Re: Tips for agencies

Subject: Re: Tips for agencies
From: Melissa Hunter-Kilmer <mhunterk -at- BNA -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 10:45:19 EST

On Fri, 1 Aug 1997, Dan BRINEGAR <vr2link -at- VR2LINK -dot- COM> wrote:

> What would ya tell a new agency recruiter regarding how-to-find
experienced techwriters?

> Assume they'd never recruited a techwriter in their whole
careers, and don't know where to start.

> Assume furthermore, that they need writers for
less-than-popular assignments, say; on-site doing documentation
for the South Mobbefrenian Ground Self Defence Forces' SAP
installation on soviet-made mainframes (It's winter now in South
Mobbefrenia, about -40F, and the summers get up to +120F).

This is a terrific question, IMO. The last criterion makes this
search so much more interesting than the usual Search for Red

It's a pity one can't hire current military folks, because
they're used to moving to icky places at short notice. (I can
say this, folks; I'm an Army brat.) I wonder if one can recruit
those who are about to leave the service? Bev, you got any ideas
on this?

Failing that, I liked the idea somebody (sorry! don't remember
who!) had of recruiting from campuses. Of course, you _might_
not get experienced writers that way, but you have a good chance
of finding somebody who is mobile.

I think if I were the recruiter, I would go to an STC meeting or
two and hand out poopsheets (now I'm really in Army brat mode!)
about the job. The poopsheet would have to mention the pay rate,
which would have to be very high, I'd think. And the position
would have to include relocation expenses, per diem, etc.
Otherwise, who would take the job?

Also, the recruiter might want to call every tech writer on the
agency's books and ask for recommendations. We're the best
source any recruiter has.

> What tips can you offer this new recruiter to help him/her find
out about a writer's qualifications?

Oh, heck, the usual. Ask for references, ask tough questions
about how the writer accomplished the impossible in next to no
time and under hellacious conditions. We all have war stories we
can tell.

> I, for one, am pretty hard on recruiters from time-to-time:
here's a cluefull recruiter who's willing to own up to knowing
what she doesn't know -- what would ya say?

I say she's more precious than gold. Cherish her!

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com
BNA and I do not speak for each other. The company also does not
speak for fortune cookies. Today's message:

Wisdom is the principal thing.

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