Why every employee you hire should be able to write
One of the best books I have read is ‘Rework – Change the Way You Work Forever’ by Jason Fried & David Heinemeirer Hansson. A collection of brilliant simple rules for success, the book offers lots of tips on how to do great business.
Interestingly, in the chapter about hiring, one of their insights is to hire a great writer:
“It doesn’t matter if that position is for a marketer, sales person, designer, programmer or whatever: their writing skills will pay off.”
I read a lot of business books, and this was the first time I had come across this advice. But if you think about, it makes sense, especially if you’re trying to decide among a few people to fill a position. This advice is perhaps even more important in a country such as the United Arab Emirates where many cultures and speakers of different languages are working together.
Below is a list of reasons* why Fried and Hansson believe good writers are an asset:
- Being a good writer is about more than good writing – clear writing is a sign of clear thinking.
- Great writers know how to communicate.
- Great writers know how to make things easy to understand.
- Great writers are able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.
- Great writers know what to omit.
- Writing is making a comeback all over out society. Look at how much people email and text rather than talk on the phone. Look at how much communication happens via instant messaging and blogging.
- Writing is today’s currency for good ideas.
And here are a few of my own reasons:
- Great writers are often great researchers – they get their facts and details right.
- Writing is often used to get a foot in a customer’s door through proposals, presentation documents, case studies, sales emails and so on.
- Effective communication is one of the most important elements of any business, both internally and externally.
RELATED READING: Four Career Tips For Aspiring Writers
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*Except taken from ‘Rework’ published in 2010.