Bob Baxley

Bob Baxley

Design Leader, Executive, and Creative Director at On My Own, Inc.

Designer, author and speaker. Previously at Apple, Pinterest, Yahoo!, and a bunch of places you haven't heard of.

4 action items

Find and recruit senior designers

    • Search like a talent scout

      Senior design talent is one of the most in-demand roles in the entire tech industry and as such, you're going to have to invest a LOT of time and resources into finding and recruiting them. To start, you're going to have to think like a talent scout on the hunt for the next great music act, actress, comic, quarterback, or pitcher. That requires you to scour the Web, app stores, and elsewhere looking for products that you love and then mining sites like LinkedIn and Dribbble to figure out who designed them and how to contact them. In some cases you're going to have to track talent for years as you cultivate the relationship. It takes patience, persistence, and operational organization but it's also your best chance to find top talent.... See more

    • Sell like a sports manager

      Once you've identified someone you want to go after, you need to figure out how to pitch them on joining your team. You'll need to craft a credible story about how their unique talents are a perfect fit for the problem space, corporate culture, and existing team. You need to not only have a clearly articulated job description but also convince them that THIS role at THIS company at THIS moment is tailor-made for them and is THE natural step forward in their career. In addition, you need to paint a picture so they can see themselves being challenged by the work and inspired by the team. They need to believe that the opportunity you're offering is the best possible opportunity for them to do their best work. And while not everybody needs to believe they're going to be the MVP, everyone still wants to be part of a team that is serious about winning a championship.... See more

    • Communicate like a concierge

      Once you've identified someone and gotten them interested in joining your company, it's time to lead them through the interview process. Obviously you'll need to be sure you have a well-designed candidate experience since the interview process itself is far and away the best approximation of what it's like to work at your company. If the hiring process is disorganized, interviewers are unprepared, or the follow-up communication is sloppy, candidates are going to leave the interview thinking your company is a mess and by extension unable to make decisions in a timely or disciplined manner -- all signs that the organization is fundamentally incapable of producing great products. By contrast, if the interview experience is thoughtful, punctual, and has clearly communicated timelines and follow-ups, the candidate will walk away thinking your company is an environment where great design is at least possible.... See more

    • Advocate like an agent

      Finally, if you're the hiring manager and you've found some someone you really want on your team, then it's up to you to internally advocate for them and to shepherd them through the process. The candidate needs to know you are excited about their unique skills and talents and the other interviewers need to understand why you think they'd be a great addition. Senior designers have so many options in the current market that if you don't believe in them from the start, they're not going to care all that much about you or the opportunity. Recruiting senior designers is probably the single biggest challenge you'll face as a hiring manage but you'll greatly increase your chances of success by clearly communicating how they're a great fit with the existing team, what you see them contributing, the impact they'll have, and what they stand to learn.... See more