Please take part in our brief survey on Technical Author recruitment

Please take part in our brief survey, and share your thoughts on hiring technical communicators/Technical Authors.Training and recruitment can be closely related, which is partly why we are conducting two surveys.

Here is the link:

Cherryleaf Recruitment Survey

There are eight simple questions, and it should only take a couple of minutes to complete.

By taking part you are helping us to help you by offering the type of recruitment services you really need.

Thank you!

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Need content written? Need a Technical Author?

Need content written?  Cherryleaf’s Content Development Services team can help: clear information, written for you, simply and efficiently:

Need a Technical Author? Cherryleaf’s Recruitment Services team can help: the specialist recruitment service for permanent and contract Technical Authors.

Call +44 (0)208 13 31 301 or send us an email.

 

Technical Author vacancy salaries rise by 14.83%

According to the ITJobswatch Web site, the average salary quoted in vacancies for a Technical Author has risen by 14.83% over the last 12 months. The average salary offered has risen to £40,000, compared to £35,000 for the same period in 2011 and 2010. 90% of jobs offered a salary of more than £27,950. 10% of jobs offered a salary of more than £45,000. If we take London vacancies out of the figures, then the average is £37,500.

These increases are in a market where there has been a 2% reduction in the number of vacancies for Technical Authors.

So if there are fewer vacancies, what is causing the salaries to increase?

Judging by the required skills listed according to the site, and based on the vacancies our Technical Author recruiting service has had on its books, there doesn’t seem to be any significant change there.

It may be the increase is simply taking into account the period of salary freezes in 2010 and 2011.

Another possibility is a demographic change. Many authors started their careers in the 1970s and 1980s through training schemes offered by large IT companies such as Digital, HP, ICL and IBM. As they leave the job market, there may just be fewer Technical Authors around. With few graduate and junior Technical Authors around at the moment, it may be we’re seeing a high demand for that particular age/experience group.

See also:

Cherryleaf specialist Technical Author recruiting services

Cherryleaf Technical Author induction training course

 

 

Assessing writing skills – a response to “What Does It Mean to Know How to Write?”

Tom Johnson has sparked a lively debate with his blog post What Does It Mean to Write?. In the post, he wrote “It seems that writing is a spectrum skill”, providing a chart to demonstrate this:

In the post’s discussion thread, a consensus seems to have been reached that you cannot define writing skills and types of documents as a spectrum on a single line.

An alternative approach to assessing writing skills

I suggest the “writing spectrum” could be described more effectively, by using a radar or polar chart.

By using two or more axes, we can then start to differentiate between the different skills needed for a number of writing roles. For example, we could create a diagram of skills needed to create (a) persuasive, “selling”, marketing-type documents (b) educational, “telling”, technical-type documents (c) creative writing and (d) general business communication:

If we assess people’s writing skills against the same criterion, it’s likely we can get an idea as to which profession would best match their abilities.

What should go on the axes?

The key question is, what should be measured? Some initial thoughts are:

  • Structured and organised v. unstructured and disorganised
  • Emotional v. unemotional
  • Clear and understandable v. vague
  • Succinct v. flowery
  • Short document v. Long document

Another issue to bear in mind, is that the axes do not necessarily have to be positive/negative:

Potential measures could be: expression, adequacy of content, cohesion of information, compositional organisation and mechanical (grammatical) accuracy.

What do you think should go on axes?

What to write in a personal reference

Recently, I was asked to provide a personal reference for someone who was a member of my aikido club, as she had applied for a new job (as an IT Project Manager).

When writing personal references, I try to relate my experience of the person in the personal setting to the work environment. For example:

Through her study of aikido over the past five years, XXX has demonstrated her ability to learn complex tasks, to pass on her knowledge to others, to be a team member and to improve her skills.

It is also an activity that requires focus, dedication, enthusiasm and persistence. She has passed a number of gradings, and XXX has become a senior member of the club. I believe these attributes would be extended into the workplace environment.

A prospective employer is also interested in knowing if someone is trustworthy, reliable, and what their work ethic is like. If someone is applying for a leadership role, have they demonstrated leadership outside of the work environment?

For a Technical Author, do they demonstrate a close attention to detail, the ability to get on with others and to get things done, within their private sphere?

It makes sense to state your opinion with regard to these.

How do you respond to personal references?

Selecting the right Technical Author to recruit for your organisation

It’s been a while since we added an article to our Web site (these days we tend to post content to this blog), but we’ve just written one called Selecting the right Technical Author to recruit for your organisation.

The role of the technical author (also known as Technical Writer or Information Developer) is one that many would-be hirers are unfamiliar with.

As it is a specialist profession, it can be difficult for organisations to recruit good technical authors. Firstly, there can be challenges in developing the job description, setting an appropriate salary and finding a suitable recruitment agency. Secondly, there is the challenge of selecting the right candidate from the list of CVs you receive and the people you interview.

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