We’ve focused a lot on graphic design this week, but trust us; it’s for good reason. Our last blogs established that graphic designers are the heartbeat of your visual brand identity.
They’re the ones working behind the scenes to ensure that your logo, brand guide, and client-facing assets are pleasing to the eye and memorable. The next step is finding the right designer or design team to take your business to the next level.
In this guide, we will share the best way to source, vet, and hire a graphic designer for your specific needs.
“Aren’t you a design company? Isn’t this like shooting yourself in the foot?”
While you make a great point, this blog post is about sharing the hiring tips that we’ve learned over the years. We know that you’re going to shop around, so we figure helping you is better than letting you waste time and money while tanking that glassdoor rating in the process.
Let’s dive in!
Identify your specific needs
Whether you’re an enterprise brand or a small to midsize business, you need a graphic designer. The difference will be whether you will utilize them to take care of small, one-off projects like resizing your logo or large, strategic projects like creating a brand guide.
Ask yourself how many projects you have per month and—while this may be difficult—try to gauge the number of hours it would take to complete those projects.
We can tell you from experience that if your roster is long and there’s more than one strategic initiative on it, then you may need to hire a team or look into a graphic design service.
If you have graphic design work once per month for smaller things, then you can certainly hire one in-house designer, but the challenge will be finding them and identifying whether or not they have the skills that you need. The same thing goes for dipping into the freelance graphic design market.
Where to find graphic designers
Hiring for creative work differs greatly from the administrative candidate hunt. Although creatives live on Linkedin and will see your job posting if they’re actively looking for it, the odds of reaching the right designers with the right experience via job boards are slim.
You’ll be sifting through dozens of resumes, portfolios, and Linkedin profiles until your eyes feel like they’re going to fall into your coffee cup. A great way to combat this is not to rely on job postings spread across multiple platforms. You need to meet them where they are.
One great way to start is by looking at recent graduates of design universities. We hire them often, and the honest truth is that they’re an underutilized pool of talent. If you want more experienced freelancers, then you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and get ready to dig.
Yes, this means to start looking at the freelance pool. Most graphic designers do freelance work on the side, and the ones that are too busy to check the job boards are busy for a reason. The freelance pool is very saturated, however, so buckle up for another wild ride.
And be ready to hear “No thank you” to that full-time job you’re offering. Some freelancers just want to be their own boss and stay that way.
Vetting your pool
Now that we’ve covered the basics of tapping into a great pool of creative talent, it’s time to discuss the best way to vet creatives for graphic design work.
In the same way that finding graphic designers is very different from hiring for administrative titles, the same thing goes for the vetting process.
With administrative roles, you can easily fact-check their resume, call old references, and chat with the HR department at their last position. For graphic designers who may have been freelancing for years before you found them, the only thing you have is their portfolio.
You don’t know if they were good at meeting deadlines, how they handled feedback, or whether they no-showed old clients. All you know is that they are very good at what they do. And even that isn’t concrete. We’ve had experiences with designers who impressed us with their portfolio only to show a completely different side of them during our challenge project.
This is why the vetting process is crucial. It ensures that you are investing in the right people and avoiding an uncomfortable firing a few months (sometimes weeks) into the designer’s tenure with you.
The key takeaway here? Taking the time to vet the right candidates is always a good idea. Even if it’s time-consuming and their portfolio is full of great work.
How much should you pay a graphic designer?
We touched on this question in our Why Graphic Design is Important for Small and Midsize Businesses blog, but we’ll cover it again, so you don’t have to search for it.
In-house graphic designer salaries range anywhere from $55,000 to well into the six figures depending on their experience and skills. Freelance graphic designers vary in price depending on their location, experience level, and demand. The variables are endless.
If you are reading this and thinking “That’s way too expensive for us right now, and finding a good freelancer sounds tough”, then keep reading because we have a solution for you.
Why a team is better
We know, your bandwidth is limited. You’ve got candidates to hire, projects piling up on your desk, and although you need a graphic designer, there just isn’t enough time in the day to go through the process to get there.
This is where we come in. Designity takes care of the vetting process from start to finish. No, we aren’t a staffing agency. We’re a fully remote design company with a highly vetted US-based pool of graphic designers who are ready to take on your most pressing projects.
Want to know the best part? You don’t even have to manage them. We assign you a creative director who has 15+ years of experience. They act as your right hand throughout the entire creative process.
Your creative director plugs in the right creatives for your projects, no matter how big or small...
...and manages them so that you don’t have to.
Ready to get started? Sign up for your risk-free, two-week trial today!