Having a tough time finding a good designer. Unique ways to attract and hire design talent?


What are some unique ways to attract and hire talented people? I have been trying for several weeks to find a good designer to hire (either onsite or remotely). I have tried posting ads, and even contacting designers directly on sites like Dribbble.

All of the good designers that I feel are the right fit either respond very slowly and state their freelance pipeline is full (not accepting more clients), or cost way too much.


asked Feb 17 '14 at 13:24
Chrissie Gray
1,107 points

3 Answers


I have had a similar problem that totally threw me off my timeline and question my budget when working on an MVP. If you just need a landing page, a logo, or an initial site design 99Designs is a great value. The process is very low risk since you are reviewing multiple concepts from many designers and choosing what you like. Tip: guarantee a prize when setting up a contest to get quality entries.

EDIT: Nick commented below that you could waste a lot of time when you work with mid-low level designers at sites like 99designs and that is totally true. It can work for those who actually have an idea of what they want - a certain UI and design theme/concept in mind and can explain what they want/like well. If you are starting from scratch you NEED a good designer to guide you to great results. Like with most hires (freelancers or employees) ability to explain what you want delivered is key to efficiency and getting results. Only top-notch talent can (but might not if they have a different vision) deliver excellent results with little guidance.

P.S. A designer like a programmer isn't an all-in-one skill, some designers specialize in IA/UI and some only do visual design, the later will need YOU to come up with UI for them to pretty up elements on the page. Understand the difference in skills you need when looking to hire.

answered Feb 18 '14 at 00:48
2,835 points


Good freelance designers usually do have an overflowing work pipeline, and typically earn a good deal more than they would if they joined a company, so money isn't usually a winning tactic.

Figure out how the designers you target are motivated, and see what you can offer outside of money. For example, many designers are constantly constrained by the wishes of their clients - in which case, offering complete creative freedom could be a winning move.

answered Feb 17 '14 at 18:27
Nick Stevens
4,436 points


Have you talked to a local design trade group? In the US there is AIGA , in the UK there is Design Business Association. Of course, there are crowdsourced approaches like 99designs, Crowdspring et al.

Make sure you have a clear understanding about what you want the designer to accomplish - without that, more seasoned designers will likely pass because the time required to generate multiple mockups will likely exceed your budget / ability to pay.

answered Feb 17 '14 at 20:32
Jim Galley
9,952 points
  • 99 Designs and Crowdspring are not a good way to attract or hire talented people. They're a way to waste vast amounts of time from bottom to mid level design talent. Yes, if you're going to use them, you need to have a clear understanding of what you want - but that's the complete antithesis of how great designers work. You're essentially doing half of their job for them - and probably not very well. – Nick Stevens 8 years ago
  • Nick is right when he says you end up doing half the job when you work with less top-notch designers, but it works for those who actually have an idea of what they want - a certain UI and design theme or concept in mind. If you are at clean slate you NEED a good designer to guide you to great results. – Webbie 8 years ago

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