6 Top Skills To Look For When Hiring A Learning Designer

6 Top Skills To Look For When Hiring A Learning Designer
Summary: If you’re growing your learning production team and are keen on bringing in new Instructional Designers to help shape and create fantastic modern learning experiences, here are 6 vital skills we’d encourage you to look for. You might also want to modernize your job title!

A Learning Designer By Any Other Name?

Historically named an ‘Instructional Designer’, the learning designer role now more commonly falls under the names:

  • Digital learning designer
  • Learning consultant
  • Learning content designer
  • Learning experience designer

The world of L&D is a smorgasbord of backgrounds and experiences, so be open-minded and don’t just look for people who’ve been there, done that. In fact, if you want truly modern design experiences, you might want someone who can come in and shake things up a bit.

Your candidate may be an experienced digital learning designer or they may be making the jump from another career area, such as marketing, coaching, multimedia production, or communications. Set some tasks to help figure out who has the strongest potential.

6 Key Things You Need Your Learning Designer To Be

1. Consultative

Great designs begin with a solid grasp of needs, audience, and purpose. Your learning designer should be able to get under the skin of the real problem that needs fixing – and it might not be what they have been told, but something more nuanced or very simple! You need your learning designer to be able to ask the right questions and capture the right goals for their project, so they can come up with the right solutions.

2. Creative

A successful learning designer can come up with exciting, intriguing, and meaningful learning experiences that hook users in, keep them engaged and help drive real change. They come up with innovative ideas and can bring raw content to life with a whole new, but relevant, twist. To do this in a way that connects and helps end users, they need to be able to truly empathise with the audience.

3. Data-Driven

The highest flying learning designers are both creative and data-driven. This helps them assess what has and hasn’t worked previously, and apply this knowledge to new designs. Ultimately, your learning designer’s goal should be to provide experiences that genuinely work for your end users and actively help them to improve their performance in target areas. They shouldn’t be scared of negative feedback, but an embracer of iteration and improvement.

4. A Curator

There’s definitely a curation aspect of the learning designer role. Once a design vision is in place, your learning designer needs to be a savvy filter, able to keenly evaluate content and assess what to include and to exclude. If great expert videos, useful guides, case studies, and more already exist, then a good designer should be able to use them and not look to write all the content from scratch. Can they collaborate to get the content and stories they need?

5. People-Centered

Your learning designer needs to be empathetic and able to put themselves in the shoes of the learning audience. But more than just imagining what it’s like to be them, they need to be able to observe, survey, talk, and collaborate with end users to feel their pain. If your designer can represent end users through the whole lifecycle of a project, you’re bound to get better results for your project.

6. Unique

There’s a diverse makeup of experience and skills in the world of L&D. Chances are your learning designer will have a particular skill that’s worth honing in on. Maybe, they're a fantastic copywriter, able to add pizazz to the driest topics? Or maybe they have a flair for visual design and an eye for the best layouts? Perhaps they can handle the hardest, most technical subject matters? Try to unearth what unique skills they have through some practical tests, and look to work with those skills if you hire them. Where they aren’t so strong, you can top up with freelancers or pair them with someone who complements their skillset.

Finding The Perfect Fit Learning Designer

There’s no doubt that these are all valuable skills for a learning designer to possess, but don’t fear if you don’t have someone who embodies them all.

There are other options available to you. For example, if your learning designer is excellent at design concepts but less skilled with copy, consider bringing a freelancer on board to support or borrow a writer from the marketing department for a day. And, of course, you can offer support and training to help them develop in other areas.

If you use Elucidat as your authoring platform, then remember there are a range of coaching and design services to help your team excel, whether you’re onboarding someone new or need to develop skills within your team.

Learn more about Elucidat’s Professional Services.

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