Top three ways to assess a BV recruit’s writing skills

BVWireIssue #113-4
February 22, 2012

In this competitive market for experienced BV analysts, many hiring firms do (and should) assess a candidate’s writing skills, says John Borrowman (Borrowman Baker), in a current discussion for LinkedIn BV professionals (membership required). But many may fall back on simply asking for a redacted client report, which can raise problems of confidentiality as well authorship, since reports are often the product of more than one contributor. What are the best alternatives?

  • “Perhaps a better measure of written communications ability would be an article written for a professional journal,” says Michael Molder (Marcum). “If the candidate has never written for publication, they can always write a page or two on some relevant case or BV concept in order to provide a writing sample. Besides, anybody who's never written an article (even for an internal, firm newsletter) is likely not senior enough to be responsible for the content of a report.”
  • “Another way to assess the potential writing skills of the analyst is by review of his or her list of CE credits. Has the analyst taken or participated in any report writing or advanced report writing courses?” asks Jeffrey Harwell (Rylander Clay & Opitz).
  • “The best way to observe an appraiser/analyst's writing—and maybe more importantly, the related problem/critical thinking skills—is to develop a hypothetical BV problem/issue, based on a ‘real world’ situation, and let the analysts/candidates solve the problem,” says Pete Butler (Valtrend). “This way, all analysts/candidates solve the same problem for better comparability, and it mitigates any problems” regarding confidentiality and authorship.
Please let us know if you have any comments about this article or enhancements you would like to see.