Living and working in an upward-trending economy is most certainly a positive thing, although it can seem like a real obstacle when it comes to hiring. When there are more and more jobs, fewer and fewer people are actively looking, and those who are looking and infinitely hire-able know that they have their choice of companies to work for. The pool has shrunk as demands on your team have risen and now you’re in need of a really good designer…but how do you attract the right person for your team in this ever-improving market? Here are a few tips to make the process a bit easier for you:
1. Determine what you are looking for and make your expectations clear.
A lot comes down to the job description–it’s the inbound approach to how candidates will find you. Putting together a job description means that you have to figure out 1) what this person will do, 2) what you want this person to have done already, and 3) what you need this person to have done already.
Understand that there is a difference between wants and needs and make it clear in your job description which is which. There could be really excellent and highly qualified candidates out there that will never respond to your job description because they don’t possess two of the skills you have listed. If you make it clear that those two skills are “nice to have” and not “need to have,” you make your net a bit bigger. Ask yourself what really matters in this role and which things you are willing to train on vs must possess already.
2. There is no such thing as a unicorn.
Your designers probably don’t need to code. Don’t make them, especially if your salary range isn’t on the high end of your marketplace. If you’re looking for a good designer, then you need to look for what most designers are expected to do–coding is not one of those expectations on most designers. They also shouldn’t be asked to do a lot dealing with marketing, aside from designing things for the marketing department to use. Remember that if you are going to hire a good designer, design will be their strong suit, and everything else is ancillary.
Keep in mind that you must keep your expectations in line with your salary. If you are offering salaries on the low end that match up more with junior-level experience, you can’t ask for a designer with a senior-level resume. The sooner you shed your dreams of a unicorn, the faster you will be able to find a designer that does exactly what you need them to.
3. Don’t couch your job description in language you think millennials will “jive with.”
First, it’s never a good idea to ascribe a certain character trait to an entire people group. Some millennials will be drawn to your need for a “design guru,” but many of them will roll their eyes and wonder why you couldn’t have just made it sound like the professional role that it is. Also, trendy language is constantly changing. You run the risk of dating yourself, or worse, looking like you aren’t on top of trends (which, in design, can be a problem.) So instead of asking for someone whose Photoshop skills are “on fleek,” tell them how many years you want in Photoshop and what you want them to be able to show for it. Classic = timeless…stick to it.
4. What do you have to offer the right candidate?
This may be one of the most important pieces that you cover in your job description, as well as your interview. Like I said before: the market is tough right now. If you know your salaries trend low in comparison to the rest of the market, you need to be confident in the other pieces your company can offer: is your culture inviting? Do you offer ongoing education opportunities? Is your benefits package crazy-good? Does this role get to be in on the ground floor of creating something new and exciting? What does your vacation policy look like? These are all questions that you will want to answer before you start writing a job description–the more inviting your company sounds, the more attractive it will be to other candidates. If you’re struggling to figure out what someone else might like about your company, ask yourself, “Why do I like working here?” Remember to not fudge things: if you know a certain company benefit or policy to be “not-as-it-seems,” don’t include it. Candidates will figure out soon enough that you may have been tweaking the truth a bit, and it will not only put a bad taste in their mouth, but will hurt your credibility.
If you make your job description thorough, accurate, and clear, it can be used as a blueprint by candidates, recruiters, and you, the hiring manager! Attracting good talent can be difficult in this market, but a good place to start is by putting together a complete job description. Check back soon for tips on how to find and hire good designers after your job description is written!
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