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The Top 8 Product Design Recruiters to Help You Find the Best Talent for Your Team

Table of Contents

  • [toc headings="h2,h3" title="Table of Contents"] Design talent is crucial for any production business, ensuring your products are functional, easy to use, and will appeal to the customers you're trying to reach. Yet that talent can be a challenge to find and hire, particularly when it comes to in-demand UI/UX talent, a field expected to grow by 23% over the next decade, far higher than the national workforce average. Working with a recruiter can help employers to overcome these challenges. Recruiting agencies have extensive candidate networks beyond what most business leaders can access, along with expertise on the best practices and current trends for hiring in the design space. This can make them a powerful partner for companies that need to find the best design talent. If this sounds like something you need, the eight recruiters below are among the top in the field.

  • The best product design recruiters

  • 1. Redfish Technology

  • With more than 25 years of experience recruiting top product designers, Redfish Technology has the established talent network and industry expertise you want from a recruiter. They work with companies across the United States, offering just-in-time recruitment that fills jobs with the right people when your business needs them. As a technology recruiter, they also have an in-depth understanding of trends in tech, putting the latest recruiting tools and technologies to work for their clients so they can make the right hire faster. Read more about Redfish Technology’s product design recruiting

  • 2. Hirey

  • Hirey's tight focus on product, content, and UI/UX design recruitment is at the heart of their ability to help growing companies build exceptional design teams. When they're hired for a search, they deliver hand-picked candidates within a week, and offer a 90-day warranty on all candidates placed. They also offer flexible solutions, including pay-per-hire, recruiting as a service, and HR advising. You'll find the same flexibility in their network of professionals, which includes remote workers as well as in-person employees for businesses around the world. Read more about Hirey’s product design recruiting

  • 3. Torch Group

  • For executive talent in the design space, Torch Group has been a leading recruiter of executive product development and management candidates for more than 30 years. They place candidates in just about any senior product designer role, from Product Managers through directors, VPs, and c-level leadership. To achieve this goal, they use a proprietary Signature Search Process backed by a 12-month guarantee, providing in-depth reports on candidates' skills, career potential, and culture fit. This in-depth methodology ensures they make a precise match every time, giving them placement retention rates far above the industry average. Read more about Torch Group's product design recruiting

  • 4. Wert&Co.

  • Since 1995, Wert&Co. has helped employers from Fortune 500 companies to growing startups to hire the creative and design talent they need to achieve their business goals. They are primarily focused on senior and leadership talent, conducting global mid-to-senior level searches across the design landscape, with a particular focus on creative leadership and diverse board members. They also offer advisory consulting to help your company improve its overall design culture and hiring process. In addition to product design talent, they recruit creatives for a number of positions, including UX and AI software designers and creative marketing talent to help clients build their brands. Read more about Wert & Co.’s product design recruiting

  • 5. 80Twenty

  • With offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, 80Twenty has a talent network that truly stretches from coast to coast. They pair this broad reach with the feel of a boutique recruiting agency, giving clients the one-on-one attention they'd expect from a smaller firm. This has made them the top-rated recruitment agency in all the cities where they operate, and they're the go-to recruiter for major organizations like Tesla and Clorox. Their 96% retention rate, 100-day guarantee, and 24-hour turnaround are just some of the reasons why. They can fill any opportunity in the design space, up through executive talent, and in a range of industries, from UI/UX and tech design to fashion and eCommerce. Read more about 80Twenty’s product design recruiting

  • 6. Palarino Partners

  • For product manager opportunities, Palarino Partners is one of the leading experts in the field. Their devotion to each search is part of what gives them a success rate over 95%, and helped them be named one of the 50 Most Valuable Brands of 2020. Their goal is to help companies build better design teams by starting from the top, making sure companies have the right person managing the project so all of their products can have a successful launch. Their in-depth vetting process means every candidate on their list has both the design skills and leadership ability they need for the job. Read more about Palarino’s product design recruiting

  • 7. Better Than Found

  • The recruiters at Better Than Found aren't just experts in finding talent, but have the same depth of knowledge about the industrial sector. Their intimate understanding of the entire product life cycle is one of the ways they connect clients with employees who will make a real impact once they're hired. Whether your organization needs a product design engineer, an industrial designer, a graphic designer, or product development leadership, BTF knows how to attract the right people for your role. Read more about Better Than Found’s product design recruiting

  • 8. Onward Search

  • Onward Search is an award-winning recruiter of creative, tech, and marketing talent that offers flexible hiring solutions for their clients. Their nationwide talent network includes both remote and on-site designers, who can be hired directly in a full-time placement, on a freelance or contract basis, or as a temp-to-hire arrangement. They place candidates in many design roles, from software and web design to product, packaging, and graphic design talent, as well as UX and content experts. They're also an excellent choice for companies concerned with DEI, with an inclusive team within their company and diverse array of job seekers in their network. Read more about Onward Search’s product design recruiting

  • Benefits of working with a product design recruiter

  • The main benefit of a recruiter is that they help companies hire better talent more quickly. Recruiting firms don't wait until they're brought on to a search to connect with candidates. They are always working to connect with new job seekers, and have established relationships with professionals they've worked with in the past. This means they don't have to spend as much time searching for candidates. Instead, they just need to activate the network they've already built, cutting down on the time-to-hire compared to in-house recruiting efforts. Along with this, recruiters can often connect with professionals that in-house hiring teams can't reach. These could be passive candidates who are interested in a new job but not actively searching, or established professionals with in-demand skills who may ignore messages from unknown recruiters, but will respond to one they already trust. Another advantage of using a recruiter is that hiring is all they do. This gives them expertise in the current job market and overall hiring best practices that in-house hiring teams simply don't have. Their tight focus is another part of why they can fill positions more quickly on average. The HR team in a business has a lot of other tasks on its plate, aside from hiring. Outsourcing your recruiting lets your HR staff focus their time on this critical work, while the recruiter focuses full-time on your search.

  • Tips for choosing the right product design recruiter

  • Just because a recruitment firm has a strong track record doesn't necessarily mean they're the right agency for your business. Choosing the right recruiter is the first step to making a successful hire. Here are some tips on how to choose the perfect recruitment services as an employer.

  • Understand the roles you're filling (beyond just job descriptions)

  • The more information you can give a recruiter about what you want from a perfect hire, the better they'll be able to find the right candidates. This starts with understanding the full responsibilities and required skills of the role, but there are other details you should consider, too. Think about your organization's values and work environment, as well as the size and structure of your team and how those might be changing in the future. Having a complete understanding of what you're looking for before you hire a recruiter lets you choose a firm perfectly matched to those needs.

  • Check out their track record and testimonials

  • If a recruiter is proud of the work they've done in the past, they'll likely share some testimonials and stats like their success rate or number of placements on their website. You can also search for the company on sites like Yelp!, Google, or Recruiterly to see how past clients have felt about their experience. If you can't find this information online, ask if they can share their success rate and other statistics. Seeing how they've performed in past searches is one of the best indications for their overall capabilities as a recruiting firm.

  • Research their talent pools and candidate network

  • A recruiter may be excellent at their job, but if they can't access the type of talent you need, their skills won't benefit you much. You also want to hire someone who isn't just going to go on LinkedIn or another job board, but will draw on resources you don't know about or can't access. A recruitment firm may not be willing to share the specifics of where they find talent, but they should be able to give you some insights into their sourcing process. If they're completely opaque about where and how they find candidates, that could be a red flag of a lack of transparency elsewhere in their process, as well.

  • Schedule an interview (and ask the right questions)

  • When you hire a recruiter, you're trusting them with a very crucial aspect of your business. That trust is crucial to a successful partnership, and something you want to make sure you can build from the start. Before you hire an agency, set up a time to chat with one of their recruiters about your role, company, and hiring needs. This is an excellent opportunity to not just gather some more information, but also to get a sense for how well you'll work together. Some great questions to ask during this conversation:

    • What types of positions do you recruit for most often, and what are their typical salary ranges?
    • What are the major steps in your recruiting process?
    • Once you've made a placement, what kind of follow up do you do with the candidate and company?
    • What metrics do you track on your agency's recruiting efforts, and what insights do those give you?
    • How do you approach difficult and challenging searches? What do you do when you're having difficulty filling a position?
    • How long on average does it take you to fill a role?
    • What happens if a company or client is not happy with the placement? How often has that happened, and how do you resolve those issues?

  • The bottom line on product design recruiters

  • The right product design recruiter can be an invaluable resource for growing businesses, helping you to build a better team in less time (and often for less money). If you have a challenging product design role to fill, reach out to one of the recruiters on the list above to find out how they can help.

Design talent is crucial for any production business, ensuring your products are functional, easy to use, and will appeal to the customers you’re trying to reach. Yet that talent can be a challenge to find and hire, particularly when it comes to in-demand UI/UX talent, a field expected to grow by 23% over the next decade, far higher than the national workforce average.

Working with a recruiter can help employers to overcome these challenges. Recruiting agencies have extensive candidate networks beyond what most business leaders can access, along with expertise on the best practices and current trends for hiring in the design space. This can make them a powerful partner for companies that need to find the best design talent. If this sounds like something you need, the eight recruiters below are among the top in the field.

The best product design recruiters

1. Redfish Technology

With more than 25 years of experience recruiting top product designers, Redfish Technology has the established talent network and industry expertise you want from a recruiter. They work with companies across the United States, offering just-in-time recruitment that fills jobs with the right people when your business needs them. As a technology recruiter, they also have an in-depth understanding of trends in tech, putting the latest recruiting tools and technologies to work for their clients so they can make the right hire faster.

Read more about Redfish Technology’s product design recruiting

2. Hirey

Hirey’s tight focus on product, content, and UI/UX design recruitment is at the heart of their ability to help growing companies build exceptional design teams. When they’re hired for a search, they deliver hand-picked candidates within a week, and offer a 90-day warranty on all candidates placed. They also offer flexible solutions, including pay-per-hire, recruiting as a service, and HR advising. You’ll find the same flexibility in their network of professionals, which includes remote workers as well as in-person employees for businesses around the world.

Read more about Hirey’s product design recruiting

3. Torch Group

For executive talent in the design space, Torch Group has been a leading recruiter of executive product development and management candidates for more than 30 years. They place candidates in just about any senior product designer role, from Product Managers through directors, VPs, and c-level leadership. To achieve this goal, they use a proprietary Signature Search Process backed by a 12-month guarantee, providing in-depth reports on candidates’ skills, career potential, and culture fit. This in-depth methodology ensures they make a precise match every time, giving them placement retention rates far above the industry average.

Read more about Torch Group’s product design recruiting

4. Wert&Co.

Since 1995, Wert&Co. has helped employers from Fortune 500 companies to growing startups to hire the creative and design talent they need to achieve their business goals. They are primarily focused on senior and leadership talent, conducting global mid-to-senior level searches across the design landscape, with a particular focus on creative leadership and diverse board members. They also offer advisory consulting to help your company improve its overall design culture and hiring process. In addition to product design talent, they recruit creatives for a number of positions, including UX and AI software designers and creative marketing talent to help clients build their brands.

Read more about Wert & Co.’s product design recruiting

5. 80Twenty

With offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, 80Twenty has a talent network that truly stretches from coast to coast. They pair this broad reach with the feel of a boutique recruiting agency, giving clients the one-on-one attention they’d expect from a smaller firm. This has made them the top-rated recruitment agency in all the cities where they operate, and they’re the go-to recruiter for major organizations like Tesla and Clorox. Their 96% retention rate, 100-day guarantee, and 24-hour turnaround are just some of the reasons why. They can fill any opportunity in the design space, up through executive talent, and in a range of industries, from UI/UX and tech design to fashion and eCommerce.

Read more about 80Twenty’s product design recruiting

6. Palarino Partners

For product manager opportunities, Palarino Partners is one of the leading experts in the field. Their devotion to each search is part of what gives them a success rate over 95%, and helped them be named one of the 50 Most Valuable Brands of 2020. Their goal is to help companies build better design teams by starting from the top, making sure companies have the right person managing the project so all of their products can have a successful launch. Their in-depth vetting process means every candidate on their list has both the design skills and leadership ability they need for the job.

Read more about Palarino’s product design recruiting

7. Better Than Found

The recruiters at Better Than Found aren’t just experts in finding talent, but have the same depth of knowledge about the industrial sector. Their intimate understanding of the entire product life cycle is one of the ways they connect clients with employees who will make a real impact once they’re hired. Whether your organization needs a product design engineer, an industrial designer, a graphic designer, or product development leadership, BTF knows how to attract the right people for your role.

Read more about Better Than Found’s product design recruiting

8. Onward Search

Onward Search is an award-winning recruiter of creative, tech, and marketing talent that offers flexible hiring solutions for their clients. Their nationwide talent network includes both remote and on-site designers, who can be hired directly in a full-time placement, on a freelance or contract basis, or as a temp-to-hire arrangement. They place candidates in many design roles, from software and web design to product, packaging, and graphic design talent, as well as UX and content experts. They’re also an excellent choice for companies concerned with DEI, with an inclusive team within their company and diverse array of job seekers in their network.

Read more about Onward Search’s product design recruiting

Benefits of working with a product design recruiter

The main benefit of a recruiter is that they help companies hire better talent more quickly. Recruiting firms don’t wait until they’re brought on to a search to connect with candidates. They are always working to connect with new job seekers, and have established relationships with professionals they’ve worked with in the past. This means they don’t have to spend as much time searching for candidates. Instead, they just need to activate the network they’ve already built, cutting down on the time-to-hire compared to in-house recruiting efforts.

Along with this, recruiters can often connect with professionals that in-house hiring teams can’t reach. These could be passive candidates who are interested in a new job but not actively searching, or established professionals with in-demand skills who may ignore messages from unknown recruiters, but will respond to one they already trust.

Another advantage of using a recruiter is that hiring is all they do. This gives them expertise in the current job market and overall hiring best practices that in-house hiring teams simply don’t have. Their tight focus is another part of why they can fill positions more quickly on average. The HR team in a business has a lot of other tasks on its plate, aside from hiring. Outsourcing your recruiting lets your HR staff focus their time on this critical work, while the recruiter focuses full-time on your search.

Tips for choosing the right product design recruiter

Just because a recruitment firm has a strong track record doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right agency for your business. Choosing the right recruiter is the first step to making a successful hire. Here are some tips on how to choose the perfect recruitment services as an employer.

Understand the roles you’re filling (beyond just job descriptions)

The more information you can give a recruiter about what you want from a perfect hire, the better they’ll be able to find the right candidates. This starts with understanding the full responsibilities and required skills of the role, but there are other details you should consider, too. Think about your organization’s values and work environment, as well as the size and structure of your team and how those might be changing in the future. Having a complete understanding of what you’re looking for before you hire a recruiter lets you choose a firm perfectly matched to those needs.

Check out their track record and testimonials

If a recruiter is proud of the work they’ve done in the past, they’ll likely share some testimonials and stats like their success rate or number of placements on their website. You can also search for the company on sites like Yelp!, Google, or Recruiterly to see how past clients have felt about their experience. If you can’t find this information online, ask if they can share their success rate and other statistics. Seeing how they’ve performed in past searches is one of the best indications for their overall capabilities as a recruiting firm.

Research their talent pools and candidate network

A recruiter may be excellent at their job, but if they can’t access the type of talent you need, their skills won’t benefit you much. You also want to hire someone who isn’t just going to go on LinkedIn or another job board, but will draw on resources you don’t know about or can’t access. A recruitment firm may not be willing to share the specifics of where they find talent, but they should be able to give you some insights into their sourcing process. If they’re completely opaque about where and how they find candidates, that could be a red flag of a lack of transparency elsewhere in their process, as well.

Schedule an interview (and ask the right questions)

When you hire a recruiter, you’re trusting them with a very crucial aspect of your business. That trust is crucial to a successful partnership, and something you want to make sure you can build from the start. Before you hire an agency, set up a time to chat with one of their recruiters about your role, company, and hiring needs. This is an excellent opportunity to not just gather some more information, but also to get a sense for how well you’ll work together. Some great questions to ask during this conversation:

  • What types of positions do you recruit for most often, and what are their typical salary ranges?
  • What are the major steps in your recruiting process?
  • Once you’ve made a placement, what kind of follow up do you do with the candidate and company?
  • What metrics do you track on your agency’s recruiting efforts, and what insights do those give you?
  • How do you approach difficult and challenging searches? What do you do when you’re having difficulty filling a position?
  • How long on average does it take you to fill a role?
  • What happens if a company or client is not happy with the placement? How often has that happened, and how do you resolve those issues?

The bottom line on product design recruiters

The right product design recruiter can be an invaluable resource for growing businesses, helping you to build a better team in less time (and often for less money). If you have a challenging product design role to fill, reach out to one of the recruiters on the list above to find out how they can help.