Provincial groups face recruitment problems

Provincial design groups around the British Isles are suffering a dearth of quality senior creatives because of the explosion in business so soon after the recent recession.

Ireland has been hit particularly hard by the shortage. The economic boom there has greatly increased the quantity of design projects, but Ireland does not have the volume of good senior designers to cope, says Garrett Reil, creative director at The Identity Business in Dublin.

“It’s hard to find good designers with more than two years experience,” Reil adds. He has recently advertised in the UK press for a senior designer. The shortage is greatest in original brand design as big business in Ireland has traditionally been dominated by foreign multinationals with ready-made identities, he says.

Ireland’s economic boom has translated into a building boom which has created a shortage of architects and interior designers, says Simon O’Dawd, business development manager at Dublin interiors specialist McNally Design.

While London consultancies are attracting a high level of creative talent, provincial UK consultancies are experiencing similar problems to Ireland, with good new media designers proving particularly elusive. “There are still more designers than jobs, but consultancies throughout the UK are finding it hard to get the right ones,” says DBA chief executive Ian Rowland-Hill.

The staff shortages are less apparent in London because it is perceived as “the place where design is at”, says Rowland-Hill. “The problem there is very often how to stop your best staff from being poached by the top consultancies,” he adds.

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