Re: Writing test for senior writer?

Subject: Re: Writing test for senior writer?
From: "Tim Altom" <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com>
To: "TechDoc List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 15:51:25 -0500

Having been a contractor, and now being an employer, I can see both sides of
this question. Believe me, if I have to give a prospective senior writer a
test, something's wrong with my hiring practices. And any senior writer who
gets such a test should seriously wonder about the management's ability to
judge talent. A test may be relevant for entry-level, but it's not
beneficial for higher levels.

As examples, here we put stress on hiring people we know from STC, from
meetings, from word of mouth. And we've been in the industry so long that we
can usually spot phonies even if we don't know them personally before they
apply. When we hire for positions we're not all that familiar with, we call
around to get recommendations. And then we watch each new-hire carefully for
some time, correcting where we can, weeding where we can't, a la the One
Minute Manager. Nobody on our staff gets away with poor performance for more
than a week. We set goals and standards, and then we review them weekly. We
therefore avoid humiliating experienced professionals by having them take a
pop quiz. I have to say that as a senior-grade myself, if somebody hauled
out a pencil and paper and expected me to take a test, I'd smile and say "no
thanks...there's a place down the street that has better management".

Tim Altom
Simply Written, Inc.
Featuring FrameMaker and the Clustar Method(TM)
"Better communication is a service to mankind."
317.562.9298
http://www.simplywritten.com






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