Finding the right content writer for your business takes more than just finding someone who can write. The person needs be able to craft his/her words in a manner that captivates your audience. The challenge is finding someone who can make your product/service more visible via the content being written. We at sumHR have often been faced with the crucial task of hiring a worthy content writer and we’re happy to share a couple of things we’ve learned along the way.
1) Ensure the candidate can write
This is obvious but many people use improper techniques to ascertain if the candidate can really write. Looking at past work isn’t the best indicator in this case. The articles you see could be edited by seniors or colleagues. It’s a much better idea to set up a test at the interview itself.
It’s important to determine if the candidate can write on a range of topics, so choose a topic yourself, rather than asking him/her to choose one. Here’s an interesting website that can help you with that: http://blogtap.net/blogtopicgenerator/ .
2) Time management
It’s not just about how well you write but also how fast you manage to dish out those articles week on week. Slow thinkers or slow typists may not give you the results you’re looking for. When you’re testing candidates, make sure you also have an eye on the clock.
3) Can they research?
It’s not important to know all the answers but it is important to know where to look for them. Researching well on the topics you’re going to write about is crucial to crafting the perfect article. Pay close attention to how well candidates have done their research before submitting their article.
4) What about theory?
Possessing technical knowledge of the language certainly helps practice. Set up a small test that will challenge the candidate to use his/her technical knowledge in the language. Here are a few sample questions:
1) Use there, their and they’re in a single sentence.
2) What’s the difference between “rob” and “steal”?
3) How many parts of speech are there?
4) Mention an example of an oxymoron
Some of these seem like more than a content writer should know and we agree with that. Set the difficulty level to what you’re comfortable with. However, keep in mind that the objective here is to separate the strong candidates from the not so strong. This should help you out when you interview multiple candidates for the role.
In case you do not wish to draft a test yourself, there are multiple tests already available on the internet. Here’s a good example of one: http://www.transparent.com/learn-english/proficiency-test.html
5) Seek maturity in their opinions
The person who writes for you is representing your company through the writing. It’s important that there is maturity and intelligence in his/her words. Ask the candidate what he/she thinks about certain current issues. You should be able to ascertain how well informed and well read the candidate is from this talk.
Finding the right content writer may take a while but be persistent and don’t settle for mediocre. We hope you liked this article. Comment below to let us know what you think about it or if there’s something else you would like us to write about.