Friday, February 26, 2010

Hiring People who Write Great English

Over the past week I've been doing quite a lot of recruitment for my online businesses. I intended to hire a new full time employee to be a content writer. But, since one of my other employees had to resign due to a personal situation, I needed to fill two spots.

I use to do my hiring. I have free access to this site for life because I became a "pro outsourcer" through John Jonas' system. This system is called and you have to select the one-time offer upsell to become a pro-outsourcer. This gives you perpetual access to the job site (and other stuff) for no monthly fee. Here's a direct link to the offer.

Anyway, using is fantastic, but time consuming. You have two options. You can either manually search people's resumes and email the candidates that you want to connect with. Or, you can put a job posting up on the site and have people contact you.

Here are some tips that I learned while recruiting this time around:
  • Job postings are effective. You'll get a lot of resumes sent to you.
  • Be really clear what the main skill set is that you want. I said "English writing with awesome grammar and spelling". I got lots of qualified people.
  • Ask for writing samples in your job post. Otherwise everyone will send you their resume, which is not what you want.
  • Ask people to send you a link to their blog, if they have one. Bloggers who are active are good candidates, and you'll be able to see their writing style
  • Don't be afraid to ask them to write you a *quick* sample. Don't ask for free work - that is rude. But asking for them to demonstrate their capabilities is fine. I would recommend you ask for a 2-3 paragraph email on a particular topic. Pick something insanely silly so that they can't possibly plagiarize. For example, you could say, "Pretend that you've just invented transparent aluminum. It's like glass, only lighter and stronger. Write me a 2-3 paragraph explanation of all the things that this new material would be great for. Have fun with it and do your best to submit something with proper spelling and grammar"
  • DO chat with them over skype. I recommend using a text chat to see how fast they type and how well they communicate with text. Then, as a follow-up, use voice.
In case you're wondering what the "going rate" is for workers these days, I found 2 great candidates. The full time people are about $250-300 to start, but I expect to pay them more over time. The part time people are about $150ish.

Personally I think I might get more "bang for the buck" with a part time person because it's easier to be productive for 4 hours a day rather than 8.

We'll see how it goes.

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