Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.

 


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Finding Skilled Shop Operators and Designers... Business Growth.

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by 2CT Media, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

    571
    79
    28
    Dec 11, 2017
    So Cal
    I can tell you the first thing a good designer wants and needs to know is who your clients are so they know what type of work they're getting involved with. What type of "signs" and for "whom?" A zillion hotel placards or noticeable p.o.p. or the gamut or ?
     
  2. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    1,855
    531
    113
    Oct 10, 2014
    Florida
    Schools teach fundamentals and from there you need to learn how to apply these things outside of the academic environment. You cant expect a school to teach all this hands on stuff for each particular aspect within a field of study. Problem is that people are expecting way too much (both sides) and many students already think they know it all which is to be expected with young people. If you think you were never that person then you have a bad memory. You may hire away someone that has experience but the majority of the time, you're going to have to put in the effort to train. With a background like a graphics degree and a good attitude, you can create a good employee but you are not going to get anywhere throwing them in the mix and letting them sink.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    3,714
    1,384
    113
    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    :goodpost:
     
  4. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

    3,176
    310
    83
    Nov 11, 2008
    Ontario
    After the standard interview, have them come in and work a full day, give them standard tasks to do, but make sure not to give them too much to do, see if they complete the tasks given and come to you for more work. I have found that skills can be taught how to make signs, but work ethic is ingrained and very hard to change.

    The best employees are willing to learn, ask questions and learn from their mistakes.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    1,855
    531
    113
    Oct 10, 2014
    Florida
    This is what college kids think working as a designer is all about. Once reality sets in, they move back in their parents basement, drive for Uber and mope around for 10 years.
     
  6. Asuma01

    Asuma01 Member

    316
    35
    28
    Nov 19, 2013
    Bend, OR
    Says more about the parents then the kids IMO.
     
  7. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

    571
    79
    28
    Dec 11, 2017
    So Cal
    Aim high especially for the long shots.
     
  8. FireSprint

    FireSprint Merchant Member

    We don't use the onprintshop backend. We use Filemaker. I got into detail on post #26 here: https://signs101.com/threads/workflow-software.152344/page-2#post-1423627

    Great video! In terms of us requiring applicants to send in a video, the specifics don't matter. Depending on the position we might ask for something different. We literally have over 500 resumes in our indeed inbox right now. We needed to do something to get the cream to rise to the top as they say. Asking an applicant to perform a pretty basic task before we take an hour to meet with them really helps us spend our time with the ones that really want to work at FireSprint.

    I think since we're a fairly well-known shop with very competitive wages, lots of opportunity for overtime, growth, and full benefits, we get a lot of resumes. "Take 5 minutes to move yourself to the top of the pile, then we'll invest in you."
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    6,290
    278
    83
    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN
    Sending in a video is a pretty good idea to help weed people out.

    For those applicants that do better with communication versus just relying on their resume (and there are a variety of reasons that this could be, not just the obvious negative ones), that gives them a shot, albeit brief.

    There are a variety of other things that can be gleaned by a video before carving out a time slot to meet with them.

    To me, it doesn't have to be as direct of a correlation of them having to do video related tasks or not (although with the prevalence of videos (and platforms to host said videos) in today's society, them not figuring out how to get a video to you, actually says something, at least in my mind).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

    2,568
    629
    113
    Jun 13, 2013
    CA
    In more than one case, the paid trial work day has revealed major problems in both honesty, inability to take direction or input and lack of proficiency in the necessary software. It is a critical and widely used prehire tool.

    Let's see.... We've seen a portfolio that included about 20 logo designs that could have won awards in HOW or ID magazine competitions but after the first few hours, we could tell that they couldn't possibly have been created by the same person. That person quit via email even after being offered several days to get over "just being nervous".

    Had a 50+ year old with over 20 years of sign shop experience, who gave us a dissertation on all he knew about printers misload some banner material and knock out two heads in one giant headstrike.

    Had another 50+ year old with over 20 years of sign and graphic design experience spend two hours on a simple 4'x8' design, ignoring half a dozen client preferences and notes and then when asked to tweak the design to better fit the notes, literally got up and walked out claiming a personality conflict.

    The biggest issues seem to be related to what is claimed on a resume as a certain level of proficiency in the entire Adobe CS, to be found out to be a total exaggeration, not just a stylistic difference of how to use a program well.
     
  11. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

    623
    138
    43
    Oct 9, 2014
    New Jersey
    If you're that busy, I'd hire 2-3 people per position. Give them each 2-3 days a week with some overlap. After a couple of weeks you should have a pretty good idea who you want to keep and who you want to get rid of.

    As for the application process, I would never ask someone to jump through hoops or do something not related to the job. To me, if you ask for a video as part of the interview, I'm assuming that I'm going to be asked to do video stuff as part of the job and wouldn't even consider applying for the job.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  12. FireSprint

    FireSprint Merchant Member

    If a video is too much, something simple we do is ask for references or additional information to be emailed to us as the end of the interview. If they don't bother just sending an email within 48hrs of meeting with us, then that tells us a lot as well. No matter how well the interview went.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

    571
    79
    28
    Dec 11, 2017
    So Cal
    I trust there are only a very few active "new" ones as far as their status because it usually takes no more than a minute or so to review and send off a reply. Also, today being the first of the month, any job seeker should definitely know where they stand. Human resources, after all.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

    2,568
    629
    113
    Jun 13, 2013
    CA
    I agree. Just going into one's profile in Indeed and updating ANY information will refresh a person's resume and push it up on the search list. Doing that doesn't necessarily mean a candidate is newly interested in a particular position, or is qualified to fill a particular need.
     
  15. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Major Contributor

    4,230
    593
    113
    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    Thanks everyone for their input, we are looking at all of this as a steps towards our goal!
     
  16. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

    1,953
    116
    63
    Feb 4, 2005
    Lawton, OK
    I think formal graphic design education is important for anyone who intends to do graphics work for a living. A person can improve his/her talents only so much going the self-taught route.

    With that being said, virtually no schools teach graphic design as it relates to outdoor advertising and signage. It's mostly focused on the printed page and web development. Sign design falls way down the list of priorities. I'd even say it ranks under retail package design.

    Some of the basic things one can learn in design school (typography, color theory, etc) are immediately useful for outdoor design. But there is a lot of other stuff one can only learn by actually working in a sign company. So unless someone is hiring a designer with previous sign design experience they're going to be stuck training the new hire a good bit regardless of the person's background.

    Regarding the idea of making candidates send in a video, I think that's a reasonably good idea since it's something that demands at least some technical proficiency to make a video that looks good (complete with titles, graphics, etc). Video editing and motion graphics skills translate over into creating assets for LED based variable message signs. I would be sure to ask for specific things to be included in the video, like examples of the candidate's graphics work. It basically needs to function as a video portfolio.
     
  17. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

    1,316
    238
    63
    Dec 3, 2015
    Niceville, FL
    If the position calls for video editing capability I'd expect a good self made video. If it's just a video to show your talents\expertise I'd be ok with a simple video.

    p.s. who would you rather fly with, a person who has flown a simulator for a year (design school) or a seasoned veteran who has no schooling but has flown over 5000 hours in several different aircraft.

    Things every designer should know.
    1. fonts - know where they reside on a pc, know which to avoid (papyrus), kerning, leading, justification, bullets, asci characters or how to find them
    2. vector vs. raster - don't assume a pdf or eps is vector solely on the file extension, know how to tell the difference between a good raster image vs. a bad one
    3. how to deal with multiple file formats - when and how to use them, know the file extensions, know how to unzip files,
    4. Basic pc operations - how to load unload a printer, change default printer, explore files, prepping files for print, naming/renaming files, how to share folders/printers,
    5. WORK ETHICS! - on time every time, get along with coworkers, proper attire (if you're working with knives - no open toed shoes)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Dan360

    Dan360 Member

    438
    90
    28
    Dec 23, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    I remember a story about a pro gamer who played a racing sim (Gran Turismo) who was barred from a semi pro racing event because he was too fast.

    Not that it applies but this reminded me of it lol.
     
  19. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    6,290
    278
    83
    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN

    Based on just what is known there, neither.

    It's the old quality versus quantity.

    Having "x" yrs/hrs experience doesn't really in of itself mean that they have good habits, know how to efficiently and/or correctly handle operation of (in this example) aircraft in question. Especially if it was done all on their own.

    Regardless of what one may feel about formal education and if it's necessary or not, if properly done it does present some very good attributes that one doesn't get (normally) when doing things on their own.

    They may very well be the best, but there needs to be more then just x amount of experience. I'm sure we could all come up with an example of someone that claimed decades of experience and still not be as proficient as they claim, certainly commiserate with their supposed yrs of experience.

    Truth be told, it's always kinda leary when someone leads with yrs of experience as if that means that they have learned all that there is. If someone has really reached that point, it's time to go on to something else.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

    484
    137
    43
    Apr 22, 2007
    Normal, Illinois
    The graphic design industry is in flux. The good colleges still teach design principles and creative thinking, but the graduate must, and I mean must, aggressively learn the technical side of production on their own. The colleges do not have teachers in place that know this stuff, mostly because the industry is changing so rapidly there is no way they can keep up unless they are active in the profession.

    Most freshly minted graphic designers will have some skills in CAD. The money today is in back-end web development and game design, and that's where many of them go. Most of the good candidates have been writing code and developing web sites and games since they were in high school. A strong development background coupled with an understanding of design principles can land them a $50k job, and if they continue learning the production side, that pay will go up. Those without the necessary math skills and a drive to learn the latest production technologies do not find jobs, and may be better off entering a different field (healthcare, customer service). Creative types with little demonstratable production skills are going to have difficulty in the market. Template driven design solutions, clip art and stock imagery make it simple for just about anybody to design professional looking graphics with little or no training.

    Most sign shops need production technicians, not artists. Many high schools and local community colleges teach the basics; this is a good place to find affordable entry-level employees. I can tell almost immediately if they will work out (I look for attitude and an enthusiastic willingness to learn production). Those that stick with it will be eaning more money than their college educated counterparts within a few years. Once trained, a good production technician is valuable, and you will not want them answering phones and performing low-level shop tasks (plenty of $10 - $15/hour people for that).
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
Loading...

Share This Page

 


Loading...