Friday, June 10, 2011

AD HOC: What Every Recruiter Should Know

Ah, the news all over my Twitter and RSS feeds today: Dow Below 12,000 for the First Time Since March. And, from a week ago: Unemployment Rises In May.

I am the last person to tell any corporation how to run their business. The advice that I'm about to bestow is for when the employer is ready to hire again.

If you utilize a hiring agency, be sure the recruiter handling your account has basic written communication skills mastered.

I say this because:
  1. I'm a communication professional. The opening line of my resume states just that.
  2. It's good business sense, regardless of whether you're a recruiter, a hiring manager, or the receptionist answering the phone.
  3. Anything less than a mastery of basic written communications skills ruins your opportunity for quality talent.
Since I've been actively looking for a job (starting this spring), I usually receive an a kind of inquiry from a headhunter about every other week or so that could be mistaken for an adolescent text message. This doesn't anger me so much as disappoint me--I'm not even going to read that job offer, no matter how sweet it may seem, due to the poor use of language in the e-mail. (And if the recruiter is not composing the message on e-mail but on an application of an e-mail program, that practice could be leading to the problem.) My understanding is that recruiters receive incentives for getting the right people in the right positions, but communications skills can make or break that determination. Consider my most recent offer, which contained the following syntax errors:
  • Use of "U" instead of "You"
  • Wrong application of "You're," meaning the writer should have utilized "Your" (Actually, it was spelled "u're," which troubled me twice)
  • Improper spelling of the word "believe" (no spell check?)
  • Little or no use of the article "a" or "an"
That was just the beginning. Normally I'm not a stickler for grammar (I don't walk around with a red pen), but how am I to take this job offer seriously and not think of it as spam? And, what's worse, how can the company hiring the recruiter possibly expect any productivity from this recruiter?

I'm not sure if we are in an employer's market or a candidate's market, but either way, candidates and recruiters alike should make sure they are sending out the right message. Talent could be missed or developmental growth could be lost due to either party deciding that communication skills are not important.

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