Investors pump $20M into Seattle startup Textio, which helps job recruiters find the right words

The startup, which helps companies tweak job postings to get a better pool of qualified candidates to apply, raised $20 million from Silicon Valley firm Scale Venture Partners, as well as existing investors.

In a competitive job-hiring market, investors are taking notice of Seattle startup Textio, which helps companies tweak job postings to get a better pool of qualified candidates to apply.

The startup raised $20 million from investors Wednesday to keep developing its “augmented writing” technology and expand it beyond job postings.

Textio lets people enter their text into a word-processor online, where its technology analyzes it — comparing the writing against millions of similar posts and the applicants they attracted, and predicting outcomes. The analysis is in real-time, so a customer can see the effect of making changes to the job posting.

Some words are likely to appeal to different genders, or ages or experience levels. Textio lets you know.

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The startup says its service helps companies attract 25 percent more candidates who are qualified to get a job interview, a valuable asset in the heated job market that helps companies fill jobs two weeks quicker than they would otherwise.

It’s also addressing gender diversity within the technology industry, a major issue facing the fast-growing sector, by pointing out to recruiters what language might encourage women to apply.

A Textio report released earlier this month listed the most eye-catching and biggest turnoff phrases in recent Seattle job posts. Applicants responded positively to phrases such as “self starter,” “gender identity” and “data driven” and shunned “highly motivated,” “strong analytical” and “technology solutions.”

Textio’s customers, which include Credit Suisse, Johnson & Johnson and CVS,…

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