A product’s market success and its ability to surge ahead of competitor products are defined by its value and design. A product designer helps create a market-ready, valuable product from an idea or concept. Hence, a skilled product designer in the team is not just good to have but a necessity.
According to Dribble.com, a leading platform for finding product designers, a product designer is the most in-demand role for companies in 2022.
With the rise in demand, competition is also increasing to hire highly-skilled and competent designers. This article is a detailed guide to help companies hire the best-fit product designers.
A product designer is a professional who uses different tools to design a product’s seamless, intuitive, and smooth user experience. As a result, these professionals play a crucial role during the entire product life cycle by either designing a new product or improving the existing design to optimize the user experience. Their major responsibility involves transforming a concept into a functional product through an effective design.
A skilled and competent product designer collaborates with engineers, researchers, designers, and stakeholders to create a user experience that aligns with the product’s objective. Therefore, though product designers only focus on design aspects, they also need to consider the big picture.
Product designers additionally determine deficiencies and lapses in user experience to provide relevant solutions. They are problem-solvers who are mindful of every product detail.
Christopher Stringer, one of the former product designers at Apple who played a vital part in designing the iPhone, iMac, iPod, iPad, MacBook, and many other products, said, “Our role is to imagine products that don’t exist and guide them to life.”
Along with design skills, a product designer needs leadership, project management, research, time management, communication, and many other skills. The following are essential skills recruiters should look for while hiring a product designer:
Determining what users need and accordingly designing products is crucial to a product’s success. Therefore, a product designer must conduct brainstorming sessions, create focus groups, and extract useful insights or valuable information before starting the project.
Determining a problem, finding a solution, and creating a seamless user experience require critical thinking. Moreover, product designers need to be mindful of each detail.
Utilize Mercer | Mettl’s Critical Thinking Ability Test to determine and analyze product designers’ abilities while hiring.
Prototypes are designed to test and measure the product’s effectiveness before the project’s launch. It helps product designers to determine potential issues, design lapses, and overall functioning. Knowledge of prototyping can help designers identify project functions that add value to users.
Brainstorming various ideas and communicating the latest design trends to the team, stakeholders, and other teams require good communication skills. A great idea pitched in the wrong way can lead to rejection. Hence, product designers need good written communication skills to connect with other project stakeholders.
Mercer | Mettl provides an online Communication Assessment Tool to evaluate candidates’ communication skills.
UI and UX designs involve the product’s interaction with users and the users’ comprehensive experience.
Jef Raskin, the interface designer for the Apple Macintosh project, stated, “As far as the customer is concerned, the interface is the product.”
Therefore, product designers should create user-friendly interfaces and provide a smooth experience using UI/UX design skills.
Mercer | Mettl’s UI/UX Assessment Tool for designers, helps evaluate a candidate’s UI/UX proficiency.
A product designer in any role requires fundamental knowledge principles, such as color and typography. While these professionals help optimize a product’s user-friendliness and ease, aesthetics help attract the audience. Hence, basic visual design skills are imperative.
A product designer’s role is at the center of the entire project. They collaborate with stakeholders and different teams, such as sales and marketing. As a result, they need project management skills to communicate and solve critical problems.
Along with the above question, recruiters can ask design-specific questions related to different sectors. For instance, computer-aided design (CAD) software is used in manufacturing. Questions related to various functionalities, tabs, and CAD software tools should be asked for hiring product designers in the manufacturing sector.
After determining the roles, responsibilities, and skill-set required in the organization, recruiters can use the following tips to hire the best product designer:
Once exact roles, responsibilities, and skills are mentioned in the job description, it becomes easier to filter out candidates and invest time in focusing on specific candidates.
Talk about a few important things in the description, such as:
According to the job role and position, recruiters should evaluate the candidates’ experience. For example, a senior designer who has created at least four valuable products and has five years of experience may fit an advanced job role.
When hiring mid-level or entry-level product designers, consider their portfolios, resumes, and work quality.
Mercer Mettl’s Design Aptitude Test can help evaluate a candidate’s design skills, including abstract reasoning, verbal reasoning, creative thinking, and detail-oriented skills.
Instead of waiting for candidates to apply for roles from job search websites, recruiters can headhunt the potential candidates. Design communities, such as Dribbble, Behance, Adobe Portfolio, and others, help find the designers’ work. Job search websites such as Talent.com, Indeed Jobs, and LinkedIn will also help find experienced product designers.
Organizations can identify role requirements and create a design challenge to evaluate candidates’ knowledge and experience. These challenges are a marker of actual work completed by the designer in the past.
It will help you assess the following details:
Online assessment tools can help accelerate the interview process once you have shortlisted a few candidates. Mercer | Mettl brings an extensive range of online tests to assist organizations in hiring the best designers and screening them in different areas and aspects. Following is the list of tests that can help recruiters in hiring the best product designers:
Design Aptitude Test – To assess design-centric skills
Design Thinking Test – To assess critical design thinking skills
Adobe Photoshop Test – To hire the best designers
UI/UX Skills Assessment – To assess product designing skills
These tests are adopted and trusted by leading organizations, such as Paytm, Airtel, AIMA, and others. They are designed meticulously to help recruiters assess potential candidates and speed up the interview process.
A product designer plays a crucial role in building a good product, consequently bringing returns on investment. So, it is essential to adopt a meticulous approach in assessing the skill set, experience, problem-solving abilities, creativity, and communication skills. Once roles, responsibilities, and skill requirements are defined clearly and concisely, it becomes easier to find the best-fit candidate.
Originally published December 5 2022, Updated December 5 2022
The primary objectives of recruitment and selection are to ensure high-quality candidates who are culturally fit and work toward shared organizational goals and vision.