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Is a writing sample part of your interview process?

About three years ago, I wrote here about writing skills and what we are doing to improve written competencies in our hospitality management college graduates. A lot of comments to that post acknowledged the need for better writing abilities today.

The contexts of written communications have changed and continue to change. For instance, even Twitter doubled its limits for a single tweet from 140 characters to 280. Perhaps that has not helped improve the “Twitter-verse’s” collective grammar.

Writing skills are important in our business and other management environments. Reading is great way to improve writing skills. Educators at every level seek to engage more students in reading and to help students write better, even if diagraming sentences as a classroom activity in grade schools is waning. The goal for better written communications doesn’t end with graduations. Writing can always be improved. If writing is important to your business, do you interview for writing skills?

Are there certain positions, either on property or at regional or corporate departments, whereby your interviews include submission of a writing sample or a writing exercise? Most industry consulting firms and marketing agencies require a writing test for candidates to many positions.

When is assessing an individual’s writing capabilities good hiring practice, and for what types of roles? How do you communicate to applicants the importance of excellent writing skills? And would you invest in a writing class or writing coach for a star performer who needed some improvement in this area?

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