Finding Talent 101 with Karen Harvey Consulting Group

Recruiting mistakes can be very costly, especially for an emerging designer who needs to maximize each hire in terms of salary and skill set.  We took careful notes when Karen Harvey Consulting Group participated in our professional development lecture series and here are ten tips to consider when hiring:


1. Define your company culture.

Define your culture in 5 words or less.  Are your values reflected in your culture?  Can this person represent you and your culture? Clarity of vision is the key to successful growth and successful hires.  


2. 1+1=3

If you hire the right person, their productivity will go beyond the addition of 1 team member.  Every single employee should act as part of the team.


3. Great teams are about balance.  

If there are too many stars the team may not perform well.  Look for someone who will compliment but add to your team dynamic.


4. Pace yourself and look at what you really need now.  

What roles are critical? Each business is different and has different needs. 


5. Never hire on one meeting.  

Ask questions about more than their past jobs.  What do they like to do outside of work?  What are their proudest achievements?  Dig deep and discover their culture.  Interview them is different settings, schedule a breakfast or go for coffee.


6. Don’t forget about PASSION.  

Soft skills can be more difficult to find and passion is essential to success. 


7. Important for emerging designers: most people are not wired to work for an entrepreneur.

Most people need corporate structure, but often young design-driven companies need people who can create structure. Vet potential candidates for this skill. Ask about their experience and what they enjoyed.


8. Intuition.  Listen to it when hiring


9. Employee Retention: Don’t underestimate personal satisfaction.

Invest in your people and make them part of strategy. Go beyond the formal review. A small business can often offer opportunities that a larger corporation cannot and this can be more important than salary in terms of employee retention.  Incentives, financial or otherwise can be small but they make a difference.


10. Communications guidelines

Taking ownership and responsibility for developing your culture is critical. Define how you want your company to feel and what the key attributes are of your business environment. Confidentiality is important so make those boundaries clear.