Five Steps for Hiring the Right Instructional Designer

Take a look at the major online job boards and you will see a number of instructional design positions. The job descriptions range greatly in their requirements, from designing WBT only, to designing all of the training strategies.

If you need to hire an instructional designer, it is important to know exactly what you want so you can acquire a designer with the required knowledge and skills.

Here is a five-step process to assist you in hiring the instructional designer who is right for your organization.

Identify Application Criteria.
In addition to submitting a resume, you may want to ask candidates to submit a sample of their design work. Also, decide if you will have candidates complete a test as part of the interview process.

List Competencies Required.
Make a list of the skills and knowledge that your designer will need. Keep in mind that instructional designers need conceptual skills such as planning and analysis, interpersonal skills to work with SMEs and IT, and technical skills when working with software, including e-learning authoring tools.

List Character Traits Required.
Think of the traits that will be required for the designer to fit within your organization. Include traits such as creativity, flexibility, pride in producing quality work, and the ability to receive constructive feedback.

List Testing Requirements.
It is very common to ask candidates to complete short tests at the end of an interview. Develop a short computer test to see if the candidate can, for example, format a document according to requirements. Consider a grammar, punctuation, and proofreading test to see if the candidate can spot errors in a sample. Finally, have the candidate produce a task analysis on a topic of their choice.

List Work Sample Assessment Criteria.
Develop a checklist to assess a sample of the candidates’ previous work. The checklist criteria should ensure the sample is instructionally sound and contains need-to-know rather than nice-to-know information.

Once you have completed the five-step process you have, in fact, developed a competency-based hiring profile. You are now ready to begin screening resumes. Screen the resumes to eliminate candidates who do not meet your competency-based hiring profile. Then when you begin the interview process, the candidates selected have the core competencies of the instructional designer that you need. In addition, you know exactly what you want.

Following this five-step process will help you find the instructional designer that is right for your organization.

Reprinted from Langevin Learning Service Blog