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What to Look for When Hiring Design Employees

Building systems design projects are highly complex, and hiring the right employees is critical to your ability to deliver successful outcomes that satisfy the needs of your clients. During the hiring process, you’ll need to find designers who possess the right blend of experience, qualifications and personal traits that will set them up for success with the different types of projects you take on.

Critical Qualities to Look for in a Good Design Candidate

The following criteria are important to consider when hiring employees for your company or design company:


Building systems design work is highly technical, and your employees must possess the right educational background to perform the work. Look for candidates who have completed relevant degrees or certifications in engineering or a related field. This will ensure they possess the proper foundation of technical knowledge in design principles, codes and regulations.

Years of Experience in the Industry

While years of experience doesn’t always guarantee a candidate will be the right fit for your team, it is often an important indicator that they possess the background and skills necessary to perform the work. A designer with years of experience will have worked on a wider range of projects, and this extensive experience will often translate into a deeper understanding of industry nuances, challenges and best practices.

In addition, you should look for employees who possess relevant experience in your specific niche. For example, if you primarily focus on fire protection projects, an ideal candidate will have demonstrated a track record of success in this sector of the industry.

Easy to Teach

new design employee being mentoredYour ideal employee should possess a willingness to learn and be open to new ideas. They should welcome mentorship and demonstrate an interest in learning about new methodologies and technology. When you hire individuals with a growth mindset and a curiosity to expand their knowledge and skills, you’re more likely to have employees that will develop into indispensable assets over time.


The building systems design industry is constantly evolving. In particular, technological advancements are driving the field forward at a rapid pace. Ideal candidates will have the adaptability necessary to adjust to these changes in industry standards. Look for individuals who have the ability to quickly learn how to use new tools, software and design methodologies. The ability to embrace change is vital to thriving in such a dynamic industry.


While reliability isn’t a quality specific to the building systems design industry, it is nevertheless an essential trait that must be possessed by anyone you hire. Reliable employees will inspire confidence in your clients and provide the support their teammates need. This is critical to fostering a positive work environment where all team members thrive and clients are consistently happy with your results.

For this reason, your ideal candidates should be able to demonstrate a track record of consistently delivering high quality work and an ability to meet all deadlines. In addition, candidates should be able to convey that they possess a strong sense of responsibility and accountability.

Hard Working

Building systems design work is challenging. It requires meticulous attention to detail, an ability to develop creative solutions to complex problems, and a commitment to excellence. Look for employees who exhibit a strong work ethic and a drive to exceed client expectations. Hard working employees will also demonstrate a willingness to confront challenges head on and have a desire to continuously improve their skills.

Team Player

ideal traits to look for when hiring design employeesDesign work is collaborative in nature. It requires employees to work with a variety of different stakeholders throughout a project, including engineers, architects, contractors and clients. In addition, they will often need to collaborate with other designers on their team to ensure the project is completed properly and adheres to all client specifications. A good team player will also possess valuable interpersonal skills that will foster a productive work environment and ensure everyone remains aligned on achieving the goals for the project.

Good Communicator

Good communication skills are critical in just about any field, and building systems design is no exception. Look for candidates who are able to convey complex concepts in a clear and concise manner. Strong written and verbal communications skills will help foster better collaboration with other team members and ensure the needs of your clients are being met every step of the way.

Future Goals

It’s also important to get a sense for a potential employee’s professional goals. Make sure you engage candidates about their desired career trajectory and growth goals to ensure they align with the demands of the role. Ask individuals how they envision growing in your company over the next few years. Finding employees who are driven and motivated to grow with your company will provide the right cultural fit.

DesignerHub Can Help You Hire the Right Design Employees

Searching for employees who are a good fit for your design company can be a time consuming and challenging process. At DesignerHub, we can help you streamline the process and ensure you get your next hire right.

DesignerHub is a symbiotic community consisting of professionals across every aspect of the building systems design industry. When you join our community, you’ll be able to network with other professionals to help each other achieve your goals.

Our Resume Board has been created to help design companies more easily find the right employees to address their specific needs. Browse our Resume Board to find qualified applicants for any position you’re looking to fill.

Candidate profiles contain a great deal of the information discussed above. You can review bio points for candidates to get a better sense for the type of person you’ll be hiring. The board allows you to filter by industry to reduce the volume of profiles and ensure you’re reviewing the ones that best address your needs. You can also filter by salary and years of experience to make sure you’re focusing on individuals who fit any criteria you have established for these items.

DesignerHub makes the right connections at the right times to help you succeed. Join today to find the right employees for your company.

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I have been in this industry for over twenty years and I only know of about two freelance designers. They are just hard to find. DesignerHub has become a great resource for us to find that next freelance designer.