What to Look for in a QA Hire

There is no doubt that the current labor market is an interesting landscape. At the end of June 2021, the Labor Department reported that company hires rose to 6.7 million, and job openings continued to increase to 10.1 million. In this kind of labor market, it’s not only important to find talent, but to also hire the right talent. For Hiring Managers this can mean looking beyond the resume. Here are some things QA Hiring Managers should consider in their next QA hire. 

Organization

This broad term covers a few qualities QA Managers should look for in their next QA hire. Before even speaking to the candidate, you can begin to see some of their organizational skills. This can be demonstrated in the ways that they save their files, how neat or readable their resume is, if their resume is error-free, and if their cover letter addresses the appropriate company. These small things not only demonstrate that the candidate is organized in their application but also show their attention to detail; one of the most important skills in bug reporting. 

An organized candidate is also ideal because of their ability to prepare for disaster. QA testing can often be an ever-changing environment. So it’s important for a candidate to prioritize their day and handle incoming requests with ease. 

A QA hire sitting at a desk, with a google sheet on a new M1 iMac with an iPad propped up next to the screen and two smartphones on the desk.

Communication

While the work of testing is generally an individual responsibility, the vast majority of testers will work on a team. It is vital that testers are able to communicate efficiently with their team. Communication helps the team avoid duplicate issues, promotes company culture, and helps management meet deadline expectations with clients. 

Not only should testers simply communicate effectively, but they should also communicate efficiently. Teams are looking for clear, concise reports that can help successfully reach deliverables in a timely manner.           

Hiring managers should look for candidates who are able to clearly and concisely answer questions throughout the QA hiring process. Additionally, candidates should also demonstrate they can efficiently get back to the hiring team whether through email or phone calls in a timely manner. Finally, candidates should have professional correspondence with the company. Testers may have direct contact with developers or clients and their communication should be professional. 

Two QA hires standing at a raised desk; one is pointing the the screen while the other nods in agreement.

QA Terminology 

Knowledge of general QA testing terminology is helpful for making a swift transition into a testing role. Regardless of if the candidate has QA testing experience or if they are new to the field, having an understanding of terms like test case, smoke testing, regression testing, etc. is key.

This is necessary to not only report issues but to effectively communicate with developers. Mastery of these terms can also be demonstrated in their understanding of Testing Life Cycles. 

Life Cycles: Software Development, Software Testing, & Bug Reporting 

If a QA hire will be working with a variety of teams or clients, knowledge of the software development cycle (SDLC) is particularly important. It will allow them to have a better understanding of where their work fits in with the bigger picture. Working in an Agile or Waterfall environment can drastically change how their team operates and executes testing. An understanding from planning to maintenance can help testers follow where breakdowns or issues happen. 

Beyond the importance of knowing the development process, a tester should have a working knowledge of the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC). STLC demonstrates to testers where they are in more specific stages of testing. Knowledge of STLC helps identify testing requirements, scope, verification, and validation of key points. These are some of the fundamentals of testing. 

Finally, QA hires should understand the life cycle of a bug/defect. If testers can identify various stages of a bug, it later helps them navigate through their daily responsibilities and expectations for the work they produce in a day. The positioning of where the bug is in the life cycle can also give testers an idea of the overall health of the product. 

Creativity 

It’s important to find QA hires who are creative. Creativity helps testers later look beyond the scope of the test. It can also help them identify issues that were not anticipated in the test plan. It’s also beneficial to find testers who are creative because they can come up with new ways to test products. These types of testers will be comfortable creating scenarios that might not be anticipated, but can feasibly happen. For Accessibility testers specifically, it’s vital that testers can create user scenarios if they do not have any limitations with the way they interact with a variety of products. Testers should not only strive to reach their steps in a test case, but come up with other ways to challenge the product so end users get the best experience. 

A QA hire's hands holding an iPhone on a desk. The view is from above the QA hire, showing the PLUS QA webpage on the screen.

Currently hiring for your QA team? Ask us how we can help support your team in the interim on short-term projects with our internal teams or on a long-term project with a PLUS QA Dedicated Resource. 

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