The hiring process can be tricky if you need an experienced technical writer to create user manuals, software documentation, or white papers.
After all, you’re looking for someone with specialized skills who will fit well within your team and company culture and also has the skill and knowledge to write about your technical products or services accurately.
With some research and strategic interviewing questions, you can find the perfect writer to join your team!
How to Find Technical Content Writers
Here’s how you can find a technical writer that uses technical information to create content that is accurate, concise, and easy to understand:
Hiring a technical content writer differs from hiring a blog or guest post writer. You consider not only their writing style but also their technical knowledge of the subject. This makes the process of finding a great technical writer more challenging and time taking.
The fastest way of hiring technical writers is through referrals. Ask your peers or colleagues if they are working with any technical content writers and how satisfied they are with their work. You can ask them to share the writers’ samples and experience. If you like their pieces, you can contact them to discuss your writing needs.
Third-party communities, like Reddit, Slack, Facebook, and Discord, are excellent resources for finding technical writers.
Look for groups and channels related to the topic of your project. For example, if you’re looking for a technical writer to create content related to web development, you can join web development communities.
Once you find a relevant community, you can post a job ad and share your requirements. Make sure to include your budget and the duration of the project.
Freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com are great for finding technical writers. Search keywords like “technical writer” or if you’re looking for a specific skill like “API documentation expert.”
Check out the writer’s profile, portfolio, and reviews. If you want to make sure they meet your expectations, request them to take a technical writer test.
Interviewing Technical Writers
Interviewing technical writers is an important part of the hiring process. Interviews can give you insight into a candidate’s skills, experience, and suitability for the job.
Understanding the Candidate’s Background and Experience
When interviewing technical writers, it’s important to understand their background and experience. Ask about their previous roles, projects they’ve completed, industry knowledge, and skills they possess. It’s also a good idea to ask about any certifications or specializations the candidate may have.
Coming up with the Right Questions
Brainstorm a list of questions for the interview that will help you get to know the candidate better. Your questions should give you an insight into how well they can write, their problem-solving abilities, and how they approach tasks.
Here are some sample questions you can use when interviewing technical writers:
- What experience do you have writing technical documents?
- How do you stay organized when working on large projects?
- Describe a challenging project you worked on recently.
- How have you adapted to changes in technology and trends?
- Do you use AI or automation tools to speed up the writing process?
- How do you ensure accuracy and readability in your work?
Assessing Soft Skills
When interviewing technical writers, asking questions about their technical expertise is important. However, it’s important to assess their soft skills as well.
Here are a few questions you can use to evaluate a candidate’s soft skills:
- Have you ever had to deal with a difficult colleague or client? How did you handle that?
- What is the most significant problem you solved in the workplace?
- How did you handle a situation where the results of your work were different than expected?
- Have you ever handled an urgent problem when your manager wasn’t available?
- Tell us when you had to juggle multiple deadlines. How did you manage it?
Discussing Cost, Timelines, and Expectations
If you have a set budget for the position, it’s important to discuss this ahead of time so you can negotiate an agreement that works for both parties. You should also discuss timelines for delivering the work and expectations around quality. Be sure to also ask each candidate about the kind of work they are most comfortable doing.
Technical content writers are essential for any organization that produces technical documents, such as manuals, guides, and tutorials. They take technical information to write and edit complex documents, ensuring accuracy, readability, and clarity.
Here’s how you can find and hire technical content writers:
- Ask for referrals from colleagues and peers
- Use freelancing platforms like Fiverr and Upwork to search for writers with the right skills and experience.
- Post jobs in third-party communities on Slack, Discord, Facebook, and Reddit.
- Ask the right questions to evaluate their technical and soft skills.
- Discuss their rates and make sure you are clear on their expectations.