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How to Hire Top UX Designers: The Smart Recruitment Guide

Author:
Rea Terzin
March 28, 2022
18-minute read
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 A UX designer who has high self-worth is the one you need.

The same thing applies to the successful hiring process. Even though it feels good after you finish the hiring procedure, it doesn’t mean you are done. When you see the actual work of your chosen candidate, then the truth comes.

So, what makes a good UX designer? Do all design agencies that are hiring need to be good as well? And how do we know if a designer is really skilled?

 Throughout this guide, you will not only learn about the types of UX designers and services but also how to hire top UX designers while avoiding difficulties during this process. Yet another side of the game is that hiring top UX designers requires you to be a top design agency.

Shall we?

Types of UX designers and services

In the ever changing design community, there are different types of UX designers and services. There are UI, UX, product designers, web designers and graphic design professionals, as well as UX developers.

Design services range from 3D illustrations, motion graphics, video editing, coding and development, branding strategy, app development etc.

It is thus essential to make it clear which designer and what kind of services you are looking for before starting the hiring procedure.

Freelance UX designer

You can find a good freelance UX designer when you are short of time and have occasional design projects.

good freelance ux designer
Pros:
  • Multitasking experts: Freelance UX designers usually manage multiple design projects at once by focusing on one task while keeping track of others. That is exactly what makes them good at meeting deadlines and delivering good work results (even under pressure).
  • Save your costs: In-house designers or design agencies could be much more expensive than freelance designers. Hiring a freelance UX designer usually requires paying an hourly rate.
  • Small projects: UX freelancer is definitely the best choice if you are working on a small project that needs to be done quickly.
  • Flexibility: Hiring a UX designer could give you more flexibility in terms of choosing the right design skills. You will usually search for a particular skill set since you already have a core design team.
Cons:
  • Substandard quality: A freelance UX designer can provide poor service quality. This is rather the case when you hire a freelancer under a cheap rate. They have to be valued if you want high-quality service.
  • Limited availability: Freelancers usually twist between different projects. That is why they will not be available to you during each business day. Sometimes, they even lack communication skills, but that is not always the case.

Consider hiring a UX freelance specialist if you want to save money and don't need a designer working on your projects regularly. Find a freelancer with a proven track record and good communication skills. Also, pay attention to signing a contractor work through a platform that offers some guarantee.

UX Agency 

UX agencies are dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes. They bring their digital product to life and deliver a more vital user experience. We at Tenscope offer cutting- edge, visionary UX design that has helped some of the biggest brands and startups to serve their clients with a more powerful product.

how to recognise good ux agency
Pros:
  • The best results: It might be rather pricey but in the end you get excellent results. The reason is that the product created by the agency is the work of a creative team of designers with great collective expertise.
  • Professional team: The team behind the UI/UX agencies must be very professional. Since they deal with an extensive amount of projects on a monthly basis, they have great communication skills.
  • All design needs are covered: With a UX agency, a business is serious. All your design needs would be completely covered since their team focuses not only on one design element; for example, not on the visually appealing interface but on the psychology behind the product, as well as business objectives and market competition.
  • High-degree of commitment: UX design agencies can be very committed to finding the solution to the problem. This is because they have excellent problem-solving skills, which evolved while addressing different issues for different clients over time.
  • Monthly based subscription: We at Tenscope offer a monthly subscription model which is a perfect chance for you to save money and get high-quality design services. This is a unique pricing approach and all our clients are truly satisfied with the benefits they get.
Cons:
  • Less control: A UX design agency cannot always meet your tight deadlines and their services are not recommendable for short term projects. So, you are not going to have control when hiring a UX agency.

In-house designer

A company's in-house designer is one of its employees. Having an in-house designer is a win-win solution in case you are growing fast and always need a designer with proven systematic and serious work. In some instances, there are better solutions in terms of money savings. But as we know, the more you invest in your business, the more success you will gain.

Pros:
  • Fantastic end-results: In-house employees are very much involved in all design processes, and they have a better understanding of the product and brand philosophy. They likely have meetings to brainstorm about the current UX design project, which can significantly improve the end design results.
  • Higher productivity: UX freelance designers or external agency staff usually work on several projects at the same time, so they spread their energy on several tasks. Naturally, sometimes they are out of focus or lack communication. On the other hand, in-house designers invest all their efforts in one specific task/project, and as a result, productivity grows higher.
  • Long-term growth: Your goal is to succeed in long-term cooperation, and you want your employees to grow with you. Since you are a growth-oriented company, your in-house designers must be a part of your evolving brand.
  • Consistency and control: You are in charge of many design tasks simultaneously, so your in-house team of designers must be present full-time. Therefore, you or your upper management team can have full control over each designer’s activity and the costs of design activities.
  • Better money management: In case you hire a designer in-house, you know exactly how much you will have to spend and when. In contrast, design agencies are usually concerned about financial transparency when hiring an external agency designer or a freelancer.  
Cons:
  • Not embracing self-driven learning:  Since in-house designers work closely, they could rely on each other very often. They can also resist change and refuse to learn new skills (even unconsciously) since they have been used to doing design projects in one way for a long period. As design innovation advances, so does our need to understand, learn and adapt to new trends, theories, and skills. It is more likely that a UX designer involved in several projects can learn new skills to spark innovation and progress. However, this should be taken with a grain of salt. It is not always the case that an in-house designer won’t embrace self-driven learning.
  • Long hiring process: Since you decided to go with an in-house designer, you will have several responsibilities. You must comply with employment regulations, cover salary and days off, and deal with employment taxes. Therefore, you need the right person and must be careful and patient during your hiring process, which could be longer than expected.

Integrated approach

 We firmly believe UX agencies must take an integrated view of the recruitment process. By failing to do so, they risk losing out on the benefits of improved hiring. We are always searching fora young generation of talented designers from different cultures since they are eager to learn and have different professional and educational backgrounds.

Pros:
  • Creating a talented team: Growing and developing leaders worldwide includes creating development and career paths that reflect a range of employee needs and experiences.
  • Improving cultural diversity: Racial and ethnic identities are evolving, and standardized forms are no longer appropriate. Cultural diversity can be improved by engaging employees and hiring candidates from all over the world.
  • Maximizing UX design skill set: A culturally diverse workplace empowers UX designers to develop their talents and skills. Colleagues with a wide range of ideas and expertise provide a more diverse learning experience.
  • Better agency’s reputation: A UX agency company that employs designers from different cultures and backgrounds will attract more clients. This directly impacts the agency’s reputation since it encourages and embraces different viewpoints.
Cons:
  • Challenging management: A multicultural design team is a team whose members originate from various cultures, so it might not be the easiest to develop the right management structure.

What Are the Popular Resources to Look For UX Designers?

Behance

Behance is considered the best platform for designers and artists from different parts of the world. Their goal is to showcase their pieces of art and get inspired by others, as well as to find user experience jobs. You can simply go to the Hire section and choose your favorite candidate.

Dribble

Another great place for users to find a UX job! Dribble is a great platform for exploring the world’s leading design portfolios. You have filters, such as Branding, Illustration, Mobile, Print, etc., which help you in your research process, and the separate Hiring page will help you engage with the best UX designers.

Linkedin

It's easy to acquire top talent using LinkedIn, which is increasing in popularity. You can learn how to use LinkedIn to hire designers. This platform is a great place where users can pursue their UX design careers.

Fiverr

Fiverr is another popular resource to look for UX designers and here you can find high-quality design services at every price point. You can also contact their support team in case you have any questions.

Word-of-mouth recommendations

The truth is, you can find the bestUX designer only by taking advantage of word-of-mouth recommendations that ares till impactful and trustworthy. Especially if it’s from people you know personally.

Hiring UX Designer: What to Watch?

One thing is to understand users' needs and the direct correlation between design and sales. Having a strong work ethic, the ability to achieve results through passion for design and good people skills is yet another thing.

how to select good ux designer

Design Skills

The UI/UX Designer is responsible for creating high-quality visuals and user workflows using user-centered design principles. It is thus essential to give new life to clients' products by designing from scratch or redesigning them. A good UX designer must know how to help clients present their brands, packaging, products, and concepts. 

Here are the design skills we consider essential:

  • Extensive expertise in creating UX design diagrams such as task flows, user flows, user journey maps, screen flows, wireframes, user interfaces for different applications etc.
  • Deep understanding of how a specific design fits into a broader vision to solve customer needs
  • Able to solve UX problems (e.g. usability, find ability) in a functional and creative manner
  • Improve existing user interface designs using a combination of market analysis, direct testing, and user feedback
  • Mastery of software: graphic editors (Figma, Sketch, Adobe products), prototyping tools(Invision, Framer), animation software (it's a bonus)
  • Provide supporting assets to help increase traffic to clients' websites, including paid/social media, blog posts, product images, and infographics
  • Establish new designs for dashboards, logins, mobile views, and websites (primarily landing pages).
  • Knowledge of generative UX, descriptive and evaluative research methods
  • Able to understand what developers need from UX research
  • To know how to use UX design thinking approach
  • Be familiar with HTML, CSS, and web design in general
  • Ability to understand the material well and think of ways to convey the message effectively
  • Identifying client or internal stakeholders' needs for their technology piece
  • Capable of simplifying complex processes and workflows for end users
  • Understanding the basics of psychology and how they apply to UX design

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills can make a significant impact on the productivity of a design team. UX designers with strong interpersonal skills tend to be able to work efficiently with their clients or within teams.

Here are the skills required for them to do so:

  • A positive attitude and a strong work ethic
  • The ability to quickly solve the problem and think outside the box
  • Genuinely enjoy pushing himself/herself, and is enthusiastic about learning new things and facing new challenges
  • The ability to communicate their ideas with colleagues and collaborate on designs

Management Skills

A good UX designer must collaborate with strategists, fellow designers, and developers to refine design systems. Designers must know how to create supporting assets that help guide users to various KPI pages. They also need to create innovative, intuitive, and great-looking designs that people benefit from and help aid in marketing goals.

Here is the overview of the top management skills every UX designer should have:

  • Agile and cross-functional team experience
  • Ability to communicate effectively and build good working relationships
  • Excellent problem-solving skills and analytical thinking skills
  • Sales and project management skills
  • Respond to reports of technical problems and work with the team of managers and UX developers to fix them quickly
  • Collaborate closely with project management team, and clients to help define detailed product requirements as prototypes, descriptions, and detailed wireframes
  • Work with developers to ensure the designs are implemented as intended and the integrity of the user experience is maintained in the final product

Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring an UX Designer

We are constantly seeking a good UX designer, and we have heard "I know a good designer!" sentence many times. Many people think they know good designers only because they have great experience.

is the ux designer really good

But not all of the designers that have a strong portfolio are good. Neither do those who have a strong eye for detail and are extremely passionate about design. In this regard, there are several mistakes you should be aware of while hiring a UX designer.

Relying Mainly on a UX Portfolio

Even though a good portfolio can tell a lot about a designer's contribution, it is not easy to know how to evaluate a UX designer. All cases in a portfolio need to be arranged coherently and user-friendly, which on the other hand, should also demonstrate the designer's communication skills. However, what is written on paper does not always reflect reality. So, be careful while estimating the designer's skills based on the portfolio and prepare fact-checked questions on the interview.

Giving Impossible Deadlines For Test Task

Jean-Jacques Rousseau said, "Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet!" If we are about to believe this great thought, simply don't expect a designer to finish a project in 24 hours and provide you with the highest quality. It's essential to give the designer enough time to perform their job, whether it's a test for a job opportunity or the actual project. Make sure to define deadlines before the actual project starts. That way, the designer knows how to organize his time (especially if he/she is a freelance UX designer).

Choosing the Cheapest UX Design Services 

The closer the designer's ideal-self and self-image are to each other, the higher the sense of self-worth is. A good designer must be aware of his self-image and his work; as a result, people and clients will appreciate his work. Often, designers base their rates on what other designers charge, but a good designer knows his rate very well; and that rate is not cheap. 

Making Decision Quickly

Even though UX freelance designers can pass the interview very well, it doesn't mean they will provide quality solutions. You have to firmly verify the skills of your potential candidate, even though his/her design background is impressive enough. If they say they are experienced in Figma or Adobe XD, simply test it. What's more, you may need to spend at least a month or even two just searching and interviewing candidates in order to find an experienced UX designer with both design and high-level interpersonal expertise. 

Integrating Several Roles Into One

You cannot expect one person to cover wide areas of the design. Even though that designer is good enough in each of the fields, it is not feasible to finish visual design, UI animation, web design, and product enhancement at the same time. Multi-tasking is one of the best skills that is required today, but there is also a golden balance between your expectations and the designer's abilities you should be aware of.

Finding a multi-talented designer who can juggle several roles is not an easy task. But it can turn out great only if you don't exaggerate your expectations.

Posting an Unclear Job Ad

Take your time to create a job post that will give designers not only a clear image of your company but of your expectations. Here is how you should craft your UX designer job description:

  • About us: Share your company values, explain your business culture, and present your mission and vision.
  • Core Responsibilities: Be clear in terms of what you expect from a designer's expertise. Include details in bullet points, such as creating high-quality UI/UX strategies from wireframe to final tech hand-off. The candidate needs to have a clear understanding of what actually he/she will be doing.
  • Minimum Position Qualifications: This includes how many years of design experience you expect, based on which programs, and if some additional understanding of design fundamentals and techniques as it relates to the web and branding (for example) is required.
  • Education& Skills Required: Determine what kind of skills you are looking for. Besides design skills, you should look for interpersonal skills. Also, make sure you mention if the position you made requires a Bachelor's degree, some higher level degree, or even some additional educational courses/training.
  • OurIdeal Candidate: Make sure to add five main points of what your ideal candidate looks like. This should be aligned with your company's core values.
  • Benefits: Add details about the work/life balance, major opportunities for career growth, full-time/flexible hours, vacation days off, training investments etc.
  • How to Apply: Include the link to the application page (if needed), and let your candidate know about each step of the process and how long the process will last. Also, make sure to respond to the candidate even if the answer is NO.

Also, don't be too enthusiastic and avoid having a 'trying to be too cool' attitude in your job ad. Even though it is recommendable to sound natural and have a conversational tone, stick to the professional language and avoid words such as hate, sick, suck up etc.

Bonus Tips: Examples of Questions to Ask on a UX Job Interview

This definitely depends on the type of design project and the ideal candidate you are searching for. However, be aware that good UX designers will ask many questions, often about your company's values, your team, and even your budget. 

There are also some of the general interview questions you will need to ask to better understand the candidate's core values:  

  • Do you consider UX competitive analysis important, and why?
  • How do you know when the UX design is finally done?
  • How would you handle your superiors who are not accepting your UX view/solution?
  • How do you handle criticism from clients?
  • How does it feel when you finish a UX design project?
  • Have you ever been on more than one design project, and how did you cope with the deadlines?
  • Could you describe the biggest issue you've ever faced in your past experience and how you solved it?
  • Are you able to help users successfully navigate clients' websites and funnels, and can you provide us with some examples of your previous work?

Conclusion

As a design agency whose main goal is to make users happy with the best UI/UX design services, providing them also with an innovative monthly subscription model, we know perfectly how to hire top UX designers.  

So, what is the right way to hire a top UX designer?

  • Firstly, define what your expectations from your ideal candidate are
  • Be aware of all the pros and cons of each type of design service before you decide which one to choose(freelance UX designer, UX agency, in-house designer)
  • Prepare yourself for the hiring process and be patient if it's going to last longer
  • Check the most popular resources for UX design talents
  • Have in mind all the mistakes you should avoid when hiring a UX designer we mentioned previously
  • Give a UX designer a reliable test to check his expertise in UX design
  • Ask additional questions during the interview to have better insight into the designer's interpersonal skills (even though you'll realize this during the collaborative work over time) 

Let's not forget one more important thing. For UX designers to 'be good enough' or 'better than expected', they need an environment that provides them with acceptance and genuineness. Without these, their strong work ethic, design, and people skills will not develop as they should.

Similar to a tree that cannot grow without sunlight and water.

FAQs

What should I look for when hiring a UI/UX designer?

First off, you should look into the designer's portfolio. Secondly, you should get a better understanding of his/hers design and interpersonal skills during the interview and the final test. Also, the designers must be good at explaining how they get things done. Finally, pay attention to how the designers will structure the answer and if they are interested in your UX project or company's goals.

How do I recruit a UX designer? 

Firstly, you need to know if your optimal project type is long-term or short-term. Then, you can recruit a UX designer in a good way if you know where to research. Yet you are lucky if you get a good word-of-mouth recommendation. So you should also be prepared for the hiring process and ask questions about design and people skills. After you're done, soon enough, you will know if you hired a good UX designer based on his work ethic and end design results.

How much does it cost to hire a UI/UX designer?

Salaries vary depending on the designer's experience and skills, as well as on the location. But, in general terms, a UI/UX designer can charge between $60,000 and $150,000per year.

Where to find UX designers?

There are several popular resources for UX designers, such as Behance, Dribble, Upwork, Fiverr,and Linkedin.

What is the highest salary for a UX designer?

According to Career Foundry, the highest salary for a UX designer is $106,896.

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