Writing Test May Be Required for Hiring 2.0 (or Maybe We Interview With Blogs?)
Posted by Bob Warfield on September 5, 2007
Yet another Seth Godin blog post stopped me in my tracks and made me write a post of my own. I wish I had Godin’s ability to write these short but pithy thought provokers. Alas, I am somewhat more long-winded. But people tell me I can write. Here are the words that stopped me from Godin’s post (the italics are mine):
If you’re trying to hire someone who presents well to strangers, creates documents without typos, is good at seeking out interesting new opportunities, can think on her feet in an interview and can network with strangers in search of a goal, your current hiring system is probably perfect.
Unfortunately, those skills don’t apply to most jobs.
As a result, we end up hiring people who are good at self-marketing, not at what we need them to do.
Lately I’ve been thinking about the web in terms of Presidential Politics and media. The popular Media of the day have influenced our choice of leaders for a long time. What does this have to do with Seth’s quote? Well consider that in this era of television, we elect actors and others such as Bill Clinton who can project charisma via television. Godin’s point is that we’re hiring people who project charisma in an interview. My point is that in a business that’s terribly concerned with the Web, shouldn’t we be considering people who project over that medium?
I’m seriously thinking that everyone in Marketing or Sales or any other customer facing job in my startup needs to be able to express themselves with the written word. For Marketing people in particular, I’m really going to be drawn to people who can write. Startups need producers of content anyway. I’ve seen a few big companies try to farm that out to some agency or another and it has always had terrible results. The agencies certainly have English majors who can write, but they don’t know what to write about, and the non-writers trying to manage them don’t seem to have many ideas either.
So if you know anyone who presents well to strangers, creates documents without typos, and can network with strangers in search of a goal, send her my way.