Vox pop

Feelings have been running high in Design Week’s Letters page about the validity of New Designers as a showcase of graduate design. Where do you go to recruit fresh talent and why?

‘New Designers is a great showcase, but I don’t usually have time to attend. I normally recruit designers via trusted contacts. Also, I use my close contacts with various universities to identify promising new talent. I offer students work experience, which is a good stage to introduce them to a highly pressured team environment and allows me to adapt them to our working practices.’

Desirée Collier, Head of creative, Capital Radio

‘We tend to employ one Graduate each year, sometimes two, but never through New Designers. Where possible we re-employ placement students who we know and who know us, so the emphasis is switched to the selection of the placement candidates, not the graduates. Attitudes and approach become more important than qualifications and portfolios.’

David Dalziel, Creative director, Dalziel & Pow

‘When recruiting, I use Design Week, recommendations and agencies. New Designers enables me to assess the standard of each year’s graduates and courses. This helps when reviewing CVs. Recognising a candidate’s work from the exhibition at interview shows they have previously made an impression.’

Joe Ferry, Acting head of design, Virgin Atlantic Airways

‘To ensure we get the cream of the crop we have developed a structured programme. This includes talent scouting-specific degree shows, an on-going placement scheme, and a poster campaign to selected colleges every two years. Last year we devoted our website to interested graduates from May onwards and held show-and-tell days – an informal opportunity for graduates to come and look at our work, and discuss theirs.’

Stuart Redfern, Creative head, Smith & Milton

‘Serendipity. It’s all about relationships. We went to New Designers once – it was a sea of designers, just like seeing piles of CVs. We prefer to go to colleges we have a trusted relationship with. Colleges are getting better at offering a ‘brand’ of graduate for a particular market and are much more focused – it makes it easier for employers to pick from the best.

Michael Rodber, Director, Jones Garrard

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