High demanQd for UX
This fact is fairly established now. Every article you must have come across about ‘best in-demand jobs right now’ has a UX Design role listed in it! The underlying fact is that businesses can’t build great products without talented people and when it comes to skills like design, talent is everything!
In-flow vs OQut-flow
Ok, let’s agree to disagree and say that the design education scene is super messed up! With UX gaining a lot of popularity as a highly paid and sort after skill, people are rushing to get in on this! And to ride the rush we have many profit-hungry businesses offering 15-days to 1-month design courses which don’t work at all. Let’s face facts, it is very very very unlikely that you can become a ‘good’ designer in 3 months or less. On the other side, we have traditional design schools that are slightly outdated with their approach and curriculum. Either way, the out-flow of good design talent is limited.
Why is it tough?
If you have ever done any hiring activity, you know the challenges faced. Why is it extra tough to hire designers? Well, UX Design is a rapidly evolving field. The work a designer might have done 10 years ago can easily be deemed redundant now and obviously not many can keep up with change. With this rapid change, there are also companies that are more focused on looking for candidates with skillsets to support their current workflows rather than looking for talent with a creative and forward-thinking mindset. Learning skills or tools is much easier than having a free-thinking creative mindset! The latter takes years to build!
Hiring senior talent can make or break your business. They play a crucial role in fulfilling the business’s vision for the product. A bad hire can cost the business way more in the long run not just financially but also by breaking the flow of good work, lowering the morale, setting a bad example for the team, and even affecting the quality of future hires. Is there a way to hire the best Senior talent? Good Senior Talent is scarce and no one wants mediocre talent! The best way I have found is to personally get to know the person and assess if the new hire is a good fit for your team, having a couple of team members have casual chats with them is a must. This ensures both whether this is the right move for you or not!
As if all this was not hard enough, we got to deal with remote hiring. For better or worse, like everything else, a remote approach has changed things. After nearly two years, I believe the tech has evolved and is ready to support remote processes. So, if it’s not the tech then what is it? I feel we are trying very hard to force-fit a ‘normal’ hiring process into the remote world of doing things. This big step in going remote can be a huge hurdle for TA and Rec teams but the process has to evolve and has to be re-designed. Also, don’t have a tedious process and don’t have multiple people badgering the candidate with questions or rounds just to check boxes in your hiring process.
You cannot talk about design hiring and not mention design assignments! These days, most companies do this just for the heck of it and without clear objectives, or criteria for the assignment. It is absolutely tedious and mostly pointless. When a company gives an assignment to the candidate to finish in a couple of days, what are they expecting to see? How well the candidate was able to make up unrealistic hypothetical stories or how well they were able to follow the ‘design process’ just for the sake of it or how beautiful and non-functional their final output is?
Design assignments might be needed if the hiring manager wants to test the candidate on a specific part of the design journey which is missing from the portfolio. Don’t ask candidates to design an app in a few days, you are going to get nothing out of it!
This is a designer’s perspective on hiring and might be a very primitive take on it but this is based on my recent experience of extensively hiring talent remotely. There are many more lingering thoughts that I will try to put down in another article though. Do share this article and share your feedback.