Chris Miller on How to Avoid UX a Hiring Fail

How to Avoid These Top Three UX Recruiting Fails

60-Second “How To” Summary

Chris Miller’s “How To”

For nearly a year, Topfolio’s UX Podcast has set out to describe and demystify the growing UX design job market. Through interviews with seasoned professionals, we’ve identified some of the confusion with this broad job title. In fact, Topfolio’s UX recruiting team has yet to come across an agreed upon definition even within the UX community.

After speaking with nearly a dozen experts, there is one takeaway that may surprise many in HR, operations and management:

The complexity of the term UX is likely negatively impacting three critical phases of your recruitment process: job summary, job sourcing and job screening.

In other words, there is something painfully broken in the way most companies go about finding their UX talent.

Here’s how your company can avoid such missteps in these key recruiting phases.

01 | Avoid A Job Summary Disconnect:

Engage – Does your UX job summary read like a legal contract? Loosen it up and market to the job candidate as if they were a potential customer. What career path does your brand represent to the job candidate? What career pain do you remove?

Divulge – Speak their language by removing all tired copy like “work under pressure”. These clichés are simply noise to applicants. Start divulging the good stuff like your UX team’s tech stack, agile methodologies and growth opportunities.

Differentiate – Each of your competitors is likely posting the typical job summary. Think differently by perhaps testing the job candidate with a UX challenge built right into the job description. This may eliminate the uninterested and attract more passive candidates.

02 | Avoid a Job Sourcing Dead End:

Diversify – Stop relying solely on the typical places to locate talent. If posting on LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Monster yield average to below average results, find a new sourcing strategy.

Innovate – Top UX people build communities for top UX people. Identify and build relationships within those communities. Think of ways to build a talent pipeline.

Partner – The days of doing it alone are gone as the pace and complexity of recruiting increases. Identifying value added partners that can help source top talent in record time is key.

03 | Avoid a Job Screening Blunder:

Resist – Having a non-UX person screen for qualified job candidates is not a winning strategy. Why? A candidate’s UX know-how, style and craft can be easily missed by a HR person or a junior UX professional. Resist the urge to hand this off to unqualified staff.

Reimagine – As recruiting technology evolves, so too does the methods for screening candidates. For example, gamification may be an effective method for screening UX applicants before a person gets involved.

Decentralize – Even if you can manage the screening in-house, a backup resource or a specialized partner may add unforeseen value. Decentralizing the process of screening applicants may make sense so long as the partner specialized in UX recruitment.

Next Steps:

  1. If UX design is about improving the experience someone has with the company, apply that same logic to improve the job candidates’ experience.
  2. Tune in to season two of our UX design recruiting podcast and reach out to us if ever you’re in a UX recruitment crunch.
  3. After getting to this point in this article, you may not be surprised to learn that Chris Miller and his seasoned team at understand UX design recruiting and are here to help.

Paul Salvaggio discusses how to ace a video interview.

How to Avoid These Three Video Interview Fails

Do your Zoom job interviews get the same degree of forethought as your Facetime with friends? Industry data suggests, in this new normal of remote work and interactions, many job candidates appear a bit too casual during video interviews. Knowing that you get one chance to make a good first impression, I prepared a three minute video explaining three key elements of a successful video interview. Listen in as I break down the prep, setup and execution phases below.

01  |  Candidate Preparation

  • Research – Know the company’s mission and prepare a few questions. 
  • Appearance – Dress to impress (within reason) not casually.
  • Material – Resume, questions , water bottle and phone.

02  |  Media Setup

  • Video – Make sure the camera works and the lens is at eye level.
  • Lighting – Place lighting behind the camera to avoid an unlit face
  • Audio – Test audio using the computer audio and backup headphones

03  |  Interview Execution

  • Room – Display only a clutter free, neutral color wall as the background. 
  • Eyes – Eye contact into the camera lens not the display screen.
  • Position – Your head must be at top of screen
Paul Salvaggio - Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scene: Check out this photo my daughter snapped while I was recording. I essentially McGyvered my desk so my phone’s camera lens and my eyes aligned. You’ll likely use your laptop but the concept is the same. As previously mentioned, the lighting is behind the camera and the background is a clutter-free, neutral colored wall. Remember, follow the above steps as best you can to better assure you’ll ace the interview;  This means McGyver if you must!

Next Steps: As you get closer to your interview date, your point of contact would be happy to schedule a call to assess the above. Complete the form below once you’ve completed the above steps and ready to practice a mock job interview.