Corporate Recruiting of Web Designers (or anyone else really)

I recently filled a Web Designer position for one of our portfolio companies out in California. I’m now working on another Web Designer recruitment effort for another expansion stage technology startup, which also happens to be in California. When it comes to corporate recruiting for positions outside my area of expertise (which I’d have to say is currently sales) and local area/network (Boston), I often use Linkedin. It has been a tremendously effective resource.

When searching for Web Designer positions, there are a lot of synonymous terms that should be used to make the search more robust. You shouldn’t limit your search to the term “Web Designer”. Explore titles like User Experience, Information Architect, User Interface, Interaction Designer and so on to maximize your hits. I also don’t limit my search to just the specific city in which the portfolio company is based. Often times, people are willing to commute or relocate for an awesome opportunity, so neighboring cities are a good option to consider. For example, if I’m looking for a Web Designer in the greater Los Angeles area, I would absolutely punch in “Information Architect Orange County” in my search bar.

Once a list populates, you should screen and filter the candidates who have the right number of years of experience if their skill-set matches the role (OmniGraffle, Visio, CSS, HTML, Flash, AJAX, SQL, JavaScript). Typically you can access 100 hits for free on Linkedin. Beyond that, you’d have to upgrade your account at a premium.

Now that you’ve come across a few interesting profiles, you can either send them an Inmail (which costs money) or you could just add them like I do. Not only is it free, but if the person chooses to connect with you, you’ll have full access to their contact information and entire professional network. When you invite someone to connect on Linkedin, though you can use the standard message that automatically populates (see below), I highly discourage that.

I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

– Victor Mahillon

Not only is it uninteresting, but it’s also ineffective. You’re limited to 300 characters in this introductory note so why not make your message as compelling as possible? Make that person want to continue the conversation with you. I’ve created my own basic template (see below) that I often tweak depending on the portfolio for which I’m hiring and this has proven to be rather effective.

Hi ,

I’m a recruiter for a VC firm in Boston. An expansion stage tech start-up we’ve funded in needs a strong Web Designer to join their team. Please let me know if you’d be interested in networking or learning more.



If the candidate is interested in learning more, start a legitimate conversation with them either through email or phone. Send along the company profile and job description right away. If they’re interested in next steps, kindly request they send over an updated resume, online portfolio and wireframes of their recent work, which will be sent to the hiring team for review. If all goes well, a phone screen and live interview will take place. At that point, you’ve done your job as a recruiter and you can let the hiring team take it from there.

On the other hand, if you connect with that prospect but they don’t respond to your invitation to continue the conversation further, fret not. Because you’ve connected on Linkedin, you’ve expanded your network tremendously and you now have more 2nd and 3rd degree connections to tap into, which will now appear on any given search. Feel free to peruse this prospect’s contact list as well, which provides names, job titles and cities related to these contacts. Web Designers usually know other Web Designers, so go ahead and explore!

Good luck!

Victor Mahillon
Victor Mahillon
Director of Recruiting

Victor Mahillon is the Director of Recruiting at Kamcord. Previously he was a Talent manager at OpenView.
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