Verbal Communication Skills Required

1verbalcommunication Verbal Communication Skills Required communication Isn’t it curious how often we see in employment ads: verbal communication skills required. What does that even mean…verbal communication skills? Does this mean they need someone who speaks (as opposed to signs)? Or does it mean they need to speak English, though the ad doesn’t indicate a specific language requirement? Maybe it means they only have to have oral communication skills. I have no clue what that means, do you? When someone says verbal communication skills, what does that mean to you? Does it mean they know proper grammar, are able to speak the King’s English, don’t have an accent, enunciate well, have a good vocabulary? Maybe it’s as simple as they don’t use swear words. Herein lies the problem with this phrase, verbal communication skills required—it simply does not have a one-size-fits-all definition for the masses. So when people use the phrase verbal communication skills required, I have to assume that everyone and anyone can apply, because it’s a meaningless requirement. Next time you create an employment ad or job description, think twice and then a third time before including verbal communication skills required in the document. It won’t produce the results you are expecting.

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  1. Roberta LIndbeck
    Roberta LIndbeckJan 15, 2010

    Sadly, you may be on to something.  The younger the audience, the more confusion there may be about the definition of verbal communication skills.  When I specify verbal communication skills as a requirement, I am looking for someone who can make a presentation comfortably and effectively; someone who can interface well, verbally, with customers, clients and partners; and someone who is able to answer spontaneous questions in an informed and assured manner.  Putting all of that detail into an employment listing would be cumbersome.  Do you have some suggestions on what might be more effective?

    • admin
      adminFeb 12, 2010

      Thank you Roberta for your insights and comments. I apologize for the delay in responding. This morning I just found out my system was not notifying me of comments being posted. As to suggestions…hmmm. One of the challenges in putting soft skills requirements into an employment listing is most people say ‘I have that’, ‘I’m a good listener or interface well with other etc. etc. In my opinion including the soft skill requirements in an employment ad is a waste. Use the interview to determine if they have the skills you mentioned you need. I doubt you’ll see much value in including those requirements in the employment ad itself. Just my 2 cents.

      Keep your thoughts, insights and questions coming.

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