First post, April 24th 2005

I have another post up my sleeve, but naturally, the reflections of blogging for one whole year today, but until I get around to writing that tonight, here’s a repost of my first post evah 🙂 And, while I can’t blog about it, I must add that I heard a particularly savoring story of the blowback I refer to in this post, earlier this afternoon. Yay for prescience!

April 24, 2005

Open letter to design studios, on hiring etiquette

observation is limited to the design industry, to studios of all sizes,
flavors and locations. I’m not sure yet whether it’s due to the nature
of your profession, which leads to the need for an attitude, a hipness,
a certain cultlike culture to be projected outward to portray success
or whether it’s due to "we’re so creative and busy, we let these things
slide" or a bit of both but design studios have the reputation for
being some of the rudest companies during the "hiring dance".

My experience has been largely through hearsay while working with
numerous grad students nearing the end of their degree and beginning
their job searches along with some personal interactions of my own.

I’m not asking you to respond to every unsolicited portfolio, resume
or URL. What I am asking you to do, is that once you have begun a
dialogue, and it has reached a certain depth, two or three hour long
phone interviews, perhaps a visit to the office, or in some cases over
7 weeks of conversations, it behooves you to end the relationship with
a modicum of courtesy or closure. Not radio silence once you fill the

This is more noticeable when the employer has been actively pursuing
the candidate, with emails and follow ups and phone calls, until the
final interview and decision making stage. Then the classic reaction to
the email or phone call sent by the applicant, asking if the decision
has been made. Silence.

Far better to respond with a quick note to say that the position has
been filled by another, though we would have loved to have you work
with us. Takes two minutes of your time.

For keep in mind that any designer that you called in and spoke to,
or looked at their portfolio, if good enough to attract your attention,
is going to be around the same small industry we all work in, and may
show up in a collaborator’s office, a client’s design department or
across the table in management, if not working for the competition. Do
you then want the bad taste of the silent ending or discourteous lack
of response in the form of blowback?

Empathy for the other goes a long way.

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