Tips for finding and hiring the right Technical Writer

Subject: Tips for finding and hiring the right Technical Writer
From: SB <sylvia -dot- braunstein -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2007 12:04:59 +0200


This is the first time that I will in the position of hiring a Technical
In the past, I hired someone that I knew rather well and on whom I knew I
could rely. He is still working for me.

However now, I have to hire an additional Technical Writer.

I would like to get some recommendations regarding:

1. The best way to write recruiting adds
2. Criteria for interviews. For example, I feel that a resume says a
lot about the Technical writer, both as far as format and contents contents
are concerned. If the formatting is not impressive, I always feel that it
says a lot about the Technical Writer. Am I being too harsh?
3. Interview skills
4. Test?
5. Recommendations - how do I know that I will be able to rely on that
person to get the job done?
6. Knowing that THIS is the right person

In addition, I would like some advice and recommendations on:

1. Management skills - now I will have to actually manage two
technical writers
2. Outsourcing
3. We are still using MS Word :-( and do have a template but I am not
very happy with it. My boss wants to redesign the first page of the
documents to look more professional.
4. I am pushing to move onto a more professional tool (Authoring tool
or Wiki for documentation. I am leaning towards Wiki). I need to make a
presentation to convince the management to make the move and to explain what
are the pros and cons of each tool and why I think one is better than the
5. We don't have content or knowledge management and our company is
growing very fast. We are in different parts of the world and there is
often a lot of redundant work being done, which I think is very unfortunate
and due to the fact that we are still using a file server instead of an

Any recommendation or useful pointers would be highly appreciated.

Thank you very much,


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