We recently fielded quite a few of applicants for the Digital Designer position our company had open (thankfully finding a fit recently!). But as I discussed on the DN internet tubes recently, finding that talent has been a struggle. Be it personal networks, job boards, more other job boards, and sharing in Slack channels, it's not an easy task. There's a lot of not great stuff out there.
One of my biggest digs was on the applicants we were seeing from the DeVry web program. A handful of these candidates applied, but their work was immensely sub-par, and sadly nowhere near the level of pro-ready work.
But they didn’t seem to know that: their introductory letters were very boastful, confident, and in some ways blissfully unaware.
Which makes me think, who hasn’t been honest all along? And also, where do we need to stop the high fives and kudos for making pretty pictures and get real with what will need to stand up in a professional environment?
It’s something I struggle with, but in this case I wrote a lengthy letter to DeVry explaining what we were seeing. They need to know. Someone needs to know, even if they already know and are looking the other way.
What about you? Where do you draw the line when it comes to feedback for young designers—even teammates—when what you’re seeing just isn’t going to cut it?