I wrote this article for web shops and tech startups looking to hire design talent. About twice a week someone emails me “I need to find a designer, can you help me?”
Hiring talented people at an affordable rate is getting tougher and tougher. Finding talented people is easy. The easier you can find someone means others are finding them and they have plenty of leads and offers, and their rate is higher. It’s harder to find a diamond in the rough, a person that has the chops but hasn’t had the right opportunity.
I hire several designers annually to help me with specific problems in LessAccounting. I find these people on Dribbble, a popular design community, a place designers can share what they’re working on.
Now let’s narrow those lists. Go to the list and find people with less than 700 followers. Usually Dribbblers with more followers than that have many leads and are too expensive for me to hire them. Tip: You can also search your favorites for countries that have a better exchange rate.
Let’s start contacting these possible designers. Using Dribbble’s internal messaging, send 20 of your favorite designers a message. Alternatively, you could visit their website and contact them from their website contact form. Here’s an example of a message I sent.
Typically, when you contact 20 possible designers the numbers break down to five designers who don’t respond, five more who say “No thanks,” five more say they’re “Busy,” and a handful who are interested. It’ll take up to three days to get a person to respond.
In my situation, I like using several designers on one problem area. Since I’m not giving a huge project to one person, I have the budget to get lots of ideas from several people. I’d rather have several people give me ideas and help with conceptualizations.
I’ve found design rates from $15 to $200 an hour. Rates depend on popularity level, schedule, experience, and how exciting they think your project is. I often use the same designer for several different design projects during the year. Many designers will become unavailable because they’ll take full-time work or their hourly rate will be something I can no longer afford.
Dribbble has been a great way for me to connect with designers to help improve the interface and design of LessAccounting. I’m able to research UX issues and then contact people I admire for collaboration opportunities.
I’d love to know if you have any hiring tips for designers.
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