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Recruiting: Readability Scores of Job Descriptions

This is an overview what readability scores are, how to interpret them, and how to use the score to evaluate and improve job descriptions in Paycor Recruiting.


  • Readability scores are generated by analyzing a passage of text using the Flesch Reading Ease test.
  • The Flesch Reading Ease test is a formula that evaluates the overall readability of the passage of text based on the total words, sentences, and syllables present in the text.
  • The resulting Readability Score indicates how easy or difficult the passage of text is to read.
  • Readability scores are a standard evaluation embedded in most word processing programs.
  • Additionally, this standard is commonly used by governmental and legislative agencies to ensure the textual content of various documents is accessible to the average adult.


  • The readability score generated by the Flesch Reading Ease test is a value between zero (0) and 100:
    • Higher scores indicate material that is easier to read.
    • Lower scores indicate the text is more difficult to read. It is important to note that a high score is not necessarily good, and a low score is not necessarily bad.
  • Readability scores must always be considered with the intended audience in mind.
  • Popular books, magazines, newspapers, and blogs typically have readability scores that range between 50 and 80.
  • By contrast, scholarly articles, legal contracts, and technical documents will typically have readability scores between 20 and 60. 

Review this rubric to help you interpret a readability score:

Score School Level (U.S.) Comments
100 - 90 5th Grade
  • Very easy to read.
  • Easily understood by an average 11-year-old student.
90 - 80 6th Grade
  • Easy to read.
  • Conversational English for consumers.
80 - 70 7th Grade Fairly easy to read.
70 - 60 8th and 9th Grade Plain English. Easily understood by 13 to 15-year-old students.
60 - 50 10th and 12th Grade Fairly difficult to read.
50 - 30 College Difficult to read.
30 - 10 College Graduate Very difficult to read. Best understood by university graduates.
10 - 0 Professional Extremely difficult to read. Best understood by university graduates.


Job descriptions are the first opportunity an applicant has to evaluate whether or not they would be a fit for your company. A difficult-to-read job description might dissuade some prospective candidates from applying to your open position, resulting in a smaller applicant pool. 

In Paycor Recruiting, the Check Readability feature gives your team insights to better understanding the overall readability of your job description. An awareness of the readability score for a given job description can help your team make strategic updates to your job description to maximize accessibility and improve the health of your applicant pool.

The Check Readability feature is available in these Recruiting sections: 

  • Create a Job tab
  • Request Job Approval tab
  • Activate this Job screen
  • Job Newsfeed & Description tab in the Job Record
  • Job Templates

How to Access the Check Readability feature in Paycor Recruiting:

In Paycor Recruiting, you can use the Check Readability feature on any screen you enter a Job Description information:

  1. After you enter a job description, at the top-left of the Job Description screen, click Check Readability.
  2. The Improve Readability popup screen appears displaying the Readability Score for your job description, additional counting metrics, a simple rubric for understanding the score, and links to knowledge base articles like this one.
  3. If you approve of the readability score, click OK. The popup disappears and you return to the Job Description screen.
  4. To improve a readability score, edit your job description using our recommendations to improve the score and maximize the accessibility for your job posting. For more information, see Recruiting: How to Modify a Job Description's Readability Score.

05/13/24 220 views

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