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Crafting The Perfect Technical Writer Test & Assessments For SaaS

Technical writing bridges the world of sales and technology. It simplifies complex concepts in a way that satisfies both decision-makers and everyday users. 

So, should you hire an experienced writer or task a developer to write the technical documentation themselves? The answer should be neither. You need a great technical writer. 

Why Should Saas Hire Technical Writers?

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Writing skills don’t necessarily translate to good technical writing. This is also true for developers that worked on apps themselves. 

Great technical writers don’t have to be experts in coding. They just need to know enough to showcase the ins and out of software and how it benefits the end user. Doing so provides:

Improved Sales Experience

Technical writers account for both end-users and decision-makers. Your technical writers help sales create easily understandable content and this leads to a higher conversion rate for your technical sales pages. And, when the end-users get the software, they also get an improved product experience. 

Improved Product Experience

The mark of great software is how intuitive it is for new users. The guides and educational content can help users formulate ways they can use your product to solve specific pain points. This ultimately leads to improved awareness.

Improved Technology Awareness

Technology evolves fast. If you’re in the SaaS industry, survival means keeping up with the latest trends. Thriving, on the other hand, means staying ahead of the curve.

Technical writers can provide documentation on the latest technologies and help developers with product updates and help promote valuable content to your target audience. 

How to Assess a Technical Writer’s Skill

There are several ways to test if a technical writer is up to your standards. Here are five of the most popular ways to assess a technical writer’s skill:

Technical Writing Ability

Technical writing covers a wide range of expertise. You’d want a writer that shows knowledge and skills in the following:

  • Communication.
  • Research.
  • Collaboration with sales and technical development teams.
  • Flexible writing styles to cater to different audience segments.
  • Enough knowledge in areas such as HTML, CSS, or API documentation. 

Ability to Simplify Complex Concepts

As mentioned earlier, technical writers need to cater to both end-users and decision-makers. Technical writers achieve this by simplifying complex concepts into engaging and digestible bits. This can be done by using succinct PowerPoint templates, Notion templates and similar tools.

The idea of using a new product or service likely needs to climb several ladders before it’s approved. In most cases, it’ll need to run through non-tech-savvy individuals. 

Familiarity with Document Development Life Cycle

Technical writers who are familiar with DDLC (Document Development Life Cycle) can boost the quality of your content, its accuracy, and how fast it can be delivered to your audience. 

It follows the following phases:

  • Analysis and strategy making
  • Design
  • Content development and document reviews. 
  • Publishing
  • Documentation updates

Audience Analysis

Great technical writers can change their writing style depending on the target audience. In some cases, writing more formally with an emphasis on technical aspects can work best.

Others require a more casual approach. The key is understanding when and where to use these writing styles in order to get the most value. 

Industry Expertise

Technical writers need enough knowledge to understand the gears and cogs of a SaaS product or service. You can assess your candidate’s knowledge through various tests such as:

  • Product knowledge: CRMs, Shopify, WooCommerce
  • Role-specific knowledge: WordPress developer, full stack developer.
  • Coding knowledge: Entry-level JavaScript, CSS, or HTML: debugging.

How to Structure a Technical Writer Test

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The structure of your technical writer assessment test depends on what your company needs. But, it commonly involves the following:


The language test should include basic grammar and language questions or situational examples. You can ask questions like:

  • What is the difference between “login to” and “log into”? 
  • How is set-up different from “setup”? 
  • When to hyphenate certain words like addon vs add-on?
  • Sentence structure best practices.
  • Passive vs Active voice. 

API Documentation

This test covers the technical aspects of technical writing. Here, you can ask questions such as:

  • What is an API?
  • Platform questions like “What is Github?”.
  • Coding-related questions.
  • What is an open-source document?
  • Merge commits vs rebasing in Git. 

Industry Awareness

This portion of the test is all about how knowledgeable a technical writer is on the ins and out of the industry their in. They should expect questions like:

  • Questions related to current industry trends.
  • Industry jargon / technical terms.
  • Basic understanding of SEO
  • What is sprint retrospective?
  • Technical English writing questions.
  • What is a UML diagram?

Streamlining and Automating The Hiring Process

Finding the perfect technical writer for your SaaS business takes time. Luckily, you don’t have to painstakingly do things manually. You can automate integral aspects of the hiring process like:

Job Description Automation

If you’re using a technical writing test platform, you’d often find hundreds of templates ready for personalization. You wouldn’t have to spend so much time crafting job descriptions. With the help of templates, a few minutes is all it takes to align the copy to what you’re looking for.

Writing Assessment Automation

After presenting the job description and application form, the next step is to assess the applicants’ technical writing skills. You can use pre-written templates to help automate the process. Make sure the templates are actually relevant for your specific needs. For example, giving a prompt on financial literacy for students is a way better assessment for fintech companies than something unrelated like crypto or farming. The more personalized you can make your template, the better you automation tools will perform. 

These templates can include the content brief, reference documentation, examples, scope of work, and a quick rundown on how the applicant’s output will be evaluated. 

Email follow-up Automation

Whether your applicant passed or failed the initial assessments, they can immediately receive an application status update through email follow-up automation

With pre-written emails for both scenarios, you can easily notify candidates and help them move toward the next step of the process. Sending immediate updates promotes an efficient working environment that writers would be ecstatic to join. 

Key Takeaways

Technical writers are essential for any business. They can bridge the gap between sales and technology and help improve user experience, product experience, and technical awareness. So, if you want to hire a technical writer, consider the following: 

  • How you would assess their technical writing ability?
  • How you’d automate and streamline the hiring process.
  • The questions you want to ask the applicants.
  • An applicant’s expertise in the industry.
  • And their ability to simplify complex concepts. 
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