I was delighted to be asked to be a guest blogger on www.uxmanagerscircle.com, and I’m reposting here. It’s no easy task to recruit for these jobs, so here are a few ideas based on my experience.

The job market for UX Designers, Visual Designers, Researchers and UI Developers is red hot right now. Companies are offering relocation assistance sponsoring visas and using agencies (like mine) to find just the right talent for their jobs. There are several recruiting challenges in UX recruiting. One is the people you are most likely looking for are very busy, employed and not always looking for a job.  Another is that recruiters don’t always understand UX so it’s hard for them to screen and to sell.

Here are my 3 tips for UX Managers:

1. Make your job description tell a story

You’ve seen the job descriptions that are 2 pages long, with long lists of responsibilities and qualifications.  If you’re good and you’re busy, how will you know which ones might be worth a look?  Think of how to engage with the candidate.  A job match is based on your need and what you have to offer someone (I mean more than money here) and another person’s desire.  What is distinctive about your job?  Is there a good work/life balance there?    How can someone grow professionally in this job?   Are you doing really interesting work that pushes the boundaries?  Do you have a budget for conferences and education?   Do you have support from upper management?    What stage is your UX group in?  Is it mature, established and integrated into product development?  Or is it a new UX practice that needs some “evangelizing”?  They both have advantages – pitch your advantage up front. Consider this template:

  • Our story- the product and our UX group
  • What we need you to do
  • Why its cool to work here
  • What we need to see in your portfolio so we can tell if you’re a good fit

2. Educate your recruiters

Every minute you spend with them is worth the investment!   Give them a picture of how this person will fit into the group, and what they’ll be doing.  The more they understand the job, the deliverables, the technology, what’s important and what’s not, the better resumes you’ll get in the end.  Let them know that job titles can be misleading and to deep dive into their experience and portfolio.  Explain the difference between web sites and web enterprise applications.  Show them examples on the web.  This can take some of your time, but its well worth it.     Find examples of resumes that are “spot on” and explain why.   Show an example of a portfolio you like and why and one you don’tGive them some very specific questions that will help them screen people.   Give them feedback quickly.  Meet on a regular basis to go over resumes and portfolio’s till you think they’ve “got it”.

3. Create a streamlined process

Create the shortest and most efficient process you possibly can.  That’s a lot to ask but the time spent on the front end will help you get people hired.  Really talented UX’ers  go fast.  They have multiple offers and choices.   After the initial phone screen, if you do a portfolio review tell the candidate what you want them to show you.  Be specific.   If you give them a Design Exercise, give them specific instructions and a deadline.   If you like them, set up the next stage immediately.  Keeps the process moving.  If you find the right person, don’t shop, hire them.