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The Position

A growing packaging and equipment solutions client was in a time crunch to find a new Graphics/ Packaging Designer to join their team. The management team had just promoted their full-time graphics designer into an expanded role and felt that it would be a quick search to replace the newly promoted designer. Their ideal candidate was not out of line with industry requirements. They were looking for someone with a degree in graphics design coupled with a packaging design background, the typical proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite applications and requisite creativity. It was a great opportunity for a permanent, in-house graphic design position offering a competitive salary, stability, and room for growth. Pretty standard, right?

The Challenge

The challenge (This would not be fun without a challenge, right? Well, it would be fun but not realistic!) was the location. The position was in a newly and nicely renovated, but very hard to commute to, industrial building in Brooklyn. The commute was a turnoff and the location less than appealing for its lack of close-by eateries. Additionally, the client determined that it would even be more ideal to bring on a strong graphics designer who was multi-lingual. This position would be the point person for all of their customers’ artwork needs with projects ranging from adjusting existing design to developing new graphics with customers from all parts of the globe. Communication skills would be just as critical as the graphic design.

The Search

Did I mention that we started the search the week before Thanksgiving? Facing a critical time crunch, as the client had already been on the search themselves for several weeks, I reached out to my network. Clearly, commute was a factor to success. I narrowed the search to those at a commutable distance, who were multilingual designers and who had not left town for the holiday!

The Match

After screening candidates for skills, motivation, and portfolios, I narrowed down the pool to ten candidates. The client phone interviewed seven and then we partnered together to identify the top three which were interviewed on site. Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, my client’s team fell head over heels for a freelance graphics designer looking to make a home with a growing company. She brought an energy and enthusiasm to the table that instantly made her part of their family. Her portfolio spoke to them as fresh and edgy and exactly what they were seeking. They called me with the intention of making her an offer while she was still on her way home from the interview.

The Follow-Up

Five months in and my candidate has settled in to her role. The client is thrilled that she has also brought to them a much improved artwork tracking and archiving process. She has had one international trip thus far to meet with clients in person and her multilingual skills have facilitated communication with several other foreign clients. The company also offers a daily shuttle service for their employees to nearby subway stops to make the commute easier. They have also brought in a chef to prepare healthy meals three days a week on site to accommodate for the lack of close-by eating establishments.

A Side Note

I learned later that the client loved the fact that, after her interview, as the shuttle driver brought her to her subway stop she asked the driver what he liked most about working at the company. His reply was that they were a small company, and growing but best of all, they all looked out for each other. They functioned like a work family, and he appreciated that. And, the company appreciated that she asked.

Do you have a hiring need or want to talk about your job search?  I’d be happy to work with you!

Rachel Pereira, Direct and Digital Marketing Practice Lead

Smith Hanley Associates, LLC

[email protected], 203.319-4307


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