Once you’ve attracted a designer to your company, it’s imperative that you keep them engaged throughout the interview process. As recruiters, we can easily identify what many companies do wrong, and more importantly, what they do right. Our advice is this:
1. Determine your ideal candidate profile and interview process, then stick to it.
From our experience, hiring managers who start with a specific candidate profile and process in mind are the most successful. Build a candidate persona, agreeing on what background, qualifications, personal attributes, and skills the ideal candidate should have.
Teams that try to form their ideal client profile after the fact (by looking at provided profiles) may lose track of what they were looking for in the first place. What’s worse, is that candidates can sense uncertainty, which is not the kind of impression you want to make when speaking to a potential employee.
2. Keep the momentum in your search.
There is an ideal timeline when it comes to the interview process. Leaving a candidate hanging can quickly foster frustration. We recommend checking out this guide to setting realistic hiring timelines, which is advice from LinkedIn’s VP of Global Talent Acquisition, Brendan Browne.
Ideally you want to be able to offer quick feedback and quick scheduling with your top candidates. If the interview was executed well, candidates will leave your interview excited for next steps and likely thinking about how they might fit in with your team. That feeling starts to fade over time if you leave them waiting to hear back. Waiting too long may also give the impression that you are not interested in hiring them, giving other teams the opportunity to catch their attention.
3. Prepare candidates for what to expect at each step of the interview.
Fostering a transparent hiring process is incredibly important to keep designers anticipating the next step. Either publish your typical process online, or outline it clearly at the close of the interview.
This is a great example of a transparent interview process for Software Engineers at Facebook. You should also brief candidates on who they will meet, what is expected of them, and what you are hoping to learn about them from the interview. This will greatly increase the value both sides get from those conversations. Trying to surprise candidates or put them on the spot can leave them feeling like they gave incomplete or insufficient answers.
4. Replace take home assignments with onsite collaboration.
Collaborative exercises like whiteboarding sessions during an onsite are a much better way to assess how someone approaches a problem, compared to the dreaded take-home design challenge. It also offers the opportunity to see how they might collaborate with future teammates, and how they respond to feedback.
This is especially good advice for hiring managers who are not designers, as giving a design candidate a take-home task is an easy giveaway that you’re unfamiliar with a designer’s actual role.
5. Compartmentalize the interview process.
One of the best pieces of advice we received once from a Head of Design was to “compartmentalize” the interview process. The first interview is the time to evaluate a designer’s skillset, and the second on-site (and beyond) is the time to ask in-depth questions, build rapport, and provide evidence of your employer brand.
If you’re still evaluating a candidate's design skills through the final interview then you didn’t properly evaluate them early on in the process and you are wasting an opportunity to ask more in-depth questions.
6. Don't withhold information.
You’re ready to make an offer, but that doesn’t mean your work is done. It can be easy to make a bad impression at this stage unless you handle everything right. Some teams treat this like a poker match by purposefully withholding information. If anything, it should be the opposite. You want candidates to feel like they have all of their questions answered and know all the details about their potential role and offer.
Seven ways to create a stand-out recruitment experience
Recruiting top talent can be challenging, but it’s also an essential part of developing your business and meeting its long-term goals. Improving the way you hire will not only maintain the smooth operation of your business, but also ensure you attract the best talent on the market. To help you hireRead More
First time hiring essentials
First time hiring essentials Your business is growing, so you need to hire employees to lighten your load and diversify your talent. Hiring employees is an added expense and requires a bit of HR expertise, but it’s a necessary (and sometimes scary) step in the growth of any company. When done right,Read More
How to spot resilience in a candidate
Increasingly complex working environments mean organizations want employees that are adaptable and resilient. But how can you spot these qualities in candidates? We ask two of our experts… When hiring new talent, you may think technical prowess and interpersonal skills are all that matter. But in thRead More
Come join our global team of creative thinkers, problem solvers and game changers. We offer accelerated career progression, a dynamic culture and expert training.