Visual designers are central in shaping how your audience perceives your brand. They craft elements that appeal to your audience and distinguish your brand from others in your industry. A poorly chosen designer can result in a mis-hire who misrepresents your brand identity and deteriorates your brand image.
With your brand identity being such a crucial part of your company’s success, finding and attracting the right visual designer for your company – one with the perfect mix of creativity and skills – can be an arduous task.
Below, we provide you with a road map to hiring a visual designer.
We cover considerations you should make before hiring a visual designer, hard and soft skills to look for in your candidates, and creative ways to find top talent—even in niche areas.
We also discuss the best ways to evaluate candidates. This way, you hire visual designers who can elevate your brand identity.
Your audience recognizes you by your brand identity – the visible elements of your brand that include colors, logos, and font style. Visual designers create cohesive, memorable elements that not only enhance your brand’s aesthetics but also convey your mission and values to your target audience.
Here’s what you should know before plunging into the hiring process:
Pinpoint exactly what you expect from a visual designer. Whether you're aiming for a fresh brand identity, seamless UX/UI, or innovative advertisements, the designer should align with your specific needs.
A mismatch could result in unmet expectations, leading to wasted time, resources, and potential brand misrepresentation. Always tailor your search based on your company's unique demands.
Ideally, you should bring a visual designer on board at the beginning of a project. This way, you’ll have someone with fresh and innovative ideas on your team. As your business expands, a designer will help you refine and enhance your brand identity to match the new scale.
When you’re in the middle of a project and find that your brand identity is not making the impact your business needs, hire a seasoned visual designer who can help you pivot smoothly.
Research the industry standards for compensating a visual designer and consult industry experts. You can find this kind of information in industry reports or on job platforms like Glassdoor that collect salary information from employers and employees. You should also research the benefits that industry experts recommend including in your compensation package, such as a work laptop and software subscriptions.
Use this information to create your own competitive package. This way, you can attract candidates who might otherwise turn to competitors with better compensation packages.
Forbes reports that as of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work remotely. Remote hiring allows you to access a larger, global talent pool, increasing the chances of finding the perfect fit. Because of advances in digital technology and the increasingly remote-friendly nature of design work, many visual designers can successfully do their jobs from home. Hiring your designers remotely can allow for diverse perspectives and enhance creativity and innovation in your team.
Hiring a visual designer requires a careful balance of identifying both hard and soft skills that align with your company's ethos.
Hard skills are those tangible, technical abilities that visual designers need to be successful in their role. They use these skills to create visual designs that resonate with your brand's aesthetics and craft your brand’s identity:
Proficiency in design tools: Look for candidates with a mastery of tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and other industry-standard software.
UI/UX principles: Look for candidates who demonstrate an understanding of UI/UX principles to create designs that are user-friendly and engaging.
Typography skills: Observe your candidate’s ability to use typography creatively and effectively to enhance the visual appeal of their design.
Color theory: Candidates who understand color theory can create designs that evoke the desired emotions and responses from your target audience.
Layout design: Observe your candidates’ level of expertise in arranging elements harmoniously to create visually pleasing layouts.
Your candidate can have all the technical skills necessary for the role, but without certain soft skills, they won’t be a good culture add. These soft skills help them seamlessly integrate into your team.
Effective communication: Your candidate needs to be able to convey ideas clearly and understand the perspectives of others since they’ll be working in a team. This way, they can thrive in a collaborative work environment and execute projects successfully.
Creative thinking: A visual designer’s capacity to think outside of the box is crucial to their ability to come up with innovative solutions and fresh ideas. Your audience is always looking for the next best thing, and your designer must be able to keep up with the market’s pace.
Receptiveness to feedback: Your candidate should be open to feedback and willing to make necessary adjustments for improvement. A visual designer who isn’t receptive to feedback can fail at communicating your brand identity to your audience, which could lead to significant losses.
Finding a visual designer might seem straightforward with tried-and-true methods like employee referrals and renowned platforms like LinkedIn. However, these approaches often fall short when scouting for specialized skills or designers who excel in niche sectors.
Such broad platforms can overwhelm you with a large pool of visual designers who aren’t right for your company. Niche skills demand niche sourcing, but connecting with the ideal visual designer can be a daunting task. However, by using creative methods, you can find the talent you seek.
Peruse industry-specific portfolio sites: Platforms like Behance and Dribbble cater specifically to creatives. Looking for someone with expertise in motion graphics? Dribbble offers many designers showcasing these specific talents.
Attend design conferences and workshops: Engage in events like the Adobe MAX Creative Conference. The event houses top-tier talent, and you can network with professionals with unique specializations, like experiential design or typography experts.
Search niche online communities: Explore forums like Reddit. Subreddits like r/designjobs are reservoirs of talent where you can source visual designers from particular sectors, including VR design or sustainable packaging design.
Use remote talent platforms: Use platforms like We Work Remotely. In addition to offering broader talent pools, these sites also host designers with distinct specializations, so they’re especially beneficial if you're searching for someone with international design sensibilities or cross-cultural design experience.
Collaborate with universities: Partner with universities that have robust design programs. This avenue can usher in fresh talent with up-to-date training in contemporary design subsets, like augmented reality or biophilic design.
By diversifying your search methods, you’ll significantly enhance the chances of finding a visual designer who perfectly aligns with your brand's vision and can accurately craft your brand identity.
After finding visual designers, don’t rely on their resumes alone. Instead, assess their abilities with pre-employment testing to filter candidates based on their job-specific skills. This way, you can weed out under-qualified candidates.
For example, TestGorilla offers an innovative solution to select the best visual design candidates through pre-screening assessments that help you remain objective.
You can combine various tests for designers into a single assessment to gain a strong understanding of each candidate.
Use targeted interview questions based on these assessments to further streamline the process. Asking the right visual designer interview questions can help you find a candidate ideally suited to boosting your brand identity.
Be mindful of these common mistakes the next time you're hiring a visual designer for your team:
Not considering the variety in a candidate's portfolio can be a misstep. A diverse portfolio displays a candidate’s adaptability and a wide skill set.
To understand how to craft your brand identity to your standards, a visual designer must share your values. This is why you should try to understand how their values – and subsequent behaviors – align with your company’s. This way, you can ensure they have a deep understanding of your goals and can create the brand identity you need and want for your organization.
Solely focusing on your candidate’s Adobe skills and ignoring their communication, adaptability, and problem-solving skills can lead to a mismatch between the designer and your team or project.
Bypassing practical tests or assignments during the recruitment process is never recommended. These will help you deeply assess qualities that won't be readily apparent in resumes, interviews, or portfolios, like attention to detail, adaptability to brand guidelines, and real-world problem-solving abilities.
Hiring a visual designer who can improve your brand identity requires you to understand the considerations you should make before hiring, the skills you should look for, writing a stellar visual designer job description, and the best ways to find and assess your ideal candidates.
After finding worthy candidates, you can use pre-employment screening tools, such as job-specific assessments, structured interview questions, and personality tests. These will help you pinpoint a visual designer who aligns with your company’s vision and goals.
TestGorilla's extensive test library of 300+ pre-employment assessments can refine your hiring process, ensuring that you find the ideal visual designer to participate in your company's brand identity journey.
To address its increased recruitment needs and influx of applicants for roles that include customer support and leadership, Dyninno Group implemented TestGorilla. See how the Dyninno Group of companies improved candidate screening and recruitment productivity by 400%.
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