills) is a loser. This just shows how subtle differences in language can make a huge hiring impact.

Overall the “losers” list shows how quickly words can become corporate jargon, which is known to turn off job candidates. Strong analytical (skills) has become passé in favor of terms like data-driven (on the winners list). Technology solutions, cross-functional teams, and work collaboratively all sound like they could be taken from the script of a 2017 remake of Office Space — and no surprise, they’re on the losers list this summer.

Given how fast hiring language has changed in the past year, I can’t wait to see how the Seattle talent landscape shifts by 2018.

Learn more about how language impacts your hiring at

Textio Blog

Writing about the future of writing

Thanks to Tim Halloran

Marissa Coughlin

Written by

Comms for @textio, all around geek, burgeoning soap maker, Alaska grown. Likes: puns, alliterations Dislikes: vegetables, mornings. Pronouns: She/Her

Textio Blog

Writing about the future of writing

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