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Five interviews that discuss the recruitment needs of creative studios

Celebrating the 15 years that Dezeen Jobs has been connecting employers and candidates, Dezeen has spoken to professionals about their evolving recruitment practices.

Our Dezeen Jobs: How We Recruit series delves into the processes that creative companies and studios have put into place in the last few years, alongside the top pieces of advice they would like applicants to take on board when applying for roles.

Read on to see a distilled roundup of five more of these conversations, including interviews with the chair of BDP‘s North Region, Sue Emms; senior designer at David Collins Studio, Kate Jarrett; Sybarite‘s chief operating officer, Natasha Manzaroli; vice president of product design and brand creative for Design Within Reach, Omar Nobil; and Studio Piet Boon‘s chief design officer, Roland Kokkeler and studio manager Tim Vogel.


Lit up building at nighttime

Sue Emms, chair of BDP’s North Region

Emms highlighted the importance of broadening BDP‘s talent pool when looking for potential candidates, in the interest of opening up the architecture profession to those who are underrepresented in the discipline.

In the interview, Emms also told Dezeen about how the studio endeavours to instil confidence in applicants by offering buddy services to individuals who have just begun careers in the company.

“We are a very diverse practice in terms of what we offer, with different sectors and disciplines,” said Emms. “But it’s really important that the diversity of our people represents the communities we’re designing for.”

View more of the interview ›


Kate Jarrett, senior designer at David Collins Studio

Jarrett acknowledged the importance of applicants exhibiting soft skills as workplaces – including David Collins Studio – aim to rebuild the company culture that was diluted during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jarrett said that social media sites such as Instagram and LinkedIn have supplemented traditional word of mouth and job platforms when seeking candidates.

“I think both recruitment practices and candidates have changed considerably over the past 10 years,” said Jarrett. “With information at our fingertips, thanks to technology and social media, we are looking for more than just technical skills.”

View more of the interview ›


Natasha Manzaroli, chief operating officer at Sybarite

Manzaroli conveyed Sybarite‘s increased desire to hire visualisation specialists as well as environmentally aware creatives.

She also expressed the studio’s need for applicants with strong skills in software such as Rhino, Revit and AutoCAD – Sybarite’s core software programmes.

“We primarily look for candidates who exhibit quality work in their portfolios, emphasising precision and attention to detail in their graphics, passion for design and the willingness to experiment,” said Manzaroli.

“However, it is not just about the portfolio, it is about the person, their individuality, interests, passions, and what drives them to be designers – their very own USPs.”

View more of the interview ›


Omar Nobil, VP of product design and brand creative for Design Within Reach

Nobil’s interview saw him discuss the merits of hand sketching alongside polished 3D modelling and presentation skills when searching for candidates to join Design Within Reach.

He also highlighted that the studio is seeking individuals who have “a defiant optimism and a solution-oriented mindset”.

“It’s good to have a sketchbook – it’s good to be able to draw on a Post-it note in a meeting to express an idea,” said Nobil. “When people get a bit too caught up in the virtual space, they can get a little precious about presentation.”

“When you’re in the ideating stage of a design, it is much more important to communicate ideas than to present ideas.”

View more of the interview ›


Photo of lighting installation by Studio Piet Boon

Roland Kokkeler and Tim Vogel, chief design officer and studio manager at Studio Piet Boon

Kokkeler and Vogel described Studio Piet Boon‘s shift from placing importance on manual skills to digital skills.

They also spotlighted the significance of collaboration and communication at all levels to create a cohesive working environment for the studio’s staff.

“Our team maintains a strong, family-like unity, ensuring our multidisciplinary approach is effectively realised,” said Kokkeler.

“Our practice thrives on a multidisciplinary approach, the balance of specialisation in certain roles, and the strong unity of our team, all of which collectively define our identity and drive our success.”

View more of the interview ›

Dezeen Jobs: How We Recruit

This article is part of Dezeen Jobs: How We Recruit, a series of interviews to mark Dezeen Jobs turning 15, which explores changing hiring practices and future recruitment needs for companies around the world.

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