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Job finding and recruitment in interior design

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Where can you search for an interior design role, and how should practices find candidates to join their teams? We take a look at the options.

Whether you’re just beginning your career as an interior designer, or looking for your next role, maximising your chances of finding a job means looking in all the right places, and calling on the expertise of the right professionals.

And if the shoes on the other foot and you’re the person doing the recruiting, you’ll want to make sure the opportunity you’re offering is seen where you’ll attract a broad range of candidates with great potential or who are already the possessors of the career experience and specialisms you’re looking for.

But where are the best places to search as a candidate, and advertise your job as a recruiter? We’ve taken a look at some of the best options, and we’ve also asked BIID Affiliate member Simon Hamilton of Design Career Consulting to share some of his expertise.

Simon has worked as a career advisor for individuals and selected design schools on an ad-hoc basis since 2015. He explains: ‘The main catalyst for starting Design Career Consulting came in late 2019 when I decided to consolidate my experience of interior design, mentoring and specialist recruitment. My career includes over 11 years running my own interior design consultancy and seven years of recruiting in the UK, European and Asian markets. This included several in-house consultant positions for interior design and architectural practices. It was a natural progression to develop my career advice services under my own brand.’

Places to search or post a job

Begin with your professional institution! You can browse the BIID jobs board for opportunities and, if you’re recruiting rather than searching, post jobs here, too. The BIID also shares jobs via our social channels, so make sure you’re following us for the latest.

Looking more widely, Simon says: ‘Broadly speaking social media platforms like Instagram and design-dedicated websites like Dezeen Jobs are very good starting points. Numerous vacancies across all design disciplines and levels appear daily. I regularly post advice and tips on my Instagram @designcareerldn. LinkedIn also has a very active jobs section. The careers page of a company’s website is also an obvious source. The Guardian newspaper has a very active jobs section which includes numerous creative and design roles.’

Consider a recruitment agency

As a candidate, it’s worth considering contacting recruitment agencies. ‘Recruitment agencies are busier than I’ve seen for years as there has been a surge in demand for design projects,’ says Simon.

‘Find a couple of agencies that specialise in your creative sector and get to know some of the consultants. Discuss what you are looking for and be clear about your aims and availability. It helps to be organised, reliable and proactive to create and maintain a good relationship with them. They will be able to help you more when they know you personally.’

As a recruiter, using an agency has the advantage of saving you time by identifying people who meet the job criteria you have drawn up, and carrying out preliminary screening and interviews. An agency may also be able to identify people who aren’t currently searching for a role but could nevertheless be open to something new if approached. Their insight on salaries in your sector could prove valuable, and their awareness of candidate expectations can be useful so you can make someone a job offer confident that there isn’t a huge gap between what you are prepared to pay and what the candidate will accept.

Examine your recruiting practices

In need of a designer for your practice rather than being a job-searcher? Whether you are recruiting for a newly qualified designer post or looking for someone with more experience, make sure you are reaching a diverse range of candidates. ‘Interior design practices can be more inclusive in recruiting by looking closely at their existing approach and processes,’ advises Simon.

Potential candidates do not always come through traditional channels, so the profile and perception of a practice makes a difference. Diversity takes a lot of forms, so practices need to be aware of this and ensure they can reach a wide and diverse audience.

‘The BIID has identified a gap between qualifying and starting work through a recent survey, so this could be addressed with better representation, through social media, advertising and a practice's own website,’ he recommends.

Job seeking and finding candidates

There are plenty of places to search for a role if you’re a job seeker, or to advertise an opportunity you’re offering in your interior design practice. Look to the BIID’s jobs board, the websites of individual practices, media such as Dezeen and The Guardian, the network LinkedIn, as well as Instagram and other social media.

Major career sites such as Indeed, Reed and Totaljobs also offer roles and consider, too, taking advantage of the skills of recruitment agents whether you are looking for a job or searching for staff.