Design Trend Report

Design Trend Report takeaways: New ways to recruit design talent

4 min read
Shayna Hodkin
  •  Nov 14, 2019
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This post is an exploration of some of the findings reported in InVision’s first Design Trends Report: Talent, authored by Stephen Gates and Adam Fry-Pierce. The report takes an in-depth look at design industry trends relating to hiring and developing creative talent. It shares insights from interviews with leaders at the world’s most design-forward companies.The report can be downloaded in its entirety here.

84% of employees are just “coming to work.”

This number comes from ADP Research Institute’s Global Study, which reports that employees are unengaged—often resulting from unhealthy work-life balance and lack of options for remote work. Day-in, day-out, the overwhelming majority of workers, teammates, colleagues are clocking in so that they can clock out. 

What would work look like if the numbers were flipped—if 84% of us couldn’t get to work fast enough? If our teams, leadership, and products excited us so deeply that we didn’t want to do anything but work?

And what if there was a third option: to care deeply about your work and your team, to hit that sweet spot between workaholic and apathetic where you are bringing your best work and want to take others along for the ride.

The 2019 Design Trends Report examines talent in the digital design world. Let’s take a look at what’s happening with recruitment and retention.

Proactive hiring

Hiring managers aren’t leading the recruitment process anymore. Designers are in charge now.

The competition is fierce for hiring top design talent, and designers can’t afford to wait for HR teams to figure out how to hire—and maintain—great creative talent. Instead, they’re getting more involved in the process through outreach and networking.

“Even if you don’t have an open position on your team, you can always work to build a network of people you want to add to the team in the future,” says the report. “This way, you can better react to sudden departures, have a vision for how you can grow your people, and gain a greater understanding of what draws people to your team.”

Especially when it comes to choosing new leadership—though this is true for all levels of a design org—designers want to feel like they have a part to play in determining the future of their team. By taking it upon themselves to network within the community and recruit new teammates, they’re creating the future of their work.

Low unemployment poses an obstacle to employee retention

We’re looking at some of the lowest unemployment numbers that we’ve seen in the last decade, both domestically and globally. That means that it’s safe to assume that the designers on your team are being bombarded by recruiters all the time, on every platform.

Today, recruiters reach out to employees via email, on social media, and at networking events—meaning that it’s up to you to make sure your teammates have no reason to be tempted.

Leaders are faced with two problems:

  1. How to build great teams, and
  2. How to maintain them.

Design leaders are feeling baited-and-switched

Leaders are being recruited with the promises of building new teams and changing design practices, only to find out that the organization won’t deliver on its promises.

“Many design leaders and designers were hired on the promise of product or organizational impact,” the report says, ”but those same design pros are realizing that what they were promised in the interview is unrealistic, as most of their organizations are stuck in the lower levels of design maturity (where design is still treated as a siloed function).”

Hiring someone to lead a program that doesn’t exist—and never will—is a mistake. It won’t take long for them to figure it out, and many design leaders already have. 

They’ll take advantage of the healthy job market and move on.

Want to learn more about attracting, recruiting, and maintaining talent? The Design Trends Report can be downloaded in its entirety here.


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