Hi All, after a good few years working for a big studio, a year ago I decided to open my own studio. So far things are going well and I would like to hire a junior designer. A friend of mine told me that he post an ad a few months ago and he got around 200 applications for a junior position.
I wonder if that is normal average? if that is the case, how do you shortlist? My old studio normally asked existing contacts and never used a job hunting website.
And once you shortlist people pick a few, what criteria do you use to hire them? I have heard horror stories about ill prepared junior designers? Are they that badly prepared by their colleges?
Congratulations on the success of your own studio!
I've not been in your position so I can't really advise in regards to hiring, but I can definitely agree with the 200+ application average.
I'd suggest being clear about your requirements in your job ad and initial shortlisting according to how well the applications meet your requirements. I reckon put a gold star on any applicants that go the extra mile and contact you for more information or those who have clearly done their research on your studio/speciality as they're likely to be the inquiring minds that will result in good designers one day.
You'll want to consider culture and values, probably value this over competence especially for a junior designer. You need to be able to work with this person, and you need them to share similar views to you on what makes good work and how to go about it. Don't expect them to know much about how to produce the work - remember that steep learning curve you had when you first began in the industry? And remember - this is the first time you've hired and managed someone. You're going to be learning the ropes at the same time.
- How one writes is a good indication of their intellect and communication ability. Test it out.
Use something like Wufoo to create a questionnaire formal job application. It's what other industries do.
50% of junior design applicants will not enter their name in title case. Fuck them off. Seriously - if you can't be bothered self-respecting yourself by title-casing your name, you can fuck off.
30% of junior designers will not know how to write a coherent sentence. If you can't communicate with the world with proper grammar and spelling, on a formal job app, you can fuck off too. Don't let an idiot anywhere near your hard-earned client base.
Of the last 20%, 15% of them have quite poor talent, and think they are a commercial graphic designer, because they own a pirated version of photoshop, and have a tumblr. They're not good enough for that hard work you put into your studio.
The last 5% are worth considering because they are talented. 4% of them unfortunately have hidden attitude issues, and will have trouble lasting as a junior because they expect to be entitled art directing. "What's this... deep-etching?!.. I don't do that! (or even know how to)- I DESERVE to art direct!! I did a group uni assignment, and I'm good" ... no you're not. fuck off. You more easily pick this trait up by picking up the phone and chatting with them, and asking them tough questions.
The last 1% are great, and will be the leaders of our industry. Find them. Nurture them. Look after them, and help them grow. They'll love you for it, and take you places.
Also don't ever confuse "talent" with "commercial viability". You're a commercial design studio. Not an artist residence. Just because a junior is talented, if they can't make you money, they're of no use. You quite obviously want to find a junior who is commercially viable, but has "(raw) talent" that will help you grow in the future. This is our magic 1%.