Best Practices for Hiring Top eLearning Professionals
The sudden interest in organizational learning and development in recent years has led to the creation of a flood of eLearning jobs in today’s market. In many ways, the market belongs to the L&D professionals, who can be selective about picking jobs that best suit their interests. On the other hand, this is also the perfect time to attract experienced and eager candidates to fulfill your company’s eLearning needs. Whether you’re looking for a temporary eLearning consultant or are ready to hire a full-time L&D team, knowing how to navigate the field will help you find the right candidate for your company. Here is our advice.
Find the right type of eLearning professional
Establishing what type of eLearning professional you need is the first step. Are you looking to build a training leadership team to develop strategy for creating a learning organization? Or do you simply need to launch a specific training course? Consider which makes sense for your organization financially and strategically, and which would be a better investment in the long run. Salaries for management positions run between $75,000 and $110,000, while you can hire an eLearning developer for around $60,000. While it’s certainly tempting to spend less now, consider whether you are looking to expand your Learning and Development department long-term. If that’s the case, it might make more sense to invest now in management that can focus on your long-term goals.
What to look for in an eLearning portfolio
Depending on what your particular needs are, you want to see eLearning examples that are polished, easy to navigate, and engaging. A good training will be able to teach something to anyone, so when you finish looking through the candidate’s work, put yourself in the learners’ shoes and ask: What did I learn from this? Was I compelled to continue? In what ways did the design and presentation help me understand the content? Also, be on the lookout for technical expertise that you want in your own courses, such as the use of variables, branching, and individualized feedback.
Asking the right questions in an L&D interview
Looking through a candidate’s portfolio will give you a sense of their technical competence, but it’s the interview that will let you know what they are really like to work with. Ask them to describe their process for developing training. Do they use the ADDIE or agile, or another model? What challenges have they encountered in past projects, and what did they learn from those lessons? A big chunk of the responsibility of learning and development is project management, as well as the ability to adapt to changing priorities and circumstances. Invite your candidate to share examples of large projects they have worked on before, and the ways they resolved problems that arose along the way.
Red flags
If an L&D candidate can’t describe their process for developing and delivering training, cross them off your list. Even a freelance course builder, whose role is simply to program scripts and images with authoring software, should have a method for working efficiently (for example, laying out text on screens first, going through and programming variables, then adding images). If they can’t describe a process, it’s likely a sign they don’t have much experience – and in this market, you can find someone more qualified. Another red flag is a candidate whose portfolio has mistakes in it. Keep a keen eye out for misspellings, inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and other errors. Even the small ones – especially the small ones – point to a candidate who doesn’t take the QA process seriously enough. A bad hire can cost your company significantly, so it’s important to do your research before you make an offer. Check out references, comb through credentials, and don’t be afraid to ask for multiple interviews. The process may be overwhelming, but it’s worth the wait to finally shake the hand of the right person and say, “Welcome aboard.
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