How to Recruit Talented Designers: 5 Qualities that Stand Out

Creative design can often make the difference between the success and failure of products and marketing efforts in today’s highly competitive marketplace. The modern consumer has a discerning eye and it requires something very special to capture their attention.

However, finding brilliant creative designers these days is far from a simple task. While there are many designers out there marketing their skills both online and offline, many do not have the skills necessary to stand out from among the competition. In fact, the mass of ordinary designers out there can make it difficult to spot the ones with the right stuff.

Formal training alone is not enough to help you distinguish a talented designer. While an education in graphic and other types of design can help teach the fundamentals and techniques, it cannot impart that creative spark that separates the best designers from ordinary ones.

Here are five qualities to look for that can help you recruit talented designers:

1. Creativity – When examining the prospect’s portfolio, look beyond just the graphic appearance of the design. Try to understand the thought behind the creation. Originality of thought is the most important factor in creating designs that achieve a specific purpose.

2. Positive attitude – Look for designers that have a “can-do” attitude and that look for new challenges. Since the business environment is highly competitive, you will need designers that are not easily intimidated by tough jobs. Seek people geared toward success and those that are ready to work to help you reach the top. Avoid designers that lack confidence and that have a negative outlook on the potential of your endeavour.

3. Personality – The designer that you select will have to work with you in all types of situations including periods when you need to meet crushing deadlines. Select a person who is able to get along with you and work as a team member. The stereotype about the marvellously talented prima donna designer may have some validity, but most organisations will need someone who can get along with others in the office. If the relationship with the designer will take place mostly or entirely online, then a personal interview with the prospect is not imperative. Instead, an online exchange may be good enough to determine whether the person has the right personality for your company.

4. Vision – Designers should not simply be robots that follow their employer’s commands. The most talented designers have their own worldview and vision about the designs they create. Ask the prospective designer what they think they will be able to accomplish for you and what they see as the best approach to advance your cause. How do they visualize your business or organisation?

5. Interests and breadth of knowledge – For a designer to tackle a wide range of subjects, it is important they have a similar broad range of interests. Designers that only know about their own type of work may have difficulty grasping topics related to a particular marketing campaign or the idea behind a new product innovation. Look for people who easily pick up new concepts and are versed in a wide range of subjects.

How to recruit talented designers
The common approaches to finding capable designers are:

• Using in-house recruiting efforts
• Hiring an employment agency
• Training designers from within the organisation

Most companies will at least try to seek designers using their internal recruitment departments. For such efforts, computer applications and e-recruitment software can be of great benefit. These applications allow organisations to manage their online and offline efforts more efficiently using computer databases, search capabilities, data filtering and other tools.

Using an outside firm to help with recruitment may require more upfront money or the payment of a commission for each new hire. This may be the right option for companies that do not have sufficient internal talent recruitment resources. However, results will depend on the effectiveness of the employment agency and the number of clients competing for the same designers.

Another option is to train current employees to become designers. With this option, you will already need some talented designers in your organisation along with candidates that show potential for success in this field. Training employees will take time and resources and there is no guarantee of positive results. On the other hand, at least you will know whether the person can fit into the current structure of your organisation.

For most companies, in-house efforts using recruitment will probably be the most viable option. However, it is also possible to use combinations of all these approaches.