Artisan Blog

Artisan Places Talent in All 5 of the "Hardest Jobs to Fill in 2012"

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Artisan Places Talent in All 5 of the

Photo by rob.knight via Flickr Creative Commons

I saw an article in Inc. Magazine this week about the 5 Hardest Jobs to Fill in 2012 so I clicked to see what they could possibly be, and I was in for quite a surprise!

In today’s rough economy, everyone with a good idea is starting their own business and they all need great websites with fantastic graphic design, user-friendly interfaces and talented staff to design, manufacture and sell their products and services. This tremendous growth in entrepreneurship is leading to a great deal of demand in these 5 creative fields:

  1. Web Developers—Web Developers are in high demand, especially in major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Every business needs a website or they cannot function in today’s business climate.

  2. Creative Design and User Experience—Companies are having trouble finding talent with a demonstrated track record in these areas. If you have an extensive portfolio with top work and are looking for new opportunities, you are in good shape.  There are more opportunities than can be filled.

  3. Product Management—Especially in the area of ecommerce, companies need people with experience in customer interaction and working in the cloud.

  4. Online Marketing—Tech savvy communicators with great language and interpersonal skills don’t grow on trees. Companies need Marketers who can generate viral traffic through the web, social media, and engaging content.  Talented writers and bloggers who really know the interactive space are in high demand.

  5. Analytics—Thanks to the variety of measurement tools available, CEO’s are starting to understand the value of search and social media, but now they demand the best ROI. Analysts who can show C-level executives how their marketing strategies are working to build their business will do very well next year.
It looks like 2012 will be a good year for creatives—let us know if Artisan can help you find talent or find a perfect role in the New Year!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Artisan’s Resume DOs & DONTs List: Part 2

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Artisan’s Resume DOs & DONTs List: Part 2


If you’ve ever sent out your resume through an online application – you’ll probably find yourself wondering, at some point, if you’ll ever hear back from that potential employer. Did your resume stand out? Did it contain everything it should? Did you include something you shouldn’t have?

While every employer is looking for something different – most hiring authorities would agree that there are certainly things to avoid on resumes – and other things they love to see. While we can’t guarantee you’ll get a call-back – we’d love to help improve your odds with a few tips!

Last week we discussed some of our suggested resume must haves. Today, we take a look at some key things to avoid on your resume:


1. Don’t make it longer than 2 pages. Remember you need only include a concise description of your positions and major achievements/successes for those positions in the last 10 years. Your resume should simply whet the appetite of future employers. Leave something to discuss during your interview!

2. Don’t use your LinkedIn profile as your resume. While your LinkedIn Profile can certainly be a great point of reference – and should include much of what you include in your resume – it is not a substitute for your resume. Resumes should be customized for the positions/companies to which you apply.

3. Don't be vague with dates. Potential employers want to know the duration of time you spent at a company. 2009 to 2010 isn't clear. Was that 2 years or 2 months? NOTE: If you are a freelancer who has returned to a client many times during a multi-year period, more general annual dates are acceptable.

4. Don’t include a salary history. Salary is just one of the elements in negotiating an offer. But it’s a powerful one. Don’t show your hand before you’ve even interviewed. Wait until it’s requested – if it’s ever requested.

5. Don't list your references; employers or recruiters will ask for them. No need to tell us “Reference Provided Upon Request” either. This is given. You should have updated contact details ready to provide potential employers at any time during an active job search.  Make sure references are aware they might be contacted about your professional relationship.

6. Don't talk about yourself in third person. This practice is not usually received well by most hiring managers. No matter your intention, this normally comes off as awkward, unfriendly and disconnected - none of which are good if you’re being considered for a position with a new company who doesn’t yet know you. Save the third person for your bio on the company website after you get the job!

7. Do not include a picture of yourself or busy design elements on your resume. They are simply distracting from what’s important – your experience and accomplishments. If you simply MUST have a prospective employer know what you look like – include a link to your LinkedIn Profile and make sure your picture is professional. Chances are – they will be checking you out there anyway. On the flip side – especially for Designers – feel free to include design elements as part of your resume – just make sure they are clean, simple, tasteful and emphasize your written content, not detract form it.

Jess Bedford, Marketing Manager

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


Hard to believe another Autumn is upon us and the beginning of the holiday season already here. 

This Thanksgiving our team is especially grateful for so very much:

Jamie D: This year I am most thankful that I have been able to collaborate with people who are focused on making a difference in the success of others.

Jess: I am most thankful for the love, support and health of those family members and friends who mean so much to me. 

Ana: I am grateful for the realization that I can begin again in every moment - drop the past and BE present!

Margaret: I am most grateful for having such a loving husband who is so good to me!  I am also thankful for my mom who is 82 and for the most part healthy and happy.

Stephanie: I am grateful to be working with Artisan!

Laura: I am grateful for my family and health...might seem cliche, but it's so true!

Kevin: I am thankful for massive snowfall at Heavenly (and Mammoth), getting to work with reasonable & ethical partners, my dogs, being able to so easily describe myself as "short and bald with glasses", my always-accommodating and welcoming immediate family and extended family all over the USA and Black Label.

Katty: I am thankful for the Love and Support of Family and Friends.  Definitely came in handy this year!

Wendy: This year I am most thankful for the support of my friends and family.  I made a lot of decisions that were very risky and they have all worked out beautifully, but I never could have arrived where I am without the inspiration, encouragement and acceptance of the people in my life.

From all of us at Artisan - we wish you and yours a very Happy (and tasty!) Thanksgiving Holiday!

3 Reasons You May Have a Hard Time Working with Recruiters

Thursday, October 13, 2011

3 Reasons You May Have a Hard Time Working with Recruiters


Many job seekers bemoan the fact that they send out countless resumes hoping to land the perfect role and hardly any of them are even acknowledged. It takes a lot of time, research and effort to mount a successful job search.  However, there are a few things that will almost always result in your resume landing in the “circular file”:

  1. Local candidates only - When a job posting includes this phrase – or something similar - it’s because the hiring company requires immediate assistance and/or will not pay for an employee to relocate. If you’re in Texas and the job is in Los Angeles - even if you are PERFECT for that job and willing to relocate at your own expense – chances are your resume won’t even be reviewed. Spend your time applying to local jobs – or wait until you have relocated before applying. Your likelihood of landing this job is highly unlikely.
  2. Need a Visa? If you require a Visa to work in the US, your job search will definitely be more difficult than those without visa restrictions. Start your search with companies that have international offices or deal with international clients and markets. Though many of these clients will consider hiring someone who needs a Visa, it is usually only done for high-level or hard-to-fill positions only. As a rule, most freelance staffing agencies are not able to work with talent who do not have a visa or require sponsorship.
  3. Introduce yourself – If you are in the practice of sending resumes without even a hello, consider yourself deleted. You are much better off attaching a formal cover letter or writing a short email introduction explaining who you are and why you are interested in the position advertised. Don’t forget to include a link to your website or creative portfolio if you’re in the creative sector. This is often the first thing hiring managers will click on.

Recruiters are invested in the success of your job search, too!  Help them help you!

Kevin Kahn, Talent Manager

7 Reasons to Use a Recruiter to Find Talent

Monday, October 03, 2011

7 Reasons to Use a Recruiter to Find Talent


If you’ve ever been in a position that required you to hire staff, then you’ll know exactly why the recruitment industry exists – to help clients make their way through the costly and often confusing hiring maze! 

Recruiters are experts at developing key search criteria for a given position and then sourcing, qualifying and negotiating with talent to secure a successful full time or freelance placement.  Though much recruitment is conducted through a specialist recruitment agency or a contract recruiter hired for a short time to assist with key hires, some recruiters can also be found working full time directly for the company doing the hiring.  It really depends on the size and type of business you are running.

Is hiring a recruiter right for your company? 

Before you decide to use a recruiter to find talent, consider the following:

  1. A recruiter can save you time by going through the dozens, or even hundreds, of applicants interested in your position to find only the best of the best.
  2. A good recruiter will have high quality candidates already in their network – an amazing, creative and experienced pool of talent already qualified and ready to present to you.
  3. The best recruiters will always pre-screen candidates, making sure that you only interview those who are truly a good fit.
  4. Recruiters offer substantial cost savings.  They post your jobs to numerous paid job boards on your behalf, take care of taxes and insurance for freelancers and only get paid for their services if they are successful.
  5. A specialist recruiter knows the industry and the skills required for certain positions.  Therefore, they understand your specific needs intimately and, with a little education about your company and culture, can become an extension of your company to potential candidates.
  6. By involving a third party not associated with your company, recruiters allow you to search for talent confidentially, without posting the details of your talent search publicly.  This is key if you’re looking to replace a current employee or vendor.
  7. Recruiters have access to candidates who are not on the open market and may not hear about your opportunity otherwise.

Have you used a recruiter to find your staff?  We would love to hear your story!

Looking for a job yourself?  Consider using a recruiter for your job search as well!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative, with help from everyone on Our Team

What type of creative talent does Artisan actually recruit?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We’re often asked by both prospective clients and jobseekers – what exactly the “Creative” in our company name really means.  After all, the creative industry can encompass so many areas of expertise.  So where does Artisan focus our core recruiting, networking and talent development efforts?


You can see a comprehensive list of the types of roles we place.


Still have questions?  We’re happy to help.

What Really Happens During A Reference Check?

Thursday, August 11, 2011


If you’ve never had to conduct a reference check for a perspective employee yourself – you may wonder what, specifically, employers ask your former managers, colleagues and friends about your work experience?

Or, if you’re a small buisness looking to expand, you might wonder what types of questions are best for checking the references of future employers.

In either case, we offer the following as a pretty standard reference check questionnaire:

  • Reference name, company and title
  • Please describe your working relationship with (potential candidate). How long did you work together?
  • How would you describe his/her working style?
  • What are his/her strengths? 
  • What set him/her apart from others in this role?
  • How does he/she face and overcome challenges?
  • How would you rate the candidate in the following areas using a 1-10 rating system (1 being Poor and 10 being Excellent)
  • Additional comments regarding any of these areas is always welcome:
    • Attendance/Reliability
    • Adherence to Deadlines
    • Conceptual Comprehension
    • Executional Capabilities
    • Knowledge of Programs/Systems
    • Leadership Qualities
    • Overall Quality of Work
    • Communication skills
  • Is he/she someone you would like to work with again?

The best way to conduct reference checks is over the phone.  However, when time does not permit, emailing these questions is acceptable.

If you are a talent submitting references to a potential employer, confirm that the contact information you provide is accurate and up-to-date. Also, make sure you notify your references that potential employers may be contacting them. 

If you doubt a reference can speak favorably about these specific areas – it might be better to address that up front or find another reference.

Other reference check questions?  Let us know!

Is there a UX Supply & Demand Imbalance?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Is there a UX Supply & Demand Imbalance?

Since late 2009, nearly every Web Design job posting we've seen has mentioned "usability" or "user experience."  Over time, the requests have become even more specific. Companies no longer request a Digital Design; rather, now it's specifically a User Experience Designer, UX researcher, IA/UI or Visual Designer.

Now, more than ever, the importance of User Experience is everywhere, as companies try to connect and engage with their customers in the best ways possible.

On jobs boards everywhere (ours included) we have seen a significant  increase for User Experience experts.  Some  of those requests take weeks to fill; others can’t be filled at all. 

Are we experiencing a UX supply and demand imbalance?

Yes! The demand for top usability talent is becoming greater than the supply of qualified and immediately available talent.  And, with the demand now shifting from web UX to mobile and Apps, the pool of talent is shrinking even more!

It’s not the first time we’ve seen this happen.  In fact, we’re often reminded of the market for Flash Developers a few years back. Jobs took weeks to fill.  Salaries were at a peak and good talent was definitely hard to come by.  

As recruiters, we had to quickly adapt new avenues for meeting qualified talent to introduce them to new available opportunities.

What does this mean for employers?  There are some options:

  1. Be specific about your needs.  Do you need a generalist? Or a specialist?  The UX world can have multi pronged discipline.  Know what you actually need - UX / UI / IA / UT ?
  2. Be competitive with your overall compensation package.  Both in dollars as well as  benefits, flex-time or telecommuting
  3. Be open to Relo.  Look at national and international talent.  Additional fees and quite a bit of paperwork could result – but it might be worth the additional effort.
  4. Hire a UX consultant.  Utilize the expertise of a specialist for the short term.  Ensure he/she has a team of your internal staff with which to work and knowledge share.
  5. Invest in more training.  Chances are your current team of designers would love to learn more about the growing HCI field.  Invest in their education.  Pay for courses.  Hire an expert to train them.   You get more knowledge and your employees might just ignite a new passion.

But it’s not up to employers alone to fix the problem.  Talent and Recruiters have responsibilities too.

Interactive Design Talent – Perfect your art.  Especially freelancers!  Invest in classes, seminars and software needed to grow.

Recruiters – We, too, must continue doing our part to seek out new talent.  We must work closely with Universities and other Education Programs to connect with recent grads in the space, attend MeetUp groups and networking events to meet new talent and continue to educate our talent and clients about the market to manage expectations correctly.

Let’s see where the world of user experience takes us in Q3 and Q4!

Jessica Bedford, Marketing Manager & Katty Douraghy, Managing Director

Welcome to the Artisan Blog!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Welcome to the Artisan Blog!

Welcome to the newest version of our Artisan blog.

With so much information flying around these days, we decided to only bring you information and ideas that will focus in the four areas we feel most relevant to the work we do together:

  • creativity
  • staffing / job seekers
  • entrepreneurship
  • giving back

Our goal is to keep it simple and provide something of value each time you log in, read and reach the final sentence.

Thank you!
Jamie Douraghy, President


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