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10 Tips for Hiring the Best Technical Writer

This is a sample blog from ThePendits, for the Human Resources industry. It is a blog that would refer you with the format and style that is maintained in our blogs for the specified industry.

 




In today's tech-savvy business landscape that fosters the Best-of-Breed technology, compiling, writing and conveying technical content has become the daily grain.

With emerging technologies and specialised solutions to count on, companies increasingly rely on technical writers to create user manuals, how-to guides, and other documentation that helps customers understand and use their products.


Hiring the best technical writers for your company can be a daunting task as technical writing isn’t merely about writing skills. It calls for deeper knowledge in the relevant field, or else the capability to understand and compile technical content. The technical content writer has to be skilled in writing as well as understanding and reproducing the complex details that come with technical information.


With so many candidates to choose from, how do you know which writer is the best fit for the job?


Here are 10 tips that will help you find the perfect writer to handle the technical content in your company.



The Process of Hiring the Best Technical Writer for Your Organisation



1. Define the Scope of the Project


Before you begin your search for a technical writer, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the scope of the project for which you are going to hire the writers. What type of documentation do you need to create? What is the purpose of this documentation? What impact do you expect it to make on your target audience? Answering these questions will help you identify the skills and experience you are looking for in a candidate.


2. Write a Detailed Job Description


Once you have defined the project's scope, you can start writing a detailed job description. In addition to listing the skills and experience you are looking for, be sure to include information about the company culture and what type of writer would be a good fit for your organisation.


Is the job about regular news updates on the website or creating a series of lead-generating blogs? Does the writer need to follow a specific content calendar and format? Or does she/he need to bring in his/her own input?


Answering such questions will help you narrow down on the specific requirements and respective competencies while interviewing.


3. Spread Your Net on Popular Job Boards


There are dozens of popular job boards where you can post your technical writing position. Be sure to include keyword-rich titles and descriptions so that suitable candidates can easily find your listing when searching for a technical writing position. Additionally, consider using specialised job boards that specifically focus on technical writing positions.


4. Do Not Compromise on Expertise


The first thing you would consider while choosing a technical writer would be expertise in your niche industry. Though you can always train a good writer to fit into your mould, hiring someone who’s familiar with the field will save you time and effort. A writer who is familiar with your industry will already know how to write for the target audience and present the facts.


When reviewing resumes and cover letters, pay close attention to candidates' past experiences and whether or not they have experience with projects similar to yours. The most qualified candidates will not only have the required skills and experience but will also be able to match your company's voice and style guide.


5. Ask for Writing Samples


One of the best ways to evaluate a technical writer's skills is to ask for writing samples. These can be either published articles or unpublished pieces the writer has created for previous clients. Such samples would reveal the style and tone of the writer. The portfolio and previous writing experience will reveal their writing style and voice, helping you determine if they are the best fit for your business.


6. Conduct a writing Test


You can go the extra mile and provide a brief writing test to validate the claims of the candidates and ensure core competencies. Framing a writing test that is structured along the company’s specific requirements/content marketing goals will put the claims of the candidates to test and will help you filter on expertise, knowledge level and language skills.


7. Ensure Language and Grammar skills


While hiring a technical writer it is natural to focus more on the technical prowess of the candidate. Nevertheless, it is all the more essential to ensure that the writer excels in basic writing skills as well. Look for excellent grammar and content construction skills in the samples provided or in the interview tests.


Technical writing must deliver accurate information in flawless and comprehensive language to the readers. Writing errors, poor language or typos while sharing the facts, statistics and infographics in technical documents can be a huge turn-off for any reader.


8. Dig in deeper during the Interview


While getting the shortlisted candidates to the interview call, remember to ask behavioural questions that will give you insight into how the candidate would handle real-world situations. For example, ask about “a time when you had to write complex documentation for a new product." Such situational questions help to seal any unobserved loopholes in the selection process and affirm the competency of the candidates.


9. Check on Adaptability


When hiring a candidate for technical writing, it is important to check their attitude to accept or cope with new and unfamiliar learning curves. Technical writing can be a challenging and ever-changing field, so it is important to hire someone who is able to adapt to new concepts and is willing to explore and learn things quickly.


10. Check Proficiency with Writing Tools


Most technical writers use specialised writing tools for efficient and quick content creation. Before making a final decision, be sure to ask the candidates about their experience with these tools and whether or not they are proficient in using them. Additionally, you may give the candidates brief writing tests to see how well-versed they are with the tools and how quickly they learn.


Summing Up


Hiring an expert technical writer can be challenging, but these tips will help you stick to the rules and filter the right talent with ease. If finding, grooming and blending a good technical writer eats up your time, money and efforts, you may always go for outsourcing your writing projects. Content providers like ThePendits are adept at sourcing the right talent for your projects.


With a strong talent pool of skilled writers across varying industries, ThePendits deliver tailor-made content that fits your bill and connects with your audience.

To know more about hiring good technical writers reach us at +91 8448040030.


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