Most Unusual But Effective Places To Find Your Next Designer/Developer
Finding your future startup’s rockstar developer/designer isn’t an easy task. If you’re looking to grow a startup, it is best that you always think about the long term when it comes to recruiting. The first thing you should be asking yourself is whether or not you can work with this person throughout the lifespan of your startup. Early designers/developers will be with you everyday, so make sure you are seeking for someone that you could get along with. The reason I’m saying this is because a lot of people want to hire someone from Odesk or Elance and get things done. This may work for the time being, but you always want someone who can get on your team with you. With that said, let’s take a look at a few places where you could find these rockstars/unicorn/hackers etc.
You’ll be surprised on how easy it is to find your next designer at Starbucks. Designers need their coffee too and a relaxing place like Starbucks usually fit in pretty well with them. Every Starbuck that I frequent, I’ve noticed that I always see a designer working on their projects. Starbucks is also the place where I meet the most developers. I found my very first graphic designer at a local Starbucks. At the time, I was looking for someone to help design custom logos and designs for my cell phone accessory online store. How it happen was that I noticed that there was a random guy in the corner who was always messing around with photoshop, so I approached him and asked if he was a graphic designer. I briefly introduced myself and went over what I needed with him and that same day I got me a new designer.
2. Barnes and Nobles
It’s true, the bookstore is an excellent place to find graphic designers. Try to stroll pass the photography and design sections of the store and engage with people that are reading design books. You could find your next designer/developer anywhere in the store, but typically the passionate developers and designers hang around their sections. Same with Starbucks, a lot of them are grabbing coffee in the corner with their laptops. Approach those people and introduce yourself. I met someone who ran an ecommerce startup in the entrepreneur books section of Barnes and Nobles. He literally approached me and asked if I was into entrepreneurship, little did we know, we ended up chatting for hours.
Dribbble.com is the ultimate designer hangout spot. If you can’t find your next designer/developer there, then I don’t know where else you can go. The key is to filter out all the designers that you do not need. For example, you might only want a designer that lives in the same city as you. That way you two can meet up and discuss goals. It is always much better to discuss in person and set milestones rather than try to reach your employee online. The most awesome thing about dribbble is how you can view their work first. Before hiring him as your next designer, view their work and see if it matches your style.
Meetup.com is one of the best place for you to search for any local event or any talent for your startup in general. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, your certainly going to be able to find designer meets around your local area. Usually in the bigger cities, you can find professional designer meetups daily if not weekly. A lot of “idea guys” don’t attend Hackathon or Meetups because they feel like they don’t know how to present themselves at those events. Don’t worry too much about it, there are a lot of “idea guys” there as well. Make sure when you are out to find your next designer, you aren’t talking to them like you are smarter or better than them. Don’t make them feel that you are trying to tell them what is right. Make comments when necessary, but don’t hog it and be friendly. Offer to treat the designers to coffee afterwards.
If you must find somebody online quick, then 99designs is the best place to go. This website is highly praised by entrepreneurs and to most, it is much better than elance or odesk. It is a bit pricey though, but for your business/startup it should be worthit. The site revolves around campaigns or contest. So, pretty much you set up a campaign describing what you want and people will bid on your work with their samples. That way you can skim through to see which ones you like best and find your next designer there. Again, the downside is that it is a bit pricey, but the quality of work from locals is much much higher. You should only hire through this site after you’re unable to locate someone at the places above.
In additional to these, you could always use community forums. For example Reddit is a good place to look for a local. Look at forums related to design or forums that designers hang around on and try to reach out to them through there. Good luck on finding your next designer/developer!