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Writing… a lost art. How Johnny’s Inability to Write Is Impacting Hiring.

Posted by Scott Fiore on November 18, 2013

 Writing…  a lost art.  Are you finding it difficult to identify candidates who can actually put a few sentences together? We feel your pain. 

We live in a world of informality.  Text messages and email have changed the speed of communication.  I’ve been “talking” with a business owner in Australia.  I’ve never really spoken with him.  We’ve communicated through email.  Digital ones and zeros fly through cyberspace at the speed of light. 

Communication has been revolutionized.  With any revolution there is change – that’s what revolution is.  In the case of our communication revolution, what’s being lost is the ability to write.  For example, here’s a text I received from my son the other night;  “When will u guys get home”.  No punctuation, but he did capitalize “When”, although his phone probably did that automatically.

The problem we face today is the increasing inability of our workforce to properly compose sentences.  Schools are spending more money on English and Math, but our youth are communicating all day long with texts and twitter posts.  This problem isn’t going away. Candidates that can write well and persuasively are going to be harder and harder to find. 

What do we do about it?  We test.  I’ve written about testing a lot.  It’s one of the foundations of our business.  It’s what helps us to present better candidates to our clients more consistently than our competition.

Here at TriStarr we test every single candidate we consider.  We test every candidate for spelling and grammar.  We also make every candidate actually hand write responses to several questions.  I want to see their handwriting style. (Joan, TriStarr’s founder and President remembers being taught penmanship by her school-teacher mom, so we still value that skill here.)  I want to see if they can structure sentences together and clearly convey their thoughts.  More and more recruiters and employers are doing the same.

Kids that can write are out there – they’re just going to be harder and harder to find. 

If you’re interested in reading further, here’s a link to a recent article on this subject. 

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/why-johnny-cant-write-why-employers-are-mad-2D11577444

By the way, if you’re having trouble identifying great candidates who can write, remember that we can help.

Scott