As technology accelerates at alarming speeds, so do the businesses that surround them. With the rate of technology advancements around the world, some people believe that it makes face to face communication worse as a result. However true or untrue this statement is, communication that is either verbal or non-verbal currently and will always play a major role in the successes and failures of the business world and beyond. Human resources play an enormous role in both small and large corporations, and this is where my interviewee steps in. I conducted an e-mail interview with Matt Cleveland, someone who currently works in Ohio as technological recruiter for a company named Encore Technologies. As a man of few words, Cleveland still firmly gets his point across in the interview.
Below is a list of baseline skills that companies have said to be important in different careers. Some of the interview questions are based off of this list.
Burning Glass List of Baseline Skills (2016)
Interview Q & A – Matt Cleveland
What is your professional history (include your timeline and roles)?
Group Home Associate – October 2013 – August 2014
Case Manager – August 2014 – June 2018
Technical Recruiter – March 2019 – September 2019
What writing advice do you have for professional communicators?
`In my experience most professional communication comes via email. So, when communicating make sure your’ speaking in complete sentences and using appropriate grammar. An email is a different form of communication than compared to a text, especially in the formal sense.`
What is your one pet peeve when it comes to professional writing?
`Do not use a bunch of exclamation marks in your emails. Use them only when needed and are appropriate to the situation.`
What kind of business reports do you read and/or compose regularly?
`I read resumes on a regular basis and assist with compiling them as well.`
What are your writing suggestions to make that type of report successful?
`It is important to make reports clear and concise.`
What speaking advice do you have for professional communicators?
`Maintain adequate eye contact and make sure you are relating to your audience.`
Name one thing you wish you had known about business communication prior to your professional career?
`Communication is vital to success and career growth.`
After assessing the Burning Glass list of Baseline Skills (2016), which skills not in the top 5 would you move into the top 5…and why?
`Problem solving skills because if you can go into a business and start solving problems you are going to be very valuable to your organization.`
What team skills do you feel young professionals need the most?
`Collaboration skills are essential when working in a team. Young professionals need to be courteous of other people’s opinions and be willing to work together to solve problems.`
Interview Takeaway & Analysis
As seen from the Burning Glass data tables, there are many skills that contribute to the field areas provided, and right in the number one spot is communication skills. Cleveland says that, “Communication is vital to success and career growth.” After being asked to name one thing that he wished he had known about business communication before his professional career. I could not agree more myself. Communication the most vital aspects that keeps not only businesses running, but cities and nations. In Cleveland and I`s experiences, I would say that we can both agree that public speaking is difficult for many people, including myself. Basic communication is one thing, but conveying your message to an audience is another. When asked about speaking advice, Cleveland says, “Maintain adequate eye contact and make sure you are relating to your audience.”, which is good advice for those looking to better their speaking. However, just like most situations, it is easier said than done. With that being said, no one is born with the charismatic abilities to be the perfect public speaker or the best communicator, it takes time and practice to acquire these skills.
When joining a business environment, it will be expected that new-hires will be able to work well with others, especially in teams. When working in a team it is important to take everyone`s question`s and make sure that everyone is doing their job. As Cleveland put it, “Collaboration skills are essential when working in a team. Young professionals need to be courteous of other people’s opinions and be willing to work together to solve problems.” Everyone can see a situation or a solution to a problem differently, so it is very important that people’s opinions are taken seriously if they are meant seriously. In a business oriented setting, there are many moving parts that allow a business to be successful, being a part of a moving part means doing the job right and effectively. Whether that is through the good communication skills that is made with a team on a project. Or because of the good speaking skills that are being used in a presentation to land a deal with the company. Although these two scenarios are just examples, they are more than real in the business world and will be prove to be extremely helpful in future career endeavors.
On the other end of the spectrum, you also have the skill gaps for baseline skills. These skill gaps were calculated by how often employers inquired about these skills in their ads.
Biography of Expert
As mentioned previously, Cleveland works at a company named Encore Technologies. Encore Technologies is a company that manages data and makes sure that data are reliably delivered to their customers. While still relatively new in his career, Cleveland has gone from group home associate, case manager, to technical recruiter; and still has more room to climb. His education includes three different schools; Henderson Community College, University of Kentucky, and coincidentally University of Southern Indiana. Acquiring his Associate of Arts in psychology, Bachelor of Arts in psychology, and his Master of Business Administration (MBA) in human resources management/personal administration with a 4.0 GPA.
Cameron Weaver is a junior at the University of Southern Indiana who transferred after receiving his Associates in Applied Science with the criminal justice track. At USI, Cameron is currently majoring in business administration and plans to graduate with a Bachelors degree in the spring of 2021. Plans for Cameron after college are to pursue either state or federal law enforcement agencies with a plan to fall back on through business. Click here for LinkedIn.