The following appeared in a memo at XYZ company.
"When XYZ lays off employees, it pays Delany Personnel Firm to offer those employees assistance in creating résumés and developing interviewing skills, if they so desire. Laid-off employees have benefited greatly from Delany's services: last year those who used Delany found jobs much more quickly than did those who did not. Recently, it has been proposed that we use the less expensive Walsh Personnel Firm in place of Delany. This would be a mistake because eight years ago, when XYZ was using Walsh, only half of the workers we laid off at that time found jobs within a year. Moreover, Delany is clearly superior, as evidenced by its bigger staff and larger number of branch offices. After all, last year Delany's clients took an average of six months to find jobs, whereas Walsh's clients took nine."
Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.
XYZ company’s choice service for dismissal assistance to laid off employees appears to be Delany Personnel Firm rather than Walsh Personnel Firm, despite proposals to switch to the less expensive Walsh option. This means that the company has likely weighed its options and assuming there is no other competition, XYZ company views the “added cost” of Delany Personnel Firm as less than that of its benefits to laid off employees.
In evaluating this argument, XYZ company cites time taken for laid off employees to find jobs (Walsh’s clients took longer on average than that of Delany’s clients) as a measure of the individual success of the two companies. However, the success of Walsh’s clients in obtaining a new job cannot simply be attributed to the quality of Delany’s resume-creating and interview-skill-developing services. Alternative factors for this better statistic may be that Delany’s clients, or XYZ’s laid off employees last year, were simply of higher calibre or in greater demand than Walsh’s clients last year.
Likewise, laid-off employees who used Delany’s services had apparently found jobs more quickly than those who did not. At face value, it could be logical to assume that those who had added help in resumes and interviews, two important interfaces that companies use to hire employees, will do better than their counterparts who had no professional help or guidance. On the other hand, the better performance could simply mean that those who took up the service, “if they so [desired]”, were more inclined to seek out a new job in wake of their dismissal – hence the use of the service. Those who did not use the service may have gone into retirement or simply have chosen to take a break from work. By ignoring these possibilities, XYZ company assumes that those who used and did not use Delany’s service were similarly inclined to find a new job.
In justifying Walsh’s poor performance, the argument largely depended on the dismal result that only half of laid off employees found jobs within a year. No comparison with number of laid off employees who found jobs within a year in the job market, nor laid off employees who found jobs within two years, were given to prove that this result was as terrible as implied. Indeed, this could be a very impressive statistic in a poor job market, but no other information was given to make this conclusion or the other.
As a result, XYZ company’s view on the relative performances of Walsh and Delany could be severely confounded. The company could be making a non-beneficial decision with the more expensive and not necessarily better Delany choice.
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Attribute Value Ideal
Final score: 4.0 out of 6
Category: Good Excellent
No. of Grammatical Errors: 4 2
No. of Spelling Errors: 6 2
No. of Sentences: 15 15
No. of Words: 438 350
No. of Characters: 2140 1500
No. of Different Words: 197 200
Fourth Root of Number of Words: 4.575 4.7
Average Word Length: 4.886 4.6
Word Length SD: 2.781 2.4
No. of Words greater than 5 chars: 149 100
No. of Words greater than 6 chars: 113 80
No. of Words greater than 7 chars: 74 40
No. of Words greater than 8 chars: 52 20
Use of Passive Voice (%): 0 0
Avg. Sentence Length: 29.2 21.0
Sentence Length SD: 8.432 7.5
Use of Discourse Markers (%): 0.533 0.12
Sentence-Text Coherence: 0.398 0.35
Sentence-Para Coherence: 0.67 0.50
Sentence-Sentence Coherence: 0.18 0.07
Number of Paragraphs: 5 5