Knowing how to hire technical writers for your company can be difficult, especially if you aren't sure where to start. Ideally, you will find a person who possesses the skills necessary to perform the job well. You also want to hire someone who fits into your company’s culture and will be capable of helping you meet your goals.
By using hiring platforms, you can greatly reduce the amount of time you have to spend on the hiring process, because most of the hard work and weeding out is done for you already. Many of these hiring sites allow technical writers to come to you, so you don’t have to spend all day calling potential hires for interviews. You can also browse writers according to their educational background, accomplishments, and the skills they possess.
How To Hire a Technical Writer
Technical writing is a vast field, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6% increase in the number of technical writing jobs available between 2021 and 2031. This means more than 3,100 jobs will be added to the industry in just a decade. Technical writing requires important skills such as a master of the English language, excellent communication, and an understanding of how to convey complex engineering, scientific, and mathematical concepts effectively to a wide range of audiences.
To hire a technical writer who delivers results, you must use the right hiring platform and understand that top-level writers are in demand. By understanding how essential technical writers are to your industry, you can better appeal to them and offer the benefits they actually want. This will help you attract the most talented writers to your company.
What Does a Technical Writer Do?
Technical writers do many things, but for the most part, they are tasked with conveying complicated technical information to audiences who may not have the deepest understanding of a certain subject matter. Also known as technical communicators, they are employed in a variety of fields, ranging from the sciences and information technology to engineering. Their expertise allows them to craft content such as how-to guides, white papers, instruction manuals, FAQ pages, and supporting technical documents. They figure out the needs of users and create a communication strategy to reach them.
The field of technical writing is expected to expand, meaning skilled writers are in high demand. Their ability to take complex technical information and translate it into information average users can understand is extremely useful to many different types of businesses. If a company cannot explain to its users how to use a product, it will not be successful. A seasoned technical writer can prevent this from happening and ensure both production companies and users are satisfied.
Every technical writing job is different, but the majority of technical writers have the following responsibilities:
- Determine the communication needs of users
- Organize and write supporting technical documentation
- Study product samples and work with their producers to better understand how they operate
- Edit or make changes to content written by other freelance writers
- Work directly with technical staff to make products easier to use and instructions easier to comprehend
- Choose the appropriate medium for messages or a target audience
- Utilize drawings, photographs, animations, videos, and charts to help users better understand written technical content
- Obtain and incorporate feedback from users and technical professionals
Technical writers may perform other duties as the need arises.
This sums up a technical writer’s job of simplifying and clarifying complicated information. The ultimate aim of a technical writer is to make sure average readers without a technical background can enjoy products.
Why Hire Dedicated Technical Writers?
If you are in charge of recruiting and contacting candidates, you may be asking yourself “Why hire technical writers?” There are many reasons to hire skilled and dedicated technical writers, especially if your company produces products that are used by clients who do not have a technical background. These people may have difficulty understanding the complex jargon associated with your industry, or they may just struggle to follow lengthy directions. Regardless of the problems faced by your users, a technical writer can simplify information and make using a product a lot easier.
When you utilize a website that allows you to find technical writers for hire, having a strong understanding of what they do can help you find the best candidates. Most technical writers work for engineering, software, medical, scientific, academic, and information technology companies. Their skills are put to use transforming complex lexicons into relatable, practical information anyone can understand.
Should I Hire a Freelance Technical Writer?
When you hire a technical writer, hiring a remote freelancer can help you reduce costs and give you access to a wider range of candidates. Freelance technical writers only work when you need them, so there is no need to pay someone a full-time salary with benefits all year long.
What Skills To Look For When Hiring a Technical Writer
It can help to familiarize yourself with common technical writer skills to know what proficiencies your company can benefit from. Making a list of important skills and abilities you need your writer to possess should be the first step of the hiring process. Ideally, you will want to hire someone with an effective combination of hard and soft skills. Candidates with a good mix of skills are well-rounded and capable of performing well in a variety of work environments.
During the hiring process, you will need to decide if you need a junior technical writer or a highly experienced and skilled writer. A junior writer typically has less experience and qualifications than a top-tier writer, but they are usually cheaper to hire. Highly skilled technical writers usually have a college degree and several years of experience working for well-known clients. They may have knowledge of one or more popular programming languages and have strong work portfolios that showcase their abilities.
If you have a complex project that needs completing, you may want to hire a more experienced and skilled technical writer. A junior technical writer can typically handle less complicated projects.
No matter where a technical writer is in his or her career, they should possess these hard skills:
- Excellent written communication and technical writing skills
- Ability to edit and proofread technical materials
- Extensive research abilities
- Knowledge of programming languages
- Basic web design experience (for some positions)
Many technical writers have a degree in English, communications, computer science, or journalism from a four-year college or university.
A well-rounded technical writer should also have the following soft skills:
- Ability to work well in teams
- Critical thinking skills
- Time management
- Ability to work independently
The ability to work independently is especially important for remote and freelance technical writers who often work alone for long stretches of time.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire Technical Writers?
The average cost of hiring a freelance technical writer is $20-$45 per hour. More experienced writers tend to charge more, as do technical writers working with extremely complex content. The average cost of hiring a full-time technical writer is $78,060 yearly (including employment benefits). It is often cheaper to hire a freelancer.
Tips for Writing a Technical Writer Developer Job Description
When posting a technical writer job description, be as concise and detailed as possible. Ideally, your job description should include:
- Background information about your company
- Detailed information about your project
- What will be expected of the hire
- Skills and education needed to perform the job
- Contact information
Do not write a long-winded job description. Such descriptions tend to scare off candidates because they contain so many requirements. However, don’t post a description that doesn’t adequately describe the job. Be professional and to the point, and always include salary information (many candidates won’t apply to a job without salary information).
Hiring the right technical writer with the experience your company needs can be a challenge. Let our guide and a curated list of websites help you speed up the process and hire technical writers quickly.
Hiring Technical Writers - FAQs
- Why Should You Hire a Technical Writer?
Clear communication is essential, but breaking down complex technical ideas, procedures and terms into easily understood language is challenging. Technical writers take these concepts and explain them in ways the intended audience can understand, whether on paper, digital format, online or social media. Companies may hire technical writers to compose:
- Assembly and instruction manuals
- White papers
- How-to guides and FAQ pages
- Product specifications
- Marketing materials
These documents can support development teams, employees, potential clients or investors, consumers and manufacturers. Technical writers might also research ways to improve a product’s design to make it safer or more appealing to consumers.
- Are Technical Writers In Demand?
Projections indicate a 6% increase in the number of technical writer jobs between 2021 and 2031. If your project is extremely technical or complex, expect a greater demand for a highly skilled technical writer to complete it.
- Where can I find Technical Writers for hire?
Explore more sites in our comprehensive list of top companies.
- What exactly is a technical writer?
- A technical writer is a professional who specializes in translating complex technical jargon into understandable content for readers. A skilled technical writer typically has a background in English or communications, as well as an understanding of technical concepts.
- How do you hire a technical writer?
Before hiring a technical writer, you’ll need to decide your project’s scope, budget and timeframe. Depending on your specific needs, you may decide to hire a part-time, full-time or freelance technical writer. Qualified candidates should have:
- An excellent grasp of the English (or other) language
- The ability to research, understand and explain complex technical concepts
- Experience in determining the best platforms for your communication needs
- Writing, illustrating, editing and proofreading skills
Technical writers may have college degrees and web design experience, but you may find a top writer without these credentials using top sites.
- Are technical writers in high demand?
- Yes, and the demand for technical writers is expected to grow by nearly 6% between 2021 and 2031, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- How much does it cost to hire a technical writer?
In the U.S., technical writers earn an average yearly salary of $80,647 or $39 hourly. Location, the writer’s skill level and years of experience will affect the amount you can expect to pay. Hiring a freelancer often saves money.
- How do you find a technical writer?
- Explore our list of top platforms to find a technical writer for virtually any type of project.
- When should you hire a technical writer?
- You should hire a technical writer if your company needs to provide those who purchase its products with a user manual or any other information explaining how to use the product in question.