E-commerce Link: Seeking Experience
Having hired many user experience (UX) freelancers, and now taking on the role of a freelancer myself, I know how difficult it can be to find the right match between project, team and UX specialist. Here are a handful of tips on finding the right freelance candidate for your open UX position.
Source Quality Resumes
When looking for the right freelancer, it's daunting to even know where to begin, particularly if UX isn't a core discipline for your organization. Finding a good resource requires starting with a good pool of applicants.
Online Sourcing: There are a number of fantastic websites where you can browse resumes for creative talent, and post your open positions to instantly reach qualified candidates. Some of these sites charge per position filled, others require a monthly membership fee.
Professional Organizations: Organizations like the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA), the Interaction Design Association (IxDA), and the Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI) also can be strong sources of talent.
One word of caution, though: recruits coming from these types of associations tend to be a bit more academic. Sometimes these recruits are too focused on correct design process and procedure. They may have a harder time rolling with the punches than someone who is accustomed to the trenches of project delivery.
Staffing Agencies: These can be a big help for sourcing candidates, particularly if you don't have the time or expertise to review a stack of UX resumes. That said, I advise three notes of caution:
- Agencies can be expensive. Make sure you make the best use of what you're paying for.
- Top-of-the-line talent generally doesn't need an agency to help market themselves. People who are great at their jobs are in constant demand. Those who they know from their network (and their network's network) are generally able to keep them more than busy.
- Recruiting agencies are extraordinarily difficult to shake. Once you've reached out, your recruiting contacts will be constantly pestering you for lunch, coffee or happy hour to discuss upcoming staffing opportunities. They'll fill your voicemail box. They'll send desk calendars and maybe even a box of pears at Christmas. Be very certain about what you're doing before inviting a recruiter into your life.
Ask Hard Questions
Generally, when you're in need of freelance manpower, it's because you have more work to do than your full-time staff can handle. It's tempting to choose the first promising resume and hurry through the recruiting process to get someone cranking ASAP. Don't do that.