Upgrade Your Written Communication

by | Jun 28, 2019

by Ben Hess, Managing Director, ThirdPool Recruiting

It’s Friday, so let’s take on a lighter topic.

As a recruiter or hiring manager, you probably spend a lot of time on written correspondence.

Since connecting on the phone is increasingly difficult, much of your communication happens via text, email, and an occasional handwritten note.

If you’re a stickler for grammar (or went to school a while ago), you may sometimes find yourself struggling to communicate with singular pronouns when gender is not known.

For example: When a candidate shows up for an interview, I make sure to greet [pronoun] with a warm smile.

Defaulting to the male pronoun (…sure to greet him) is the traditional convention when gender is not specified.

An awkward alternative is to use both pronouns (…sure to great him or her).

According to numerous reputable sources (ex. Merriam Webster, Associated Press Stylebook), the new, and most appropriate way to handle these situations is to use the singular “they/them” pronoun.

If you’re an old-school writer, this convention may not feel correct. However, it’s now the most grammatically correct option.

So when writing a note to a recruiting prospect, treat them with respect by using the appropriate pronoun.

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