10 Qualities to Look for When Hiring an Instructional Designer (ID) or a Learning Experience Designer (LXD)

Ready to build out your training department? Whether you’re hiring a full-time employee (FTE) or a contractor, you want to know they have the knowledge, skills, and experience to deliver engaging, effective training. Quality training plays a critical role in developing your workers and setting them up for success.

What qualities and skills should you be looking for in a new hire for your learning team? In this article, we share 10 skills to look for as you recruit and interview potential new employees.

  1. Strong understanding of learning theory: A solid understanding of learning theory and the ability to apply that knowledge to design effective learning experiences.
  2. Communication skills: Strong communication skills to effectively explain approaches and constraints, and collaborate with subject matter experts, stakeholders, and other team members.
  3. Research skills: Strong research skills to gather and summarize information, and analytical skills to ensure the content is on point and the learning design is effective.
  4. Empathy: Instructional Designers should have a sense of empathy to understand the needs and perspectives of learners so they can design learning experiences that meet them where they are and then inspire them to grow.
  5. Attention to Detail: Developing eLearning courses and curriculum involves many moving parts and fine details, so it is important to be meticulous, and patient; take the time to check and recheck everything for accuracy and ensure that all the little details are taken care of.
  6. Creativity: An instructional designer should always have a creative approach to designing engaging and effective learning experiences. 
  7. Time Management and Flexibility: Commitment to meet strict deadlines and remain agile and flexible through the project as priorities change. 
  8. Understanding Technology: Familiarity with immersive learning technology such as eLearning authoring tools, video recording tools, graphic design tools, whiteboarding and mind mapping tools, LMSs, VR, and gamification platforms to effectively design and develop better learning experiences. Here’s a summary of other tools that strong instructional designers should know.
  9. Listening Skills: Expertise in asking questions and actively listening to responses to glean key insights about business goals and learner needs. Furthermore, openness to hear and use feedback from stakeholders to improve the learning experience
  10. Familiarity with Generative AI: Instructional Designers should have an understanding of how to use AI to make mundane tasks easier, and the dos and don’ts when it comes to client’s proprietary content. Check out this blog to learn about how our instructional designers are using AI. 

We think IDs (and LXDs especially) should have a willingness to explore and try more immersive technology and new training modalities. The best instructional designers look for opportunities to engage learners both mentally and emotionally through realistic practice, games, Virtual Reality (VR), and other immersive experiences. 

Expert knowledge of eLearning authoring tools such as Articulate Rise, Adobe Captivate, and Lectora helps instructional designers create an executable design that leverages the best of what technology has to offer. In addition, an understanding of Camtasia or other screen recording tools is a key skill for designers to have in their toolkits.

ELB Learning can help you find short- or long-term contractors with the skills you need. Visit our staff augmentation page for more information. 

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