Written by: Julia Borgini
When working at a tech company, it is important to hire employees with specific skills that will help you grow and evolve the company and its products. Software companies have a particular rhythm and culture that not everyone can deal with. Add in the experience and skills you need as an instructional designer or learning experience designer and finding the right people can be a challenge.
So, what are the top skills and competencies to look for when hiring a learning designer in a fast-paced tech company? Read on to learn more.
Knowing and understanding how people best learn is critical as it'll help designers produce the most engaging content possible. Examples include the Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate (ADDIE) model, Kirkpatrick's Levels of Training evaluations, and blended learning.
The best designers are those who have a passion for knowledge and learning. After all, that passion shows through in their course designs. They're constantly looking for new ways to help students learn and are always focused on the outcome of learners. They should be experts in their field and know who the other experts are. Many instructional designers are published authors, speakers, and industry leaders themselves because of this passion.
Since they will be working in the technology market, it's imperative that instructional designers are able to communicate complex topics in simple terms. They must possess superior verbal and written communication skills because even if they are not the ones delivering the content, they must be able to dig into the topic through writing and conversation.
Learning designers must have updated skills on the latest learning technologies in order to create, develop and share learning content.
Courses today are not just single-type delivery courses, so it follows that learning designers will need the skills to produce multiple content types in their work. They will probably be asked to project manage the entire process of their own course development and possibly other courses being produced by their customer education team as well. Key skills and competencies in this include good prioritization skills, communication skills, and high organizational ability in order to keep the work on track.
People learn in many different ways and customer education programs must keep pace with this. Not only that but there are many different tech tools instructional designers can use to create different content types. It's critical that designers have a bit of a flare for visual design and the skills to produce the visual content they need for their courses. To take your customer education programs to the next level, you may want to look for a higher artist level in order to create storyboards, create imagery out of ideas, and present facts in an innovative and creative way.
Learning designers must know how to create powerful and meaningful assessments to accompany courses. Their organizations then use this information to measure the success of courses, so knowing how to elicit the right information is critical.
While you'll be hard-pressed to find a learning designer that demonstrates elite-level skills and competencies in these seven areas, you're sure to find ones that have a good number of them. Look at your own tech organization, customer education team, and overall business goals, and then choose the ones that are most important to you. Your next learning designer hire could be just one job posting away.
Originally published on October 11, 2017