Re: Setting up a Tech Comm Department

Subject: Re: Setting up a Tech Comm Department
From: "Dick Margulis " <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2002 10:44:48 -0400

Goober <techcommgoober -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:

>> 1. Recruiting the right people
>Determine first what skills you need in people, then
>find them (advertise, use placement firms, etc.), and
>then interview them. Follow the advice posted here
>over the past 3 weeks to conduct a productive

I'd like to emphasise the difference between Goober's approach and the alternative corporate approach. Note that Goober says, "determine first what skills you need." He does not say, "determine first what positions you want to fill."

This is important. The latter approach is what drives people nuts when they are looking for work. They see an inflexible slot into which they have to try to fit, regardless of their skills or working styles.

The former approach, Goober's, emphasizes that certain skills are needed in your department in order to get the work done. So it is important, when screening and interviewing candidates, to keep an open mind about division of labor. You may find two or three generalists who like to write, draw, edit, and compose type--soup to nuts--by themselves. You may find one person who wants to do nothing but write and another who loves production work, etc.

There is nothing written in stone that says one way works better than the other--especially when you are beginning to build a small department. Your goal is to build a group that generates high-quality deliverables on time and under budget. If you manage to do that consistently, nobody outside your department is going to criticize you for applying an unorthodox organizational model inside your department.

My two cents.


Disclaimer: My comments are addressed to the list, with a courtesy copy to the original poster. If you believe, mistakenly, that I am addressing you personally, please consult your primary care provider.

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