3 Questions to Consider When Hiring a Designer

Wednesday, March 10th, 2021|

In the twenty-five years of recruiting creative and marketing talent at Artisan Creative, one question often asked by potential clients is “how much does it cost to hire a designer”? Our answer is, “it depends”. And it truly does depend. It depends on what your core objectives are, on what problem your designer is going to solve, and what your current team’s capabilities are.

Below are three questions to ask yourself before starting your hiring process.

Conceptual or Executional (or both)?

Are you hiring someone to think, be conceptual, come up with ideas, be iterative, push the creative envelope, and create the big picture vision for your project or brand?

If the design direction for your project is already set, do you have the big picture vision and brand parameters in place and now need someone to execute on that idea and bring it to life?

Seniority level?

Will your designer communicate with or oversee vendors and team members? Will they directly interact with senior leadership in your organization? Do you need them to help establish guidelines, best practices, processes? Are you looking for someone with leadership experience?

Some parameters to keep in mind are whether you need someone who can pitch and present to clients. Do you need someone who is going to follow established guidelines and report to a senior manager?

The salary or hourly rate for each of these functions will vary, so as you plan your project budget consider whether a senior-level talent, mid-level, or junior-level talent is right for your team and needs.

Specialist or Generalist

Do you need someone who can do a little bit of everything, or do you need a designer with a core specialty and focus?

A generalist has a vast knowledge of a variety of programs. From print to digital, to illustrations, motion…  they may be able to do it all. They may favor one over the other, or they may truly love the diversity and broad variety of projects that test their skills.

A specialist has a core focus. Although they can have a wider breadth of knowledge, they have chosen a focus of concentration for their craft. They may have higher education or many years of experience in their chosen field. They may specialize in User Experience design, or Illustration, or Motion design for example.

Depending on your business offerings, you may need a designer who is narrow and deep in their expertise, while others may need someone who has a wider breadth of experience. Who do you need for your business, what’s the best fit right now?

Be sure to add qualifying questions in your interview process to help determine the right fit.

If you don’t have the time or the support to recruit internally, the Artisan Creative team already has these and a depth of other qualifying questions we ask in our interview process for candidate qualification.  Let us know how we can help.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 581st issue of our weekly a.blog.

10 Tips for Building a Freelance Business

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020|

At Artisan Creative, we work closely with our freelance talent to help them create success in the creative, marketing, and digital fields and best market their services to maintain an on-going freelance business.  Especially, during the current state of the economy, freelancing can provide a needed respite in between interviews and job searches. Below are 10 tips to help launch or enhance your freelance business.

  1. Update your Linkedin presence and ensure hiring managers know you are open to new freelance and full-time opportunities. Focus your expertise, use SEO keywords, and ask for endorsements.
  2. View your freelancing as a business. Revisit your resume or website to review all clients and brands served, list all new accomplishments, update software proficiencies, and highlight your client and/or project management skills.
  3. Create your Portfolio. Be sure to update your most recent work, and present your best pieces first. Your design samples should be representative of the type of work you like to do, as well as showcase your range of skills.  It must be well-organized with good UI, simple navigation, and include a description of the project and your role. If you are unable to build a portfolio, use some of the great free tools such as Krop or Behance.
  4. Represent your Brand. Let your personal style shine through your presentation and create a consistent thread via the color palette, font, and imagery on your portfolio, resume, and social media assets.
  5. Be a Subject Matter Expert. Join an online discussion, share articles, write blogs, become engage on Twitter.  If you have the bandwidth, create your own blog or podcast, guest blog, or write articles to industry publications.  These tools enable you to get your name and profile in front of a larger group of people to help establish your credibility and brand.
  6. Volunteer. Volunteering for non-profits is a way to give back to an organization that can benefit from your services. All will help improve your portfolio/skillset and offer built-in opportunities to network as well.
  7. Build your Network – In-person networking may be on pause currently due to the pandemic, however greater opportunities exist online.  Join existing social media groups and discussions, and attend online industry events and expand your circle of like-minded creatives who can become collaborators on projects or be a great source for referrals.
  8. Get Listed. Create your freelance business pages. Create profiles on directories, portfolio & resume portals as well as freelance portals where you can list your work and advertise your services.
  9. Work with Recruiters.  Recruitment agencies have access to opportunities that are not listed on job boards. This expands your marketing efforts for free by enlisting teams of connected specialists who also benefit from you getting work.
  10. Perfect your pitch. As a freelancer, everyone you meet may be a potential client (or knows someone who could be a client). Work on your presentation and perfect your elevator pitch.  Representing yourself professionally will speak volumes about your abilities, so don’t be shy about sharing how can be a great freelance resource.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 573rd issue of our a.blog.

Rise of AR & VR in Recruitment

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019|

Virtual reality, augmented reality, and other emerging exponential technologies have the potential to change the ways we work together and do business. As they become permanent fixtures in our technological landscape, these new tools will enhance and influence the reality of how managers and recruiters hire, train, and build teams.

VR, AR and the like will create exciting possibilities in recruitment, for those who know how to best make use of them.

Recruitment Made Immersively

Job interviews, particularly for offsite or virtual positions, will increasingly be conducted using AR and VR. Such interview experiences can be more exciting and engaging for candidates than a standard skills assessment or phone screen. They can also allow recruiters to better predict which candidates possess the right “soft skills” and intangible qualities that might make them the ideal match for a position.

VR experiences, as part of a well-rounded interview process, can help determine how different candidates may react to real-life on-the-job challenges, or gauge their comfort level in difficult situations.

Exciting interactive experiences can provide a huge advantage at job fairs, trade shows, and in other highly stimulating environments where candidates’ attention comes at a premium. VR and AR can also be used to stage immersive virtual office tours, so candidates can get vivid, three-dimensional awareness of what it’s actually like to work in the employer’s environment.

Gamification

When hiring for positions in web development, engineering, marketing, and other fields requiring some tech savvy and a level of comfort in the digital realm, some businesses and hiring managers are experimenting with cutting-edge recruiting and application practices. A few are turning their hiring processes into games. The applications of AR, VR, and other immersive technologies in gamified recruiting and onboarding could set off a wave of HR creativity and ingenuity.

In one high-profile example, the auto company Jaguar Land Rover joined forces with the experimental pop group Gorillaz on a recruiting app. This had some success at finding fresh engineering talent and the publicity doesn’t hurt, either! This savvy stunt could prove to be a watershed moment in technical and creative recruiting.

Mobile Recruiting

Nine out of ten job hunters now make use of mobile devices during the course of a job search. It is imperative that hiring managers and recruiters provide first-rate mobile experiences to draw in the best talent.

For mobile recruiting, AR is particularly promising. Imagine being able to engage with potential candidates as they walk past your offices, or test their aptitude for crucial tasks as they tour your facilities.

Assessments and Training

AR and VR can also be of use during onboarding and training and well beyond. They can accelerate a new hire’s acclimation to new responsibilities, help teach and test specialized skills, and keep your team safe and well-informed on the job.

AR, VR, and their technological cousins are already becoming parts of the fabric of how we live, work, communicate, and collaborate. Used to their full potential, they can streamline your management procedures and help you take your team to the next level.

At Artisan Creative, we’ve seen the workplace change in myriad ways, and we’ve seen some patterns stay consistent. Contact us today to discover what exciting opportunities are in store for your team, your business, and your world.

Selecting Your Recruitment Partner

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019|

Challenges around staffing, hiring, and human resources are ever-changing. They take time, money, know-how, and people power. Sometimes they can distract from other priorities your team needs to be focusing on. That’s why many businesses work with recruiting partners, outside agents with specific experience in finding, vetting and placing talented job-seekers.

As a business decision-maker, you have a range of recruiting partners to choose from. When evaluating your options, it’s crucial to ask the right questions in order to find the recruiters and agencies that best suit your needs.

Specific Industry Focus

To get the best results for your search and to fill the roles you need to fill, specificity is your friend. For every industry, there are recruiters who exclusively focus on that area. For example, if you are focused on creative work, your most effective partner is one who lives in the creative space, who knows how that world works and thrives in the creative culture and lifestyle. This holds true for whatever business you’re in. You may decide to work with a generalist agency with different areas of focus, make sure the people you engage with directly have an intimate understanding of your work and the people who do it.

Track Record of Success

Good recruiting partners take pride in the work they’ve done for other clients. When gauging potential partners, check out testimonials on the web or ask your peers and colleagues for advice and referrals. If you’re unsure, schedule a call or meeting and ask for years of experience, case studies, processes and results for roles similar to yours.

The Candidate’s Perspective

When evaluating how a recruiting partner picks and matches their talent, consider the candidate’s point of view. Are the recruiter’s processes optimized to bring on board and successfully vet that specific skillset? Does the recruiting firm’s core values, culture, marketing, and mission fit with the attitudes of the talent you want to attract? If you need candidates with particular skills, or who can pass a particular background check, can you rely on this agency’s expertise to bring you those candidates? Connect with someone who is an expert in searching for candidates you’ll love to hire.

Harmony of Process

When considering a recruiting partner, find one with a rich talent pool of readily available candidates, as that’s only half the battle. You’ll also want to ensure that the recruiters understand the rhythms of your hiring process and can work smoothly on your terms. Will you need to staff up quickly on short notice? Your recruiting partner should be able to find and vet appropriate talent on tight turnarounds. Do you favor a slower, more thorough hiring process, with multiple rounds of interviews? Look for a recruiting partner who will work with you diligently to find the exact talent you need. Would you rather outsource an entire project to an external team? Make sure your recruiters have the connections in place to make that happen.

Get It in Writing

Feel free to ask tough questions of your potential partners, and make sure you’re both clear and concrete on all details and machinations of your agreement. How does the process work? How is communication handled between you, your recruiting partner, and the people they place with you? If difficulties arise, who takes responsibility for what? Business relationships go best when everyone is in sync from the start. Good recruiting partners will align with your values, answer all your questions in the spirit of full transparency.

At Artisan Creative, we have 23+ years of experience in creative and marketing talent, a strong network of a.players, and a passion for exceeding client expectations. Contact us today to start the conversation.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our 506th a.blog.

 

Best Practices For Working With Recruiters

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017|

As you build your creative career, you are likely to interact with many recruiters, from those employed by large companies to those who work for third-party agencies such as Artisan Creative.

Over time, recruiters can become strong allies in your quest to build your portfolio and reputation, interface with potential clients and employers, and find the work opportunity that best suits you.

At Artisan Creative, we continue to work with a wide range of clients and talent. During our 20+ years in business, we have learned what makes talent and recruiter relationships work well together. Here are a few best practices for fostering productive and mutually beneficial relationships.

Transparency

The more upfront you are with your recruiter, the more they can help.

A good recruiter can help tailor your resume and cover letter for specific opportunities based on insights they have about a role. It is your responsibility to present yourself honestly and accurately in every detail.

If you know you are stronger in some skillsets than others, let your recruiter know. If you are not that interested in an opportunity, or a commute is too far, talk to your recruiter. If you have multiple offers or are interviewing for an Out-of-State role, keep your recruiter in the loop.

A recruiter is your advocate, and they can help if they know the full picture by offering suggestions on your resume and portfolio and advising on interviewing, job search and other best practices. 

Once you get the job, and you settle into a new position, keep your recruiter abreast of any concerns regarding scheduling, compensation, or issues on the job. Part of your recruiter’s role is to help manage your relationship with the client – make sure to keep your recruiter in the loop and let them support you during your orientation time period.

As long as you are transparent, there is no harm in working with several recruiters at once. You should always work as hard as you’re able to build your own career – the stronger a candidate you are, the more recruiters can and will want to help you. The key is to be upfront and let your recruiter know if you have already been submitted to a specific role, or if you are no longer interested in an opportunity.

Communication is key to an open, mutually respectful working relationship.

Focus

At Artisan Creative, we focus on digital, creative and marketing roles. We love seeing good creative work get rewarded, and hard-working creatives build long and satisfying careers. We are fortunate to have established long standing trusted relationships with many of our talent as they grow in their careers and often become our clients!

Your best experiences with recruiters are likely to happen with those who are focused on your field of expertise. If you are building a career in a creative field, working with a specialized creative agency such as Artisan will give you inside access to connections and resources you might not be able to find on your own.

Other fields, such as accounting, or admin have their own specialized, long-running recruiters who know the peculiar ins and outs of their industries. Work with recruitment agencies who specialize in your area of expertise.

Reciprocate

If you find that you work well with a particular recruiter who generates great opportunities for you, you can help your recruiter succeed, too.

Recruiters love to see talent do well. If you find yourself excelling in a position that’s just right for you, let your recruiter know – it will mean a lot!

Many third party recruiters such as Artisan Creative offer referral bonuses to those who refer other strong candidates. This is a great way to reward another person with more opportunities while also benefiting yourself.

The creative fields are always changing, and we succeed best when we join forces to learn from each other and work together to thrive in a shifting landscape. At Artisan Creative, we are always looking for new creative talent to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity this work offers.

 

Artisan Creative’s a.team is here to help you find your dream team.  Contact us today to learn more and join our social network to hear about upcoming job opportunities.

Artisan Creative is celebrating 20+ years in staffing and recruitment of creative professionals. Over the years, we’ve learned a thing or two that we’d like to share with you. We hope you enjoy the 437th issue of our weekly a.blog.

 

​5 Secret Techniques of Great Interviewers

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017|

Artisan Creative is celebrating 20+ years in staffing and recruitment of creative professionals. Over the years we have learned a thing or two that we’d like to share with you. We hope you enjoy the 414th issue of our weekly a.blog.

As an HR professional, you have an array of responsibilities from vetting prospective hires to determining their qualifications and how they will contribute to company culture. At the same time, you are a front-line representative for your company, and must ensure that candidates also get the right first impression.

Here are a few techniques from the fields of sales, psychology, entertainment, and beyond that can help you conduct an unforgettable interview and get a candidate’s job experience started on the strongest possible footing.

Pace and Lead

Psychologists, salespeople, negotiators, and hypnotists build rapport through “mirroring‘ or mimicking another person’s tone and body language. This invites the candidate’s trust. It may also spark some empathy on your part as you relate to that person’s experience.

After rapport is established, you can shift your own gestures and speech to move the conversation in a productive direction. If the candidate is nervous, you can invite them to relax and loosen up. If the interview is too rigid and formal, you can inject some light humor or make things more conversational.

Know your Purpose

A good job interview is about more than hearing a prospect recite their resume and go over a list of mundane tasks. You must determine if this person’s skills,  personality, values and worldview are compatible with the role you need to fill.

Before the interview, connect with the department’s hiring managers to understand the day-to-day duties of the job, and the purpose these duties serve to the organization, and fits within the team structure. Know the long-term goals that must be hit and what a successful first year would look like. Picture the ideal candidate performing this role to the best of their abilities.

Before you start interviewing prospects, clear up any confusion about what the job really entails with supervisors and stakeholders in your company. Think far beyond the job description.

Pause

“Active listening” means focusing your attention on the candidate when they are speaking and paying attention to the nuances and subtext of what they are saying. Be careful not to rush the process. Feel free to linger or elaborate on any intriguing points or rich topics that arise.

A good way to do this is to take a deliberate pause. A pause adds emphasis to an important point and gives you and the candidate time to interpret what is being said.

When the candidate finishes a thought, wait a few beats before you move on to the next question. This takes some practice, and you’ll find that people often give the most revealing insights into themselves when they have finished canned responses by giving them a few more seconds of space to fill.

Find the Why

Business writer Simon Sinek devised “The Golden Circle,” an immensely popular and powerful model for determining values. According to Sinek, every individual, group, and business has three layers. The outer layer, the “What,” contains our day-to-day tasks, what we actually do. One layer deeper, we find the “How,” our attitudes, practices, and culture. The innermost layer, closest to our hearts, is the “Why.” This is where we discover our deepest passions that motivate us.

Avoid getting too caught up in the number of years the candidate worked for a previous employer or the bullet points on their resume. Go deeper. Find core principles, values, and ideas that have stayed consistent throughout their career. If your candidate’s “Why” is compatible with your company’s “Why,” you may have found a much better match than you would if you went by experience and references alone.

Go Off Script

When a waiter drops a tray full of dishes on the floor of a comedy club, a good comedian takes a beat and gets back into his act. A great comedian, however, reacts to the situation, riffs about it with the audience, and comes up with a new joke that’s perfect for this particular time and place.

As an art form, conversation is less like rehearsed acting than it is like improvised comedy. It is crucial to “read the room” and adapt to any surprises that may come up.

Every candidate is different, so every interview should be different. Know your facts and the information you want to share. More importantly, be human. Take some notes beforehand, and be willing to throw them out if the conversation goes in an interesting direction that you didn’t anticipate.

If you need help hiring and interviewing, contact us to learn more. Have the a.team help build your dream team.

How to Hire Creatives

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016|

 

Hiring qualified talent for creative roles (digital, marketing, UX or design) is an art unto itself.

In addition to reviewing resumes and looking for specific skills or years of experience, reviewing a portfolio and understanding the nuances in a creative’s work requires a unique talent. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Here are 3 tips to consider when looking to hire creative talent and evaluating portfolios.

1. Concept or Execution

Are you looking for a conceptual creative or one who is more executional? A conceptual talent ideates, pushes the creative boundaries, comes up with new ideas, new campaigns and a way to challenge the status quo. This person may or may not have hands-on skills— as they concept and ideate, someone else may actually sit behind a computer to bring it to life and take it to the finish line.

An executional candidate is someone who is very hands-on still. They know all the design programs well, can take the big picture idea and apply it to a variety of formats and deliverables. They’re able to read between the lines, interpret the big idea and execute it across multiple media and channels.

In some instances, one person can have both strengths—or they may favor one over the other. Who do you need on your team?

2. Your Brand

When looking at a resume and comparing two design talent, both may have similar proficiency with design programs, both may have the same years of experience and both may seem like the ideal candidate…on paper. When reviewing creative talent, a portfolio must accompany the resume, and in many cases it holds more weight than the resume.

When you review portfolio links, you may notice one designer’s aesthetic is bright, colorful, fun and illustrative, while the other candidate is minimalistic and corporate with a clean UI design aesthetic.

Both are beautiful, which aesthetic fits best within your company brand?

3. The Portfolio and to How Navigate it

When reviewing a portfolio, it can be difficult to get the full picture. Designers often work in collaboration with others: art directors, illustrators, copywriters, production artists, developers and many other talented teammates

How can you best tell who was involved in the work you are reviewing?

If the information isn’t clearly defined in the sample, ask for clarification to help you get the full picture.

Do you need help hiring creative talent? Connect with us.

Working with a Recruiter in Your Job Search — Why it’s a Good Decision

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016|

 

 

Artisan Creative is celebrating 20 years of creative staffing & recruiting. Over the years we’ve learned a lot and will share our experiences with you in our 20/20 series: 20 blogs celebrating 20 years of creative recruiting! Enjoy!

In this day of fast-paced applicant tracking systems and online job submission portals, getting feedback about your qualifications, or input on the job is often a challenge. Frankly,  it’s hard to know if anyone has even had a chance to review your submission.

As the automated world of online resume portals has become frustrating for many, you may want to consider working with a recruiter in your job search.

Below are 8 reasons why working with a recruiter is a good idea in your job search:

 

  1. A recruiter is a consultant acting on your behalf. They are as committed to finding you that perfect new role as you are. They are pro-actively advocating for you and thinking of new opportunities.
  2. A recruiter often understands the company culture and processes that would be much harder to find out on your own. Your own research can only go so far. Recruiters often provide details not listed on job descriptions.
  3. A recruiter can negotiate salary and benefits on your behalf, based on the parameters you have shared. They are also knowledgeable about a client or a specific role’s salary range and benefits offering so they can remove the guesswork.
  4. When recruiters are engaged on a candidate search, resumes from recruiters go to the top of the pile (assuming your recruiter has a good relationship with the client).
  5. An extra set of professional eyes on your resume or portfolio is incredibly important (especially, when there are employment gaps or just to eliminate those typos). They can consult on needed edits or changes.
  6. A recruiter has access to opportunities not listed on job boards.
  7. Your recruiter can help you prepare for the interview when the time comes.
  8. A recruiter with a great reputation for representing outstanding talent adds value to your brand.

 

Having a recruiter on your team can be the difference between landing the perfect role and sitting home by yourself wishing for that great job. Consider signing up with a recruitment agency who places people in your area of expertise. You’ll be glad you did!

If you are looking for a role in the creative or marketing area, see how Artisan Creative can help.

 

Interview Questions Every Employer Should Ask

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016|

 

 

Artisan Creative is celebrating 20 years of creative staffing & recruiting. Over the years we’ve learned a lot and will share our experiences with you in our 20/20 series:

20 blogs celebrating 20 years of creative recruiting!

 

Whether you’ve been interviewing candidates for a long time or hiring your first employee, you’ll probably agree that the interview is the most important part of the recruitment process. Therefore it’s critical to ask the right questions.

While our version of the Proust Questionnaire offers a few out of the box questions (designed to see how creative they can be), here are a few tips and questions every interviewer should be asking:

 

  • Tell me about yourself. – This type of open-ended question is a great way to start your interview and put your candidate at ease. It should be easy to talk about yourself! It also gives you an opportunity to witness both confidence and communication skills first hand.
  • Describe a time when something went wrong at work and how you dealt with it. – This question is ideal for learning about how your potential hire will handle the pressures of life and conflict resolution, as well as demonstrating problem-solving skills and culture fit.
  • How would others describe you? – This is a great way to ask the “strengths” and “weaknesses” question without actually asking it. It also provides some insight into how your working relationship with the potential talent might be. Does the answer describe a person that would fit well within your organization?
  • What role do you usually play in a team? – The answer to this question should compliment the previous answer – is the way your coworkers see you the way you actually perform on the team? This question also provides insight on personality and autonomy.
  • Where do you see yourself in five years? – The perfect question for uncovering candidate motivations, answers help determine whether your company and the opportunity presented are a good fit for the interviewee. Will they still be with your team in five years or will they quickly outgrow your department or company? This also provides a good opportunity to see a candidate’s drive and how they can grow with the company.
  • Tell me about a favorite project you worked on and why it’s your favorite. – Resumes offer a list of responsibilities and accomplishments. Answers to this question should reveal the story behind the bullet points, the passion for the project, and the genuine interest for the work.
  • What does leadership mean to you? This is a good opportunity to learn about the candidate’s leadership style, especially for senior roles or when the candidate will be supervising others.  Answers will also provide good insight about the candidate’s expectations of their supervisors.
  • What questions can I answer for you? – This is the perfect way to “end” an interview as you turn the tables, engaging the talent to then interview you. Not only does it demonstrate your company’s appreciation for open dialogue, but also lets you know whether the potential job seeker is definitely interested. If they answer “no” – then they probably haven’t done enough research on the product or company.

Do you have any tips or interview questions to share? Share with us on Linkedin, Facebook, or Twitter.