If you have never hired a writer before, chances are that you are like most entrepreneurs: treading in unchartered territory. It can be challenging to decide what questions or topics to cover during the hiring process.
Before you even begin to place your want ad, decide what the writer’s purpose and role is to your company. Do you want the person to have specific knowledge of your industry or field? Do you want the content to be written in a certain tone? Will they be blogging only or are there other sites and tasks to be managed? This information will help shape the tone of your interview questions.
If you’re not sure what to ask a potential candidate, here are six topics that you can cover when hiring a writer:
- Social Media Knowledge
If posting on your social media sites is an important part of the job, then you will want to ask your candidates what experience they have with social media content. If your company uses certain social media sites, your writer should have experience with those sites.
- On-the-Job Experience
This is a common question to ask potential candidates for any job. Some firms and positions do not require a lot of experience while others expect their candidates to have a high level of real work experience. It’s up to you to decide how much experience – if any – you want your candidate to have.
- SEO Knowledge
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a vital part of writing online content. Search engine analytics use keywords to find and rank your content on their search pages. Knowledge of current SEO practices is a crucial part of online writing. A professional writer will stay on top of the trends and policies around SEO usage and should use current practices when creating content.
- Education and Training
Talent is just as important as post secondary education. Not all professional writers have a university degree and, depending on the job, it’s not necessarily a mandatory qualification. As an employer, you will need to decide how essential post secondary education and training is to the job. There are many exceptional writers who do not have formal education; but some jobs require formal training from colleges and universities. Once you have decided what is best for your business, you can form questions relating to this topic before and during the interview.
- Writing Samples and Tests
The content should reflect the image and brand of your business. Sometimes, as good as a writer is, their style just doesn’t match your company’s vision. That is not a poor reflection of the writer or your enterprise. The only way you will know if the person is the right fit is by reading their work. Some employers ask to see previous writing samples while others ask potential candidates to write a blog on a specific topic or format as part of the hiring process.
- Short and Long Term Goals
Hiring a writer is the same as hiring any other staff for your company. It’s an investment. Ask similar questions that you would ask other candidates to see if the writer is willing to give to your service as much as you are investing in them. If your goals differ too much, they might not be the right person for the job.
While this is new territory for many businesses, content writers and marketing staff are here to stay. Hiring the right person doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Good questions can help you find the right professional to meet your company’s content writing needs.
At From the Heart Communication Services, we have experience working with clients from different industries and companies. We can help fulfill your short and long term writing needs too. Contact us today to find out how.