How to Hire Technical Writers Most of this site is about getting a job as a tech writer. But you know what? Tech writers sometimes move up into management and need to hire other tech writers. Often the
How to Hire Technical Writers
Most of this site is about getting a job as a tech writer. But you know what? Tech writers sometimes move up into management and need to hire other tech writers. Often the person hiring a tech writer is not a writer, and doesn't necessarily know a whole lot about how to hire a tech writer, or what makes a good one. So here is a brief guide on how to hire a technical writer.
Talk to the outgoing writer, if there is one, or other members of the writing team, if any. Ask them what makes for a good writer in your organization - which could be very different from the success criteria in another. Find out what technical skills and tools the writer needs, but this shouldn't be the focus. Any good writer who knows one tool can pick up a similar one fast. The focus should be on how the work gets done in your company. What knowledge, skills, or characteristics make for success in discovering, or ferreting out, the required information in your context? Do they need to understand fiber optics, or clinical pharmacology, or robotics in automobile manufacturing? Do they need to be able to read and follow the flow of programming code, even if they're not themselves programmers? This stuff is far more important than which version of a help authoring tool the writer knows!
Talk to your HR department and get them to provide updated salary range information for technical writers in your industry and geographic area.
From a business perspective - after all, you are a manager - figure out what you need the writer to produce, and figure out what makes those documentation sets, or widgets, or whatever, a success for you in the context of your business.
Now it's time to sit down and put these all together. You might find it helpful, especially if you're comfortable with spreadsheets, to put your criteria into columns, and put the various candidates in rows, so you can compare one with another across the board.
Resume editing, HR, programming