How might we improve the hiring process for new product/UX designers?

The theme of my past few posts recently have all been about the design industry and the struggles of a Bootcamp grad (that’s me!) navigating through the job search process. The reason being is that I’m in the thick of it, interviews, design challenges, take-home assignments, and more. It’s been difficult to think of anything other than my frustrations and pain-points with the current hiring and talent sourcing process.

How might we…is usually the first question I ask myself when presented with a new challenge. How might we improve communication for remote teams? How might we streamline the travel industry? Are some of my favorite questions to ponder on — following up with asking why? Why isn’t it feasible? Why hasn’t it been done? When thinking about the job hunt, I’ve been thinking a lot about why it’s been so challenging and why I get ghosted 99% of the time. Framing it as a design challenge and revealed to me several key insights.

Companies are risk-averse and want to ensure a positive ROI for a new hire

One thing was clear when I began my job search back in May, it was clear that companies were cash strapped. Those hiring unless they were a huge tech giant, would be extremely selective with who they hire. The hiring and onboarding process is time-consuming and expensive and companies want to make sure they get the most value from a candidate. When I spoke with a recruiter at Drizly, they made it clear that they were being strategic with who they bring on.

So as junior designers who do we prove ourselves? How much is on us and how much of it is on the design industry to shift their hiring practices? I don’t have the answers myself. As a Bootcamp graduate, I’m approaching the process from the perspective of a candidate that truly believes they can be a successful designer. I only need one YES and that’s it — if there’s anything I’ve learned from consuming loads of content on Gary V, it's perspective and persistence. For a musician, it's continually producing content and who knows, the next song they product might be the one that takes them viral.

Continue to learn new skills and hone your craft

Identify areas for improvement and develop a set of criteria for you to measure your performance on. Be confident in your work but also be critical of it and find areas where you can improve. Reach out to mentors and designers on ADPList and DesignBuddies to gather feedback. It’s uncomfortable, but you’ll learn so much more through engaging with the community thanks to the nature of the internet. I have grown resilient to rejections and could care less about the hiring decisions of one company. In order to learn from these rejections, you need to audit yourself and where you currently fit within the spectrum of the design industry. Doing so will help you find avenues to improve, discover new passions, and grow as a designer.

Hard skills can be taught, but passion can’t be forced. You have to truly love doing something to cut through the noise and persist despite each rejection. If anything, this long process of finding a design role has reinvigorated my love for UX & UI. I’m reminded that I didn’t change my career for a job but to pursue something I truly love and want to excel at.

Be flexible and open-minded and say Yes!

There were points in my current job search journey that I was determined to take whatever I could get. I’ve realized like that shouldn’t necessarily be the case. Be open to new opportunities but also don’t settle for less than what you deserve.

Product Designer. NYC based.