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Friday, July 1, 2022

Sealing the deal by Lucy Painter of STUDIO

Lucy Painter, founder of design recruitment company STUDIO, reveals what’s making studios stand out amongst the crowd, securing them the top talent for their team.

The start of this year has seen recruitment companies inundated with jobs from design studio’s searching for talent. This fantastic situation means the market has definitely picked up, but it also means that competition is high and interior designers have the pick of the bunch when it comes to jobs.

Isn’t it typical? The moment you want to start recruiting for your team, your own workload is so ridiculously high that you have no time to spend on recruitment. I can certainly tell this is the case when I receive an email with a single sentence saying, ‘We need a middleweight interior designer ASAP’  and with no other information whatsoever! So, whenever a company goes that extra mile with recruitment, it genuinely does have an effect on the interior designers decision when presented with multiple job offers.

Here are a few positive elements that I’ve seen implemented recently during the recruitment process:

  • A portfolio extract: Your most recent work isn’t always displayed on your website or social media channel so collating a tailored PDF of your work – including some concept work – to send over to the designer prior to interview will definitely peak their interest.They can also use it to tailor their own portfolio to yours, particularly their concept work which will inevitably save time at the interview stage.
  • Benefits/USP’s list: Traditionally, company benefits are sent over with the contract and only include main points like holidays, pension schemes, etc. However, I would suggest adding the smaller, more personal details about the benefits of working for your company. For example: Do you celebrate staff birthdays? Do you have a book club? Are there team away-days? Perhaps there is a team dedicated to researching sustainable materials for future projects? It’s a great way to sell the culture of the company!
  • Momentum: Companies who are completing the recruitment process from CV reviews to offers within 7-10 days are much more likely to succeed and not lose the interior designer to another design consultancy. It shows the interior designer you are keen and doesn’t leave them exposed to other temptations! Consider booking time out in your diary for interviews in advance.
  • Salary: There has been a noticeable increase in salaries after they have been stagnant for a number of years. It might not be ideal for overhead costs but companies who are securing interior designers at offer stage are, on average, offering a £3-4K uplift on the designers current salary. I completely understand increasing one designer’s salary and not others may cause conflict with internal staffing salaries so it might be worth considering whether guaranteed bonuses can be an option for your business.

In short, make sure you celebrate your company’s personality and achievements. Review your recruitment process from the applicants point of view to see how you can provide the most attractive offer possible. Whether that is when briefing a recruiter or recruiting yourselves make your company shine! –  There’s a lot of work out there and the best designers are getting snapped up fast.


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