From education to employment

How to Hire a Remote Graphic Designer in 2022

Graphic design is an essential tool for businesses today – it is needed across many of a company’s operations, from in-house emails, newsletters, posters, to publicity materials and more. However, if you are a small set-up, you may not have a need for in-house designers like big corporations do. How then, can you get your creative work done, without paying for an employee that you may not need throughout the year? Well, this year, you’re in luck, because you’ll have your pick of talented graphic designers from an increasing pool of freelancers.

Since the pandemic started in 2020, working from home and hybrid work have become accepted, and some may even say that they are here to stay. Today, offices can be anywhere – your home, a café, or even a bench in the park! Gone are the days of being stuck to your desk fielding calls and emails every day, and attending meetings that last longer than they actually should. People are starting to see that working from wherever they want to be can actually be extremely viable.

If you’re here, you’ve probably already considered the possibility of hiring freelance graphic designers, so read on for some tips on hiring remote ones.

  • Try to go beyond conventional job search databases. 

One common channel employers head to, to source for candidates are job search platforms. However, while that’s one of the more straightforward ways to find the person you need, experienced freelance workers do not generally embark on job searches frequently, so reaching out to one when you need to pose some problems. You may then consider the following channels:

  • On-demand creative platforms 

Specialised on-demand platforms can help you find job candidates whose skills and experience align with the criteria you set. Not to be confused with job sites where just about anyone can bid for an assignment, such platforms have talent managers to do all the legwork for you. They will source for promising candidates from their talent pool, and take on the arduous task of  screening potential candidates and conducting preliminary interviews – all you’ll need to do is to review a few screened applicants!

  • Team members
    Employee referrals can be one of the most reliable hiring tools. Your team members will generally be highly unlikely to recommend someone who isn’t likely to perform well – doing this will only make work harder for them! To encourage your people to recommend graphic designers that can be assets to your team, try offering incentives for every successful onboarding.
  • Rally your contacts
    Every one of us knows a friend who’s good at something. So, simply reach out to your connections, whether formal or informal, and ask if they know any good candidates for the job.
  • Consider starting candidates on a trial project. 

When it comes to hiring a graphic designer, you’ll be mainly looking at your job candidates’ portfolios more than qualifications. We recommend going even further than that, as suggested by Keith Koons. Those in the creative field can vouch for this – final artwork from graphic designers often go through rounds and rounds of revisions, and there’s no guarantee that your candidate can work well without guidance from an experienced art director like he or she might have in her previous company.

You can consider offering a paid trial, where you get candidates to do some work that they would actually have to do as a remote graphic designer in your company. This enables you to assess just how your candidates are able to align their work with your company’s values, as well as whether their working styles bode well with your team’s.

  • Request for a short video interview. 

Even though we live in a Zoom world now, it can be difficult to see if someone’s a good fit for the company if you’ve never worked with them or personally spoken to them. This can be an issue for graphic design work, as assignments sometimes involve sharing and discussing concepts, sketches and ideas verbally. When you initiate your interview, rather than simply communicating via email, do consider setting up a video meeting to talk about how working together could possibly be like. 

  • Be willing to pay for talent

If you’ve spoken to freelancers, you might have heard someone say something along the lines of “Would you believe it, a prospective employer asked if I could reduce my rate by 50% – they told me that someone else was happy to receive only 20% of my asking rate! I immediately rejected their offer – it was way too ridiculous.”

While budget is an understandable concern for every company, our take on this is that sometimes, you get what you pay for. Many a time, companies that manage to procure the services of a graphic designer at a low price may realise that the said designer isn’t able to live up to expectations. This, more often than not, can lead to costly delays, or even a frantic last-minute search for a new designer.

That’s not to say that you have to squeeze your budget dry to pay top dollar for someone whose services you cannot afford.  We do recommend that you pick candidates based on their skills and how their working styles align with your team instead of someone with the most affordable rate – within a reasonable budget, of course.

It can be quite a challenge to hire a graphic designer if you aren’t quite familiar with the creative industry. Also, with the multitude of talents out there in this pandemic-induced freelancer boom, you may be overwhelmed, and that is alright. You can just focus on shortlisting a few candidates with the skills and portfolio you feel good about. Then, go ahead and ask them questions and perhaps work on a few trial projects to see which candidate connects best with you. Cheers to your company’s new creative pursuits!


Eileen Chan is Commercial Director at Hire Digital, which helps enterprises and high-growth startups build and enhance their digital capabilities with a world-class network of digital marketers, developers, and designers. Clients including Expedia, Shopify and Philips have access to high performing talents on demand.

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