Design and aesthetics are critical to the success of your brand’s marketing materials, such as posters, flyers, brochures, business cards, and other forms of advertisements. The same goes for your website, too. In fact, according to a recent study, 42 percent of consumers base their overall opinion of a website on its appearance, and 52 percent choose not to return to a website if they don’t find the design appealing. Thus, having a talented graphic designer on your marketing team is paramount to creating compelling and effective marketing strategies.
Now that you know you need a graphic designer, how do you go about recruiting and hiring the right graphic designer for your marketing team? It involves more than just the right set of technical skills – you should ask yourself (and your team) several key questions before you begin seeking out candidates and interviewing them.
Defining your needs
Before you start recruiting, the unequivocal first step is to figure out whether you should hire someone to work as a permanent, full-time employee within your marketing team, or part time, either in-house or on a freelance basis. Does your marketing team have many large-scale deliverables with design needs? If so, hiring a design agency will probably fit your needs better.
There are pros and cons to each of the solutions above. Some marketing teams may require the help of a graphic designer for just a few projects every month, in which case hiring a freelancer makes sense. Bigger teams may benefit from having a full-time in-house designer or working with a design agency.
Web, print, or both?
Many designers specialize in either print medium or the Web, and a print designer may not have the same skills as a Web designer. Some graphic designers are proficient in both print and Web media. Again, it depends on your needs and the amount of visual material and graphic art you require for promotions, advertisements, websites and other collateral.
If your organization operates mostly on the Web, a designer with a strong knowledge of graphic design applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Fireworks is imperative. So is a good understanding of best practices when it comes to Web design, usability and user experience.
If your company’s marketing material is primarily printed, a graphic designer with strong Adobe Illustrator and InDesign skills is a must, as well as a keen understanding of typographical rules, guidelines and color theory.
The graphic designer you hire should understand your company’s vision fully in order to create impactful visuals and work well with the rest of your marketing team.
It is not uncommon for marketing departments to hire a few freelancers and assign projects to each of them until the marketing function grows to the point where a full-time in-house designer becomes a necessity. Keep in mind that freelancers work with multiple clients so response and turnaround time may vary.
52% of consumers won’t return to a website if they don’t like the overall #design via @AdeccoUSA: http://adec.co/hiringGD-tw
Where to find the best Graphic Designers
There are many websites where designers can display their work, find projects to work on, and seek out companies to hire them. Of course, even in the digital age, word-of-mouth is still considered one of the best recruiting methods. Ask around and get your current team involved in the search – this can strengthen the bond between your team members as well as with the new hire.
Salary and hiring for graphic designers varies significantly based on industry, skill set and demand. Staffing companies, such as Adecco, maintain vast networks of graphic designers and successfully match companies with designers that fit their needs.
Community websites such as Dribbble are great for finding graphic designers because you can search keywords and specific skills. Behance is another great platform for finding creatives to hire for your marketing team. Carbonmade also has a massive selection of portfolios created with their platform.
Another smart way to find local talent is to pay a visit to your local art school or university and inquire about the various ways you can get in touch with emerging graphic designers.
Finding the perfect graphic designer for your marketing team may not be an quick and easy task, but as you refine your need and explore the design community, you will gain a better understanding of the myriad skills, applications, techniques and technologies that graphic designers work with on a daily basis.