8 pro tips for hiring the best designers

Learn how to attract tomorrow's creative superstars to your studio – and keep them.

Knowing how and where to find new design talent is an essential skill if you want to expand your studio; the next step is hiring and keeping your design superstars. It can be a gruelling process, but it'll reap dividends in the long term. Here are our tips for getting it right.

01. Make a noise...

Self-promotion is key. Start talking: tell everyone you're looking for new talent, use social media, make a call-out via your site and investigate some of the many apprenticeship schemes available.

02. ...in the right places

LinkedIn might not be the most rewarding hunting ground. Look through folio sites like Behance, scour the design media and attend events like D&AD New Blood, ADC's portfolio nights, conferences, festivals and local meet-ups.

03. Communicate your philosophy

Reputation is everything: talented creatives are attracted by engaging briefs, inspiring team members and a fantastic studio environment. Make sure you offer this – word will spread – and communicate your ethos through your website and social media. Keep things upbeat and interesting.

04. Offer something different

It's not all about the pay-cheque. Blog about away-days, inspiring team side projects and other perks that keep studio life interesting.

05. Meet and greet

Ask a shortlist of candidates in for individual chats. Keep them informal yet business-like. Ask each person to talk through their folio and look for problem-solving examples. Allow them to show off.

06. Make an offer

A serious one. If you've discovered someone who can add value to your business, then treat it as an investment and stretch to what you can afford.

07. Take development seriously

Too many studios and agencies lose talented creatives by not offering a clear-cut personal development plan from the outset.

08. Encourage self-initiation

One of the best ways to keep creatives satisfied and motivated is to allow the time and space for self-initiated work. Giving your team the freedom to test new ideas, develop new skills and learn new techniques won't just benefit individuals – your studio's collective skillset will receive a boost, too.

Words: Tom Dennis

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 230.