Preparing a New Instructional Designer for Work


Quality instructional designers can be difficult to find in the current marketplace. Not only will ProEdit help you narrow the field and place a candidate, but we can also help you prepare for the new hire’s first day.

The staffing experts here at ProEdit have come up with a checklist to help you bring on an instructional designer, whether for a contracted or permanent position. This checklist will help make the process go smoothly for both you and the new hire.

Communicate timeline and expectations.

Not only does the staffing team at ProEdit need to understand your needs and expectations, but the instructional designer does as well. While ProEdit has given the instructional designer a basic rundown of the job that they are being hired to do, it is important that you give the new hire clear and pointed instructions on the first day. What are the deliverables? What style guide does your company prefer? What are the deadlines for each phase of the work? This initial direction can go a long way in helping the new hire succeed.

Consider new hire orientation.

Even if the instructional designer you’ve hired is on a short-term contract, orientation can often be beneficial because it gets the new hire acquainted with the company’s mission and the flow of business. If a full orientation is not practical, even a quick tour and meet & greet around the office can help the new hire get acclimated. Introducing the new hire to SMEs and stakeholders can help put faces to the projects at hand, and knowing where meeting rooms and offices are can help the new hire navigate the first few days with ease.

Provide a lifeline for the new hire.

Inevitably, your new instructional designer will have questions regarding his or her work, where to get supplies, and any number of other things. Giving a new hire a designated point of contact to field these questions can make him or her feel more comfortable and will keep the newbie from coming to you for every question that arises. If possible, give the new hire two or three points of contact so that you don’t have one employee responsible for the task. Having multiple people work together to help a new hire can also assist in building a team environment more quickly.

Have a defined workspace prepared.

Few situations are more awkward than having a new hire show up on the first day and realizing you have nowhere for him or her to sit down and begin work. Not only does it start things off on the wrong foot, but it is a waste of time and money and can give the impression that the position is not taken seriously. Be sure to set up a desk or workspace for the instructional designer prior to his or her arrival. Ensure that the computer supplied has all of the software and resources that the work will require. If part of the job involves talking to subject matter experts (SMEs), be sure to have a contact sheet prepared so that the new hire knows who the SMEs are and how to contact them.

Preparing for a new hire’s first day can take quite a bit of time and energy, but getting everything squared away early on can make the transition easier for everyone involved. If it comes down to the wire and you are not prepared for the new hire to begin work, it is okay to postpone the start date until you are ready to bring the person onboard.

We hope that this checklist will help as you add instructional designers, whether contract or permanent, to your team. If you have any questions or need any help with the process, contact ProEdit today!

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