Recruiters' Listings

Subject: Recruiters' Listings
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- SIMPLYWRITTEN -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 08:56:15 -0500

I was looking over some of the past and present recruiters' requirements on
this list, and it struck me that perhaps the recruiters were missing
something. I'll throw this onto the list for commentary.

Let's begin with the assumption that nobody with any experience trusts
recruiters. Most of us with any snow in our follicles knows that recruiters
are often clueless about the true nature of a job or, perhaps worse,
deliberately misleading. I think that many capable techdoc'ers just turn off
recruiters' listings, especially if the listing seems vague or unusual:
"Must work in team environment. Must know Excel and PowerPoint." Excel and
PowerPoint? Why? And what's meant by a "team environment"? Convict road
gangs work in "team environments" too. What's the true picture here, Hoss?

Perhaps recruiters could attract more of us, and more of us with good
experience, by seeking out the details of the job and then revealing more.
"Must know Excel and PowerPoint. Client currently has data in Excel that
must be ported into Word. Client has presentations existing in PowerPoint
that will serve as subject matter." "Writer must work in environment where
time is tight and subject matter experts are not readily available". These
additional details would probably go a long way toward reassuring long-time
practitioners that this isn't just another slop job (unless it really IS a
slop job). Throw writers at a job until a few stick...

Maybe the average recruiter can't completely look at a project from our
standpoint, but the stingy little dribbles of information they usually offer
us smack of traditional secretarial hiring: "Must type 40 wpm; nothing else
matters." I think it's time for recruiters to stop thinking of listings as
the first crumb in the bread trail, and open up about the job. If nothing
else, it's reassuring to us to know that the recruiter actually knows
something about the position, and isn't just a parrot for someone more
knowledgable. And why would you spend your productive time talking to a

Tim Altom
Adobe Certified Expert, Acrobat
Simply Written, Inc.
The FrameMaker support people
Ask about Clustar Method training and consulting

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