Job applications, or how some designers are damn lazy

October 15, 2006 — 10 Comments

Some interesting new experiences over the last week. b5media started to look for a designer(s) to help us roll out some new blogs. Now to clarify this, this isn’t designing a new template work, that’s going to be happening next year, but it’s taking one of our existing templates (which I might add we have full copyright on) and adding colour and a header to it. Work which isn’t too hard, right?. Now we were talking fairly urgently about 20 odd layouts in a week, with somewhere between 30 to 100 after that. Potentially, particularly if the applicant was an individual, there was the consideration that we might even employ that person on a proper p/t or f/t basis as well if we were happy with their work and if they were interested.

So we advertise the role on Sitepoint, and get 20-25 odd applications. Most of them were embarassing. You know, you’d think if you were applying for work you’d include more than 1-2 lines or text, or on the other hand actually provide samples of your work, or links to your portfolio. Nope. Apparently it’s not the done thing in designer circles. Apparently some designers are too self important to indulge in actually trying to win a contract, after all, as the company owner we should know them by their reputation, right?

We’ll fast forward and I short list 6. Some of them I’ve never heard of before, having said that though, they were courteous enough to write a decent application and provide links to portfolios or sample of their work. So I send out an email, as advised to from a high, to the short listed applicants discussing where we are at, and asking them whether they could mock up, with some colours, a b5media template so I can get some idea who to pick. Not unreasonable, right? I was wary of the fact that designers are picky about doing so-called work for free, which is why I stated things in the email like it doesn’t have to be on a webpage for us to see, just a jpg or similar, after all, how the hell are we suppose to select a final designer? AND I’D NOTE, I”M NOT EVEN TALKING SCRIPTING EITHER. COLOURS AND A LOGO TO AN EXISTING TEMPLATE. They could claim copyright on the mock up all they wanted, I mean shit, it would have taken most of them 10 minutes in photoshop to take a jpg or png of the test site they were given, and inject some colour into it. Now remember this is thousands of dollars of work we’re talking about, potentially over the longer term tens of thousands, or even a p/t or f/t job for someone….so what happened next? one of the designers leaks to 9rules that apparently we’re trying to rip them off. To that designer, which ever of the 6 you are, if you’re reading this, have the guts to own up to who you are, then stick your application up your arse. If you had a problem with what I requested, you could have taken it up with me, indeed a simple email saying that you’d prefer to have not done so would have sufficed. Indeed we could have chatted on your “vision” as to how the template would have looked…anything alternatively that could have convinced me you wanted the work and were deserving of it…but so it would seem, the fact is that you’re probably too far up yourself anyway for us to want to hire you.

And here’s another thing, we got a pile of applications for web designers out of India and Eastern Europe, some with some pretty impressive portfolios. A couple were on the short list. Given what’s gone on here, is it little wonder that companies take their design work outside of North America? We’ll see how things go.

Update: we are now offering the shortlisted candidates reasonable compensation should they wish to mock up a template for us. Having said this though, is there any other job out there that you’d get paid for just to apply for? Go figure.