I’m interested in your thoughts and the Screening Steps you go through when “Hiring Writers.”
And NO we are not just talking “Any” Writer here...we are talking the “ULTIMATE” Writer.
The ASSUMPTION here is that we are seeking a long term writer/s. Not one just for a one-off/ad hoc project.
Some of the below “Screening Steps” might be fairly common knowledge to many of you (but you’d be very surprised in what shortcuts people make in their quest to get someone on board quickly).
Personally, I go through six screening/hiring steps.
Some may say it's very detailed – but I believe these 6 steps can go a long way to securing you a very good writer (that you can work with over the long term).
These steps are of course after you have placed your ad and received responses.
1) Screening and Hiring - Initial Background Check
- Resume (relevant experience/logical/no typo's)
- Cover Letter (personalised/logical/no typo's)
- Writing Samples (do you like their style/no typo’s)
- References (have these been supplied).
2) Screening and Hiring - Phone Interview
Some sample questions:
- What is your current work situation? (are they fairly free or are they juggling many clients)
- Tell them exactly what you need and when you need it done by (gauge their reaction)
- Establish their rate (negotiate)
- Are they seeking long term work? (obviously preferable)
- Set them a test/trial project with a clear deadline (e.g. turnaround of 48 hours).
3) Screening and Hiring - Test Project
- Set task to be complete (e.g. 2 articles on chosen subject matter)
- Review test project (everything from content to meeting of deadline)
- Do plagiarism check on articles (google/copyscape etc)
4) Screening and Hiring - Reference Check
- Would you hire this person again? (short and sweet as most people will just tell you directly).
5) Screening and Hiring - In Person Interview (if possible)
- Similar to phone interview
6) Screening and Hiring - Sign an ICA (Independant Contractor Agreement)
- You Own the work (assuming they are a ghost writer)
Never underestimate the importance of 6) - if you ever go to sell your website one day it is essential to have signed agreements.
Also, you should never just hire one writer (if you are taking a long term viewpoint).
If you do - you are simply setting yourself up for a single point of failure in your business in the long term.
It's best to take on at least 3 and give them all a bit of work and yes ONE WILL EVENTUALLY SHINE THROUGH - THAT'S YOUR LONG TERM ULTIMATE WRITER!
This six step process is by all no means flawless, definitive or perfect.
However, it's a great start and works very well.
Anyway I hope this helps!