When it comes to presenting your brand, designers are an essential resource. They can help direct customers to the most relevant information and help improve the usability of your products. Almost every company has to turn to designers at some point. If you just need a one-off project like a website or logo design, you’ll probably just want to outsource the job to a freelancer. However, if your firm’s website needs regular updates or your app needs development, you should try to fill an in-house designer position. 

Hiring a designer from out of the blue can be a daunting prospect, especially if you’re position has little to do with design. Everyone has their own ideas when they look at designer work, but not everyone understands the processes that lead to the finished product. Therefore, keep these factors in mind when hiring a designer to ensure you’re getting the right fit for your business.

Understand the Type of Designer You Want

Design is a very wide field that takes in everything from visual art to software development. In this article, we’ll keep our focus on designers in technology. Some specializations within this field might include:

  • Web Design: The creation of websites and pages using coding and software development.
  • Graphic Design: Designing logos, page templates, or digital graphics using Adobe Photoshop and other design suites.
  • UX/UI Design: Creating user interfaces and app navigation for software to enhance functionality.

While some designers are familiar with multiple disciplines, you need to settle on the particular design skills you’re looking for at the start of the hiring process. Do this by sitting down with department heads and stakeholders to establish what design qualities the business needs from a new hire. From here, you can generate an accurate job description listing the right skills and qualifications. This stage is essential in ensuring that you’re not wasting your time interviewing unsuitable candidates during the hiring process.

Find Candidates With the Right Tools

A simple job listing might be enough to attract the interest of a talented designer with the right skill for the job. However, you’re more likely to find the perfect fit for a role if you take a proactive approach to hiring and using useful tools to help you find and contact attractive candidates who tick the right boxes. SignalHire is one such tool that has a lot to offer. 

You can use it to search through online profiles by keyword to find, for example, a senior graphic designer with the talent or experience in your particular field. You can also search for candidates by location, which is handy for finding leads who will be close to your operations. SignalHire also provides you with an email address for any likely candidates that’s been verified by third-party tools, letting you directly get in touch with potential hires.

 Checklist: Factors to Consider in Design Hiring

Experience Beats Education

Education and qualifications do count for something when establishing which candidates show the most promise. However, design is generally a very practical discipline, so hands-on experience carries more value than florid qualifications. The vast majority of designers tend to have taught themselves their trade or broadened their skillset on the job. So if you find someone who can point to quality work they’ve done for a previous company, or show you a bulging portfolio of paid work, move them to the front of the queue. That said, there are some are schools that carry a lot of weight in the design world, so don’t overlook candidates with a background in this area.

Explore Their Portfolio

A candidate’s portfolio will hold everything they consider to be their best work up to that point and give you a real picture of their talent profile and the kinds of assignments they thrive with. Indeed, when it comes down to whittling down applicants to the interview stage, the contents of their portfolios will probably be what takes them to the next stage. During the interviews, it’s important that you go over their work in detail. This will give candidates a chance to reveal the true value that they can bring to your business. Ask them what they can bring to your company and whether they’re comfortable working with style guides if you’re a big corporation. If your organization has a looser attitude to brand management, try and establish whether the candidate can maintain consistency with their output.

Keep Your Hiring Team Diverse

Whatever the specializations of your future hire, they will inevitably be expected to work with other departments throughout your business. These departments might include marketing, product development, and web development. Ensure the relevant department heads are included at the relevant stages of the hiring process for two reasons. 

Firstly, they’ll be better able to identify any hidden potential in a candidate that you might not have spotted. Secondly, they’ll also be able to sound the alarm if there’s a gaping hole in a candidate’s skill set that could cause problems or limit their usefulness further down the line. You don’t want to find out any nasty surprises about someone after time and money have already been spent onboarding them, which is why diversifying your hiring team is so crucial. With input from different departments involved in the hiring process, you’ll get a more well-rounded and informed picture of the value the candidate can offer the company as a whole. 

Final Thoughts

Design is a deep and varied field, so figuring out what you want in a candidate for the role can be daunting. First, decide what you need a design to bring to your business, and start from there. Pay attention to their portfolios, as this will give you the best idea of their design capabilities. During the interview, be sure to ask the right questions that might unearth hidden potential in a candidate or reveal soft skills relating to communication and teamwork that could prove just as valuable as their design skills.

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