With a full year of growth ahead of us, we knew we needed more support within our Design Department. A few short weeks ago, we set out on a mission to find a new Graphic Design Assistant to add to our team. It had to be someone amazingly talented, uncanningly witty and committed to helping our entire network of Dealers/Designers flourish their businesses. We spread the word of the open position through our blog, to AIGA Orange County, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and the Laguna College of Art and Design. The end result: we discovered so much talent out there!
We knew that with Wedding Season quickly approaching, immediate deadlines were looming over the department, so we needed someone who could hit the decks running. The hiring process was so much fun for us here at Envelopments and most of the applicants agreed that they had never gone through such a unique process.
Round 1 began with a call for entries, asking interested designers to digitally submit resumes and portfolios. After reviewing the materials, we invited designers to Round 2, which encouraged applicants to “show us how their creativity unfolds”. We asked the designers to create and submit a wedding invitation in a 5×7 Pocket Folds enclosure, a baby announcement in a 4×5 Z-Card and a self-branding piece in a shape of their choosing. By this point, we could definitely see the personal style and the thumbprint that each designer left on their submissions.
The herd began to thin out and we invited a select few to participate in Round 3, the final round of the application process. One by one, the designers came in for an interview. We got the chance to meet each person and learn more about them. Before the respective interviews, we asked the applicants to complete a series of questions, each meant to give us a peek into who they are as designers and as human beings:
- A] What do you like about Envelopments?
- B] What do you hope to gain from working at Envelopments?
- C] What is the best design project you’ve completed and why?
- D] What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- E] Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- F] What is the theme song for your life?
Excitedly, we kicked off a week of interviews. We began by asking the applicants to elaborate on the work they included in their portfolios and their previous work experience (standard run-of-the-mill interview procedure). Then we discussed their creative submissions from the Round 2 Challenge, which let us know more about their technical strengths. The third portion was something that really helped us narrow down the candidate who fit best for the needs of Envelopments.
Rather than running down a list of standard questions, we created a list of our own to ask the applicants. Still acknowledging the boundaries of what we could and could not ask, we assigned the questions to letters of the alphabet. Then we printed the letters on our patterned card stocks and collected them in a fish bowl. We put the fate of each designer into their own hands and asked them to pull out the letters that correspond to the questions we would ask. Here are a few samples of what we were dying to know:
- What color represents you?
- What is the last thing you mailed via USPS?
- What is your current design obsession?
- What is your favorite font?
- Other than graphic design, what is your creative outlet?
- What blogs do you read? Do you participate in social media?
- How do you successfully stay organized?
- How do you deal with stress and pressure?
- Would you rather receive an A- for an individual project or a B+ for a group project?
- When you first begin a design project, do you grab a pencil and paper or gravitate to a mouse and keyboard?
Needless to say, we had several great candidates (with very interesting answers!). But there was one who we felt was best able to answer to the immediate needs of our department. And without further ado, we introduce the newest addition to our team, Lindsey Boureston: