How to Hire a Remote Graphic Designer

The time has finally come for the business to expand, and graphic design is a necessary hire. Take a look at this guide to make sure you will hire the very best remote graphic designer.

Written by Anja Simic
August 12, 2021

How to Hire a Remote Graphic Designer

The time has finally come for the business to expand, and graphic design is a necessary hire. Take a look at this guide to make sure you will hire the very best remote graphic designer.

Written by Anja Simic
August 12, 2021

If you are interested in hiring a great graphic designer, we hate to break it to you, but you might already be too late. They are all taken! In all seriousness, graphic design is on the rise, and hiring someone who can turn your complicated ideas into a visually appealing reality might not be as easy as you thought. This profession is very sought out, and although there are many who carry this title, not all of them have the skills to back it up. However, if you opt for hiring a remote graphic designer your chances of recruiting top talent grow significantly higher.

Why hire a remote graphic designer?

Many assume that remote positions are only for those working part-time, like an additional job that you do at night or weekends. Although it used to be like that, nowadays that is very far from the truth. A remote graphic designer position can be a full-time position for a dedicated person that will be an essential part of your team. The fact that they are remote will play a huge part. There are many benefits to hiring remote workers, but we will list the most important ones for employees looking for graphic designers.

  • You can look for your new hire anywhere

Working remotely means that you can work from anywhere, for anyone. For employees that means that you can hire anyone in the world. So, when your local community doesn’t have the resource you so desperately covet, you can simply look up online and find a freelancer that can help your business flourish.

  • Remote workers are usually self-taught and self-motivated

Working away from the office and without constant back-and-forth banter with the colleagues can get a bit dull after a while. But only to those who aren’t used to that kind of modus operandi. The ones who are committed to a remote work career are already veterans and need little or no guidance, investment, or encouragement. In the long run, this can really pay off.

  • Remote graphic designer jobs pay less than their in-office counterparts

Do you know what else can pay off? Hiring remote workers. When you have the entire world to choose from, you can look for top talents in countries with a significantly lower cost of living, and reap the benefits. Choosing to work with a remote graphic designer can have a significant impact on your budget and that is not something you should easily neglect.

Remote graphic designer - scope of work template

Before you post an ad for remote graphic design jobs, you should know what is and isn’t their job description. Let’s start with a sample designer scope of work.

Role description

A designer works on the entire process of defining requirements, visualizing, and creating graphics including illustrations or logos. Also, the designer works on shaping the visual aspects of websites, product packaging, and more.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Translate client needs and brand strategies into design strategies
  • Collaborate with branding experts, front end developers, marketing, content, and other professionals to create media
  • Design visual concepts using graphic design tools including design software
  • Maintain technical knowledge by attending design workshops, participate in professional societies, review professional publications
  • Meet with clients/the art director to determine the scope of a project and to gain an understanding of what they want their proposed communications to look like. Create or incorporate illustrations, pictures, and designs to reflect the desired theme and tone of the communications.
  • Produce drafts for clients’ review and make revisions/incorporate changes based on the feedback received.

What a designer should(n't) do

The list isn’t long, but it’s thorough - graphic designers have a lot of work. However, or perhaps in spite of it, there is a lot of additional tasks that usually get assigned to them, unfairly. Here’s a couple:

  • Creating a social media strategy
  • Montaging and editing video content
  • Generating copy to accompany the designed visuals
  • Web design, as well as product design

Of course, it is possible to recruit a graphic designer that knows how to do all this, but it definitely won’t be their scope of work, and the level of quality will suffer. So, now that you know that they need to do, let’s see how you can choose the very best of them.

What kind of skills should a remote graphic designer have?

Graphic design is still considered a veteran’s sport, the one where years of experience prove to be necessary wisdom. However, having a fresh perspective can’t hurt and this industry isn’t dominated by age or any sort of other criteria other than the skill itself. So, in order to attract, hire, and ultimately retain the very best graphic designers you shouldn’t look for the level of education, experience, recommendation, or any other typical and traditional criteria. There are only two relevant components. The level of skill they have and how well would they work with the rest of your team. And here’s precisely what you should look for.

Graphic designer hard skills

Know what you want before you start looking for it.

The more precise you could be - the better. Why? Because graphic design isn’t a very narrow area. There are many profiles, techniques, software, niches…

So, what exactly are you looking for?

Do you need someone who will work in Photoshop every day to create brand materials?

Is Adobe certification a necessary requirement?

Are you a startup that needs a person who will take care of every design need, including UI/UX designer for your entire business model and customer experience?

Or would you rather hire two people, one that will be hired as a  UI designer, and the other for UX design? It’s possible that having two perspectives on this important process will benefit you in the long run.

It is possible that, in some cases, you would need to hire a web designer as well, someone that will work closely with your remote graphic designer. Perhaps you need an entire digital marketing team, who will oversee all the content generation.

No matter what your answer is, you should surely have it before you start looking for a designer. A very specific job title, especially in the field of flexjobs and design skills can make or break your job ad, making it that much easier, or nearly impossible, to recruit the right person.

Hire employees abroad, without setting up an entity

Get access to the world’s best talent. Hire full-time employees in 150 countries without having to set up a legal entity in a new country.

Learn more

Graphic designer soft skills

Which ones matter to you?

Don’t get us wrong, hard skills are very important. If you need someone who knows their way around HTML, CSS, or user experience, you can’t hire someone who doesn’t even know what that means. However, all the visual design certification won’t save you if you don’t know how to communicate, how to work with a team, and how to present your ideas- remotely.

Graphic designers are not always part of bigger, innovative, and creative teams, they often work alone, but they are required to cooperate with almost every other employee, especially in smaller companies. They are responsible for translating complex and vast ideas into neat and slick designs. And there is no hard skill or certificate for that.

Marketers, who are usually the closest collaborators know firsthand how difficult it is to find not someone qualified, but someone you can “click” with and make magic together. Also, that isn’t really something you can put in a job ad for a visual designer. Enter cultural fit!

Don’t neglect the cultural fit

Let’s say you’ve managed to recruit a great senior graphic designer, with an amazing portfolio, that has a good sense of typography and visuals, thinks outside of the box, and doesn’t use templates, has great certifications, and really admirable communication skills. However, the team has trouble working with them. Your team always has a Zoom hangout before the day starts, whereas they like to fire up their laptop early and start working before the daily meeting. You nurture informal verbal agreements, over video chat, but they prefer to have everything written. They are great, but they just aren't a good culture fit for your company.

This is why cultural fit needs to play a key role in hiring a position that is forced to cooperate with the majority of the company, and no graphic designer is able to work alone.

How to attract the very best remote graphic designer

When you decide to work remotely and you are able to hire from anywhere in the world, you expand your talent pool, but also your competition. Your potential employees can choose from literally any company in the world. This is why you need to make sure that you’ve offered them something they really care about. And for a graphic designer, it can be the following:

  • Great licensed software and the latest training

There is nothing worse for a visual designer than not providing them with the tools they require in order to do their job. Although there is a lot of free software, any professional will tell you that they are incomparable with what a paid license or premium subscription can do. Great visual design requires investment, but the return is fast and abundant.

  • Letting them use their creativity freely

One of the biggest expectations companies have from designers is to be creative. Unfortunately, as soon as they start working they are met with several and severe restrictions. Not allowing a creative person to express themselves ultimately leads to disappointment and the resolution of the business relationship. However, you need your hire to design something that fits your company. Finding the right balance should do the trick.

  • Include the (senior) graphic designer in the decision-making process

If you are designing a new product and the accompanying marketing campaign, ask your senior product designer if you can include the graphic designer in brainstorming sessions as well. The more they are included in the thought process, the easier it will be for them to come up with a solution everyone is comfortable with.

Remote graphic designer recruiting process

Now that you know what you are looking for, it’s time to start the job search.

Your first step should be coming up with a job ad to post on external job boards. The job postings should be as detailed as possible, enticing remote workers with job descriptions as well as benefits. Hiring remote team members starts here, so make sure you are attractive and interesting enough to attract top talent.

After that, make sure your recruiting process has at least two more segments - an interview and a task. During the interview, dedicate a significant portion of getting to know them, be curious about their personality, the preferred method of working and general preferences. This will give an insight into how ell would they work with your team. Instead of spending time discussing what they do and don’t know, simply give them an assignment. The result they come up with will tell you all you need to know about their skill level and about whether or not you would be comfortable, and happy, working with them.

Finally, don’t forget that remote onboarding is part of the recruiting process as well. In those first initial weeks, the support you show your new hire will have a significant impact on their retention. And any good HR will tell you - keeping employees is much cheaper than hiring new ones, so make sure when you hire them they are here to stay.

Further reading:

If you are interested in hiring a great graphic designer, we hate to break it to you, but you might already be too late. They are all taken! In all seriousness, graphic design is on the rise, and hiring someone who can turn your complicated ideas into a visually appealing reality might not be as easy as you thought. This profession is very sought out, and although there are many who carry this title, not all of them have the skills to back it up. However, if you opt for hiring a remote graphic designer your chances of recruiting top talent grow significantly higher.

Why hire a remote graphic designer?

Many assume that remote positions are only for those working part-time, like an additional job that you do at night or weekends. Although it used to be like that, nowadays that is very far from the truth. A remote graphic designer position can be a full-time position for a dedicated person that will be an essential part of your team. The fact that they are remote will play a huge part. There are many benefits to hiring remote workers, but we will list the most important ones for employees looking for graphic designers.

  • You can look for your new hire anywhere

Working remotely means that you can work from anywhere, for anyone. For employees that means that you can hire anyone in the world. So, when your local community doesn’t have the resource you so desperately covet, you can simply look up online and find a freelancer that can help your business flourish.

  • Remote workers are usually self-taught and self-motivated

Working away from the office and without constant back-and-forth banter with the colleagues can get a bit dull after a while. But only to those who aren’t used to that kind of modus operandi. The ones who are committed to a remote work career are already veterans and need little or no guidance, investment, or encouragement. In the long run, this can really pay off.

  • Remote graphic designer jobs pay less than their in-office counterparts

Do you know what else can pay off? Hiring remote workers. When you have the entire world to choose from, you can look for top talents in countries with a significantly lower cost of living, and reap the benefits. Choosing to work with a remote graphic designer can have a significant impact on your budget and that is not something you should easily neglect.

Remote graphic designer - scope of work template

Before you post an ad for remote graphic design jobs, you should know what is and isn’t their job description. Let’s start with a sample designer scope of work.

Role description

A designer works on the entire process of defining requirements, visualizing, and creating graphics including illustrations or logos. Also, the designer works on shaping the visual aspects of websites, product packaging, and more.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Translate client needs and brand strategies into design strategies
  • Collaborate with branding experts, front end developers, marketing, content, and other professionals to create media
  • Design visual concepts using graphic design tools including design software
  • Maintain technical knowledge by attending design workshops, participate in professional societies, review professional publications
  • Meet with clients/the art director to determine the scope of a project and to gain an understanding of what they want their proposed communications to look like. Create or incorporate illustrations, pictures, and designs to reflect the desired theme and tone of the communications.
  • Produce drafts for clients’ review and make revisions/incorporate changes based on the feedback received.

What a designer should(n't) do

The list isn’t long, but it’s thorough - graphic designers have a lot of work. However, or perhaps in spite of it, there is a lot of additional tasks that usually get assigned to them, unfairly. Here’s a couple:

  • Creating a social media strategy
  • Montaging and editing video content
  • Generating copy to accompany the designed visuals
  • Web design, as well as product design

Of course, it is possible to recruit a graphic designer that knows how to do all this, but it definitely won’t be their scope of work, and the level of quality will suffer. So, now that you know that they need to do, let’s see how you can choose the very best of them.

What kind of skills should a remote graphic designer have?

Graphic design is still considered a veteran’s sport, the one where years of experience prove to be necessary wisdom. However, having a fresh perspective can’t hurt and this industry isn’t dominated by age or any sort of other criteria other than the skill itself. So, in order to attract, hire, and ultimately retain the very best graphic designers you shouldn’t look for the level of education, experience, recommendation, or any other typical and traditional criteria. There are only two relevant components. The level of skill they have and how well would they work with the rest of your team. And here’s precisely what you should look for.

Graphic designer hard skills

Know what you want before you start looking for it.

The more precise you could be - the better. Why? Because graphic design isn’t a very narrow area. There are many profiles, techniques, software, niches…

So, what exactly are you looking for?

Do you need someone who will work in Photoshop every day to create brand materials?

Is Adobe certification a necessary requirement?

Are you a startup that needs a person who will take care of every design need, including UI/UX designer for your entire business model and customer experience?

Or would you rather hire two people, one that will be hired as a  UI designer, and the other for UX design? It’s possible that having two perspectives on this important process will benefit you in the long run.

It is possible that, in some cases, you would need to hire a web designer as well, someone that will work closely with your remote graphic designer. Perhaps you need an entire digital marketing team, who will oversee all the content generation.

No matter what your answer is, you should surely have it before you start looking for a designer. A very specific job title, especially in the field of flexjobs and design skills can make or break your job ad, making it that much easier, or nearly impossible, to recruit the right person.

Hire employees abroad, without setting up an entity

Get access to the world’s best talent. Hire full-time employees in 150 countries without having to set up a legal entity in a new country.

Learn more

Graphic designer soft skills

Which ones matter to you?

Don’t get us wrong, hard skills are very important. If you need someone who knows their way around HTML, CSS, or user experience, you can’t hire someone who doesn’t even know what that means. However, all the visual design certification won’t save you if you don’t know how to communicate, how to work with a team, and how to present your ideas- remotely.

Graphic designers are not always part of bigger, innovative, and creative teams, they often work alone, but they are required to cooperate with almost every other employee, especially in smaller companies. They are responsible for translating complex and vast ideas into neat and slick designs. And there is no hard skill or certificate for that.

Marketers, who are usually the closest collaborators know firsthand how difficult it is to find not someone qualified, but someone you can “click” with and make magic together. Also, that isn’t really something you can put in a job ad for a visual designer. Enter cultural fit!

Don’t neglect the cultural fit

Let’s say you’ve managed to recruit a great senior graphic designer, with an amazing portfolio, that has a good sense of typography and visuals, thinks outside of the box, and doesn’t use templates, has great certifications, and really admirable communication skills. However, the team has trouble working with them. Your team always has a Zoom hangout before the day starts, whereas they like to fire up their laptop early and start working before the daily meeting. You nurture informal verbal agreements, over video chat, but they prefer to have everything written. They are great, but they just aren't a good culture fit for your company.

This is why cultural fit needs to play a key role in hiring a position that is forced to cooperate with the majority of the company, and no graphic designer is able to work alone.

How to attract the very best remote graphic designer

When you decide to work remotely and you are able to hire from anywhere in the world, you expand your talent pool, but also your competition. Your potential employees can choose from literally any company in the world. This is why you need to make sure that you’ve offered them something they really care about. And for a graphic designer, it can be the following:

  • Great licensed software and the latest training

There is nothing worse for a visual designer than not providing them with the tools they require in order to do their job. Although there is a lot of free software, any professional will tell you that they are incomparable with what a paid license or premium subscription can do. Great visual design requires investment, but the return is fast and abundant.

  • Letting them use their creativity freely

One of the biggest expectations companies have from designers is to be creative. Unfortunately, as soon as they start working they are met with several and severe restrictions. Not allowing a creative person to express themselves ultimately leads to disappointment and the resolution of the business relationship. However, you need your hire to design something that fits your company. Finding the right balance should do the trick.

  • Include the (senior) graphic designer in the decision-making process

If you are designing a new product and the accompanying marketing campaign, ask your senior product designer if you can include the graphic designer in brainstorming sessions as well. The more they are included in the thought process, the easier it will be for them to come up with a solution everyone is comfortable with.

Remote graphic designer recruiting process

Now that you know what you are looking for, it’s time to start the job search.

Your first step should be coming up with a job ad to post on external job boards. The job postings should be as detailed as possible, enticing remote workers with job descriptions as well as benefits. Hiring remote team members starts here, so make sure you are attractive and interesting enough to attract top talent.

After that, make sure your recruiting process has at least two more segments - an interview and a task. During the interview, dedicate a significant portion of getting to know them, be curious about their personality, the preferred method of working and general preferences. This will give an insight into how ell would they work with your team. Instead of spending time discussing what they do and don’t know, simply give them an assignment. The result they come up with will tell you all you need to know about their skill level and about whether or not you would be comfortable, and happy, working with them.

Finally, don’t forget that remote onboarding is part of the recruiting process as well. In those first initial weeks, the support you show your new hire will have a significant impact on their retention. And any good HR will tell you - keeping employees is much cheaper than hiring new ones, so make sure when you hire them they are here to stay.

Further reading: