Digital Design Recruitment: What to look for in a candidate portfolio

Nov 15, 2022 1:08:55 PM

Within digital design recruitment, you will likely come across many portfolios as you search for the next creative superstar for your team.

To digital designers, their portfolio is like the holy grail of their career to this point. They fully understand that this will be the first thing employers will want to see. First impressions, therefore, are everything.

As an employer, what should you be looking for in a portfolio? Designers are responsible for the entire look and feel of any one web page...the voice and personality of the brand you could say. If you have a creative lead to look through these, you'll at least have someone with the creative vision to determine the right fit.

However, with start-ups in particular, the first design hires are so important because they will be the ones establishing the tone of voice and personality. If you're not as 'tuned in' to the creative process, it might be difficult to see so many portfolios and begin narrowing them down. 

What should you look for in a digital design portfolio?

We have worked on digital design jobs at Cranberry Panda for many years now. So, we too have seen our fair share of fantastic portfolios.

Quality, not quantity

The sign of a great portfolio is someone who knows the present their very best work. In any industry, people will be keen to showcase everything. If you are presented with pages upon pages of work, you will really find it hard to find a connecting narrative between each project. Where is the evolution? Which problem did they solve with each design? If you think there is simply too much to decipher, perhaps it's time to look at the next portfolio. 

The method behind the creativity

A great portfolio will demonstrate the impact of the visuals while explaining the methodologies used to create this end result. Think of it like a gallery - the work of art will have a little history and description with it. Designers who explain how they interpreted the brief and the steps they took are showing you exactly how they can work. Think about how their methods would apply to your company vision. 

Demonstrating the soft skills

Designers will want to show their work in all its glory. However, a good portfolio will also outline the softer skills used to make it happen. For example, it should highlight the teams they had to collaborate with the arrive at the final product. Furthermore, it shouldn't shy away from the issues and technical difficulties faced - a true professional will be happy to explain how they overcame these.

An individual voice

As mentioned, the designer should be able to convey the tone of voice and personality of a brand. If you are seeing this within their portfolio, that's great. However, you should also look to find hints about the person behind the portfolio. How have they included their own individuality and design quirks? Someone who is able to do this, without taking away from the brand message, is showing that their creativity is hard to stifle. That's a great gift in the world of design!

Helping your digital design recruitment needs in eCommerce!

At Cranberry Panda, our digital design recruitment offering is busier than ever! You can learn more about what we do within the creative side of the eCommerce industry below. If you need any help recruiting a design superstar, or you're looking for a new role, you can get in touch with the team!

Explore the Digital Design Recruitment Hub!

Digital Design Recruitment Hub

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