Top 5 Scribing Myths Busted

To many people, the lifestyle of a scribe sounds too good to be true: work when you want, how you want, and make good money in the process.
But is scribing really that easy, or is there more to it than meets the eye?
Melissa Frazer, HorizonOne’s Scribing and Campaigns Team Leader and former specialist Scribing Consultant, busts 5 common myths about scribing…

Myth 1: Scribing is just note-taking and report writing

Some people picture scribes as minute takers who attend job interviews and simply take notes. The truth is, scribing is much more than this.

Scribes are an important element in the public sector recruitment process, and are often asked to contribute their expertise during interviews, assessment centre activities, and panel briefings. As the face of HorizonOne, we expect our scribes to build immediate rapport and exercise good judgement.

Scribes need to be able to read a room and tactfully determine when to sit back and wait for the panel to ask for input or when to speak up and provide guidance to the Selection Committee.

Scribes are required to use their analytical skills to determine what needs to be included in the narrative in order to support the Selection Committee’s final assessment decision.

Myth 2: All scribing work is the same

Scribes can get involved in a variety of recruitment processes: from small recruitment assignments to graduate and large volume bulk recruitment rounds.

Scribes at HorizonOne offer many valuable services, including:

  • Assisting Selection Committees and preparing Selection Committee reports
  • Providing shortlisting services
  • Conducting reference checks
  • Assessing work sample tests
  • Acting as an independent panel member
  • Facilitating assessment centres

For scribes who crave diversity, there are many opportunities to expand the scribing work they take on – with the opportunity to work with a wide variety of clients with different needs.

Myth 3: It’s easy

Some people think that because they can write well, scribing should come easily. The truth is, scribing requires a much greater set of specialised skills.

Scribes need to have the ability to capture and contextualise information from different sources such as written notes, assessments, and interviews into easily understood reports in line with public sector recruitment requirements. A quality scribe should understand and adhere to the recruitment policies and practices for each client while having the motivation to work completely autonomously.

Myth 4: Anyone can do it

While HorizonOne’s scribing cohort does include a few former teachers and people from senior communications or human resource roles in the private sector, most are ex-public servants who have come from a middle management level or higher.

This allows them to transfer all the skills they gained in their former roles to their work as a scribe. They understand what it means to produce a quality government report, and they are familiar with the public sector hiring process, merit principles, APS Code of Conduct, and so on.

Myth 5: You can work whenever you like

Scribing is absolutely flexible, and at HorizonOne we pride ourselves on offering very flexible opportunities for our scribes. Our scribes may choose to work hard a few months of the year and then travel, some scribes take on just a few jobs each month, while others prefer to work back to back jobs.

Because we have such a large pool of scribes, we can draw on our scribing resources to meet our clients’ needs while still respecting the level of flexibility each scribe requests.

Once a scribe commits to a job, they then become responsible for ensuring that deadlines and service expectations are met. Scribes can often work on multiple assignments at the same time, therefore the ability to manage competing priorities and meet tight deadlines is also important.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a scribe, please register to attend our next scribe information session by emailing

Melissa Frazer
Team Leader | Scribing
HorizonOne Recruitment

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