While the concept of user experience design has been around for a little while, it’s still relatively new. This means, while plenty of companies may understand the value of having a UX designer, they often don’t know how to find the right candidate for the position.

To help navigate the process of hiring your first UX designer, we’ve outlined some of the most important skills and attributes to look for:

1. The candidate understands your customers’ needs
Of course, users are the priority in UX, so the ideal designer will not only be aware of a consumer’s potential thoughts and needs, but skillful in translating them into a design.

A great UX designer has “an ability to take an empathetic view of the user, and to interpret that into a systematic design solution,” according to Peter Merholz, co-founder of Adaptive Path, in an interview with Smashing magazine.

More so, great UX designers are able to conduct their own research to inform their designs.

2. Has experience in the field
UX design isn’t a skill that people usually pick up in college. More often, the title of “UX Designer” is earned through time and experience working in the industry, according to UX Passion.

While more schools are offering in-demand Bachelors and Masters programs in Human Computer Interaction or other similar degrees, many UX designers have learned through experience and self-education. Despite this background, they often possess an understanding of user-centered design principles and keep up with industry trends, making them excellent candidates. However, designers from either point of entry can be great choices for your staff.

“Not everyone who bears the name carries the same set of skills.”

It’s also important to note that not everyone who bears the name carries the same set of skills. These can vary greatly, especially in the more technical aspects of the job, so it’s important to investigate what kind of experience a candidate has and how they can translate this knowledge to benefit your company.

Don’t forget to prioritize the skills that best serve your needs. It’s possible that you’ll need more than one designer to fulfill these requirements.

3. Is excellent with communication
For a UX designer, this quality comes into play not only with the design itself, but also working with others. This position requires skills in both verbal and visual communication, according to UX Passion. Communication in this position is key because designers need to articulate their decisions and influence others.

To find someone who fits that description, know that the ideal candidate will be able to effectively communicate with other members of your team, just as well as they can relate to users.

Jared Spool, writing for User Interface Engineering, describes design as “a team sport.” He recommends asking your interviewees about a project they’re proud of and describe the contributions of others in the process.

Teamwork and communication are essential parts of UX design.Teamwork and communication are essential parts of UX design.

4. Has passion for what they do
UX design demands a lot of learning on the job, which requires a certain level of enthusiasm for the craft. Passion for the job will allow UX designers to get outside their comfort zone and try new solutions and strategies. It will also encourage designers to take pride in what they do, producing only high-quality work.

You can ascertain a candidate’s love for design by discussing their portfolio and having them walk you through the different projects they’ve completed and why they enjoyed them.

5. Isn’t necessarily perfect
When it comes to hiring your first designer, perfection is impossible. Instead, you need to focus on finding the person whose skills and personality mesh the best with your business and its specific needs.

Finding this person comes from knowing what you want, but as Fast Company magazine warns, don’t look for a “unicorn” designer – someone who is an expert in everything and would supposedly fix all your problems. In reality, there is a much better way to find the right person for the job, and it comes from understanding what you need from UX design.