Really Confused

:frowning: I know this might sound rediculous given this forum but, believe it or not, it seems to be incredibly difficult to get good design talent. We are quite a large company, albiet without great brand recognition, trying to build an excellent in house design team. We know we need to change, come and help us. The response to our advertisment has been interesting to say the least. I recieved a large amount of very amateur portfolios completely unrelated to what was asked. Am I missing something? Is there really anybody out there that is interested in an excellent opportunity?
Confused?

Unfortunitly it is a workers market. There is excellent talent out there but you must pay for it. Someone with 5+yrs of pro/e design exp is getting 30-50/hr. It is hard to find talent because of the major aerospace companies out there with unlimted gov’t contract budgets.

what type of personell are you looking for?

Sorry to hear that you are going through this. I know what you mean. If you could tell us a bit more about what you are looking for, I have several highly qualified graduate students out looking for work and would be glad to set you up with appropriate candidates.

…i have built a staff from scratch and it is no picnic but it has its rewards a few years down the road…there are excellent designers looking for excellent opportunities and your brand shouldn’t be a problem for those who care about the work…i have done my time with ‘the brands’ and i would rather work for most anyone else.

I think you’ll find pay and respect are major issues to look at when building and retaining a design staff.

I left a company not too long ago that regularly did everything they could to short change the creative talent and the directors often ignored the advice of the designers, instead relying on marketing gimmicks and questionable practices on projects.

This not only demoralized the staff, but often made them look like total asses to the client. All the designers are asking for is a little respect, give it to them and they’ll stick around.

On a side note, the company that I left recently contacted me to ask if I would come back and take a high level position with a significant pay increase. Since leaving them they have been TOTALLY unable to locate anyone with my skills to work for them. Everyone quits because the climate in the office hasn’t changed and now they are getting desperate. I won’t return.

You may want to take a look at your own organization and ask yourself if you would be willing to work there for what you pay designers. If the answer is HELL NO, then you found a major answer to your problem.

There is the tendency for designers to want to work at the “hot” company or firm. And ultimately, I think this is a mistake. As a designer, you will recieve much more recognition and praise for going to a not so “hot” company and boosting its image with great design and unique ideas.

It is unfortunate that you are having trouble finding good talent. I would say that we are all working, and its just a coincidence that you are having trouble at this moment. The market is flooded with designers, and I would say that about 30% are worth hiring. Many students choose to go into design because it looks cool, or they aspire to live the lifestyle. Maybe they really wanted to be what people think of as an “artist”, but daddy wanted them to get a degree that could get them somewhere.

After going to a top school, and really seeing out of a class of 15 that 2 people (average) were actually dedicated to design, and lived it everyday, I really struggled with the reality of the job market. Also, when hiring a designer, it is important to remember that anyone can learn a CAD program and learn how to draw. Design is an intuition, not everyone has it. Not everyone can sing, play music, or dunk a basketball. These things can be practiced, and eventually learned to a certain degree. But someone who lacks the instinct, will never match up.

A lot of design firms out there are “cool clubs” that are populated with groups of untalented very well dressed designers. And if you don’t fit the profile that fits, or if they feel threatened by your skill and vision, they will not hire you. I can’t tell you how many interviews I’ve been on where it was obvious that the Senior Designer or Design Manager was intimidated by me.

To end my rant, I truly believe that you will have no problems finding great people. I suggest advertising outside of idsa and coroflot. Even though IDSA is a great organization, like any organization, there are a lot of followers and few leaders.

I think a lot of times there are jobs around but people somehow don’t know how to establish the link between the employer and the candidates. I used to blindly send application packages all over the place whether they are hiring or not and usually I will be surprised to find some good opportunities.

Can you post a link to your adv if it’s online? Maybe some of us have some leads for you.

If there are any designers out there looking for contract or direct work, shoot me an email. I am a national recruiter with a design engineering recruitment firm, adampittler@peaktechnical.com

And then there is the pool of very experienced industrial designers whose CAD skill, primarily Pro-E, are not up to those of younger designers.

Too bad really, heavy on the real, hands-on, nuts-n’-bolts, stuff … short on the ‘draftsman’ stuff.

good design talent

Pray tell Guest, what might your definition of “good talent” be ?

Are we talking 8,000 hours of ProE seat time, a complete understanding of materials and manufacturing processes, photo-realistic visualization skills, a BS in Mechanical Engineering (with a minor in Industrial Engineering), a Class A machinist, with a Masters in Graphic Design … What EXACTLY does talented mean to you? And how many years have you alotted to this candidate to achieve these skills?

To be quite frank Sir (or Madame), I don’t believe you are who, or what, you say you are.

End our anguish; post the link; prove me wrong.

Someone who advertises on Core recently contacted me about how to find people. They’d waded through a ton of portfolios. Nothing.

Among the problems: too many people sending CAD renders and no sketches. Portfolios that are themselves not designed. Mostly store-bought cases with empty pages (I’ve seen that myself). And all they wanted was what I would expect of someone with 2 years experience.

There seem to more and more graduates but not necessarily an increase in talent. Or at least presentation skills. I don’t understand it.

I know how you feel. I have been building a design team in Hong Kong. Posting on the job sites has been difficult. The only thing helping me is that many people move during Chinese New Year (at the end of this month). I posted at job sites and got unqualified people. Finally I searched the portfolios at Core 77 and hand picked 6 people who had some good work. I emailed these 6, with our job ad, and 3 have come in for interviews. I am picking from those 3.

Of course it helps that I was looking locally so I could just sort by Hong Kong and any of the clients can come over by bus or rail.

Good luck.

Nothing wrong with that.


Ok, that’s bad.

Wasn’t suggesting people fabricate cases. Portfolios should be designed. By that I mean it’s not just the individual projects that matter, but the overall way in which they are presented. It’s deciding which parts of the project to include and which to leave out. It’s both the written content of the introductory letter and the page layout. It’s everything (as I’m sure has been discussed in other threads on this forum).

Nothing gets ridiculed in a studio quite like the portfolio sent in by someone who obviously just crammed their projects into a case without thought to what someone - a designer no less - would think when they received the package.

Imagine if Apple just threw their products into a standard cardboard box and let it go at that. That’s what too many supposedly professional designers do. And they wonder why they don’t get interviews.

blah, blah, blah, etc, etc. Post the freakin’ link and get off the elitist soapbox.

I assume the above is directed at me. Don’t know about the original poster, but the company I spoke to specifically asked that I not mention them when I asked about posting their ad here. But now I’m curious. Do people here equate experience with elitism?

csven, it’s directed at the originator of this discussion.

“Amateur” is defined as someone who engages in a pursuit as a pastime, or who performs with limited skill. In context, as used above, it has an annoying, condescending, I’m-so-much-better-than-you-are, ring to it. And condescension always feels elitist.

Before I decided to go to a university to “learn” Industrial Design, I apprenticed as a machinist in an industrial tool & die shop for a year or so. The old guys I worked with had years, and years, of experience (most of it pre-CNC days) but they never made me feel inadequate because I wasn’t as qualified as they were. We’re all amateurs before we become “professionals.”