Finding the right person that fits exactly into an open Technical Communicator position is difficult, especially if the interviewer or the technical communicator doesn’t have much experience or skill in handling the process. Technical communications professions require a unique mix of technical and communications skills, which can be very hard to find.
In her article, Five Secrets to Successful Interviewing and Hiring, Karen O’Keefe offers five tips with examples that will help you get through the interviewing and hiring process successfully.
- Writing a Detailed Job Description
- Making Sure the Setting/Environment is Conducive
- Conducting a Programmed Interview
- Using Multiple Interviewers
- Considering Testing
Lastly, she explains that there is no method or template that you can apply directly to your department, group, or company, but you can use this process as an example for building and refining your own.
Read Five Secrets to Successful Interviewing and Hiring and then leave a comment here with your thoughts. Do you have additional pointers to offer in finding the right technical communicator for the job?
Over the years, technical writers have found that their job duties, responsibilities, and their employers’ expectations have expanded greatly beyond the writing process. That is a big part of the reason why the Society for Technical Communication (STC), historically the professional organization for technical writers, sought to re-classify technical writers as technical communicators a few years ago.
The article Technical Writers are Communicators provides a look at how technical writers have evolved since the emergence of the PC and will continue to evolve as technologies and needs change. Not only has technology changed, but work processes have changed along with it.
Evolution for technical writers continues in the professional workplace, even since this article was originally published. Change seems to continue to occur at near the speed of light.
Read Technical Writers are Communicators and then leave a comment here with your thoughts. As a technical writer/technical communicator/information design professional, how have you had to adapt over the years? What further changes have you seen since the article was published?
It’s no secret to any technical communications professional that job descriptions and duties have expanded over the years. The old style “Technical Writer” has evolved into an assortment of job duties in today’s lean employment environment.
In some cases, Technical Writers have morphed into becoming referred to as Information Engineers. After all, isn’t technical communications all about the engineering of information?
Whether your current title is Technical Writer, Documentation Specialist or some other older-style position reference, it may be time for you, your HR Department and senior management to better describe what it is that you do – in a way that conveys your value to the organization and your responsibilities today. Any time you change a position title is a good time to update the job description as well.
In his article, Potential Position Descriptions for Information Engineering Professionals, Steve Capri looks at a variety of position descriptions that just may be a more realistic depiction of what you are doing now.
Read: Potential Position Descriptions for Information Engineering Professionals and then leave a comment below with your thoughts. Has your title and/or job description been updated where you work? if you are an HR professional, are they any talks or initiatives in place to do that?
Software maker ComponentOne recently announced the release of its Doc-To-Help 2010 v2. A good portion of the technical communications community is familiar with Doc-To-Help, which is used to produce desktop, Web and print deliverables.
The company’s announcement indicated that this release focuses on Microsoft’s current and upcoming releases, Visual Studio 2010 and Office 2010, as well as improvements in usability.
ComponentOne said it has had a close relationship with Microsoft for over 20 years and that Doc-To-Help is the first help authoring tool to support Microsoft Word 2010 (which has not yet been released), Microsoft Help Viewer 1.0 (Microsoft’s newest Visual Studio Help format) and Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server 2010.
Dan Beall, product manager at ComponentOne said the company wanted to make sure that Doc-To-Help will cause no delay when an organization whose technical communicators are using Doc-To-Help decides to upgrade its Microsoft infrastructure. Beall also said that some of the new and enhanced user experience features in Doc-To-Help 2010 v2 include: Word Count, Topic Placeholders and Automatic Update of Custom Table of Contents.
Visit the Doc-To-Help website for more information.
Technical Writers: How Important is Specific Software Experience?
If you are a technical communicator, what software tools do you use? If you hire technical communicators, how important is experience with a specific software tool when it comes to selecting new hires? Leave a comment!