Thursday, November 14, 2013

Good Communication Skills Can Go a Long Way

My question to the applicant was "tell me what you know about our company." It's a simple question with a layup of an answer in that I didn't expect this applicant to know anything about what we do. It was just to see how they answered it and how good their writing skills were--instead, I got this:

"I know that your involved with insurance"


Let's just say that the job applicant didn't get the job. But this wasn't just an isolated incident of myself, as hiring manager, acting like a grammar nazi--this is a prevalent theme among job applicants (and their rejections) according to CNBC. And it's not just anedoctal evidence such as the one I just provided:
In a 2011 survey of corporate recruiters by the Graduate Management Admission Council, the organization that administers the standardized test for business school, 86 percent said strong communication skills were a priority—well ahead of the next skill. (When recruiters were asked in a separate question what changes business schools should make to meet employers' needs, the recruiters overwhelmingly called for something different: practical experience.)
The good news for job applicants is that the working world is starting to provide more training for those who may be grammatically disinclined--or just bad at communication in general. One workforce management consulting group quoted in the article said that they've seen an "increase of 20 to 25 percent in the number of clients investing in career development for employees, including improving their communication skills."

This is not just good for employees looking for their next position but for those people in the jobs they currently have--even if they're not client-facing. Many coworker-to-coworker issues can be improved with better communication skills and sometimes better training is all that is needed to fix that. With more companies willing to invest in that, it will not just make for better employees and better future employees, but a much more cohesive work environment as well

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