Re: Hiring Publications Managers

Subject: Re: Hiring Publications Managers
From: "Chris Knight" <cknight -at- attcanada -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 19:54:41 -0800

Thank you for your courteous and calm response.

> AHA! You've misread what was meant by "read". (aside from which I don't
> believe you have empirical evidence of your claim, correct?)
> So, I was asking, "given what I've READ (here on this list) about your
> identification AS a contractor, have I accurately described some of the
> reasons given on this list for why one actively chooses to be/c a

The only evidence I had was what you said. I have no other "empirical
evidence" of my claim.
Point taken if I misunderstood--list messages and e-mail are easy to
However, I don't remember reading anything like "When dealing with
contractors I have observed..." .
What I noticed was VERY firm opinions (every employer's right, sure) without
much "empirical evidence" as you put it.
I could have missed it.

> John Posada was curious as to why I said that I would only hire self-ID'd
> contractors for a managerial position if I'm desperate.
> In order to answer, I felt that we needed to establish first principles.
We had to agree on what self-id'd contractors--
> people very invested in their work AS a contractor. They have walked the
walk, and risked their financial security to
> do that work, yes? That means something important when evaluating resumes.
> That is what the question, "is that right?" meant. In order to have a
conversation among distrustful people,
> it helps to establish what people mean. Then, and only then, could I
answer his question.

Well said, and that clarifies your thoughts.

> Since he's explained several times over the nearly two years i've been
reading, I know that John values contracting
> because of the maximum control it gives him, that one of the major reasons
for job hopping is, for him, boredom.
> Elna was clearly bothered by my use of some terms. I don't see how "job
hopping" is such a bad thing, not as I
> read john, for instance. He's very proud of it.

Well, John has his reasons, and others (including me) have theirs. John may
be proud of "job hopping", but I think he would be in a minority on that. Of
course, "job hopping" IS a pejorative term (even if John used it and was
proud of it).
If a contractor were to say s/he "enjoyed new challenges", what would you
say? If you are smart, you would see that s/he COULD be just what you need
(provided s/he was willing to work as a staffer).

Again, what I read from you is what John's opinion is, and what other
opinions expressed on the list are, not your direct experience.
No one is saying you should abandon your no-contractor policy, and I
understand your annoyance if you have applications from contractors who seek
to persuade you to hire them *as contractors*.
What is at issue is your policy to automatically rule out a
"self-identified" contractor who applied for a *staff* job, i.e. was willing
to give up contracting to work for you.
That is what many of us find either puzzling or repellent or both.
Which in turn, I think, explains why some folks appear to be "distrustful

To make my own approach clear: When I am looking for contracts, I watch job
postings; if I see a company advertise more than once for a tech writing
staff position, I might approach them about contract work, making that clear
I, like most other contractors, have been offered staff positions, and, so
far, declined--in my case precisely because they were not management
positions. Such a position is the next logical step for me, so I hope you
can understand why I'd be concerned about someone ruling me out only because
I am a contractor. I did interview for a staff management job 2-3 years ago,
and *was* questioned on my commitment; fair enough. I was not *ruled out*,
and in fact, was offered the job. That time I declined because the company
seemed VERY scattered (I had not worked for them as a contractor). The
company's subsequent history substantiated my impression--another example of
the business sense one develops as a contractor.

Hoping that I am being clear and courteous, and grateful for your candor,

Christopher Knight, Technical Communicator
E-mail: cknight -at- attcanada -dot- ca
Phone: (604) 877-0074

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Re: Hiring Publications Managers: From: Kelley

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