When Is It Time to Hire an In-House Designerpdtcseo
When is it time to hire an in-house designer? We recently did a blog post on why it’s oftentimes cheaper to hire a third-party design company.
However, that isn’t the right option for every company for every occasion. There’s a reason why many large companies have their own designer within an entire marketing department. So when is it applicable for a company to hire an in-house designer?
In-House Designer Requirements
The biggest requirement to hiring an in-house designer is – unsurprisingly – having enough work to keep them busy. Even if you’re only hiring a part-time in-house designer, you need at least 20 hours a week of work. In today’s competitive market, it’s hard to find educated and experienced designers willing to work less than that. Life is expensive and they need to be able to pay their bills. The unfortunate truth is that any less than 20 hours a week is simply not worth most designers’ time.
Aside from adequate work, you need to be able to comfortably afford the work they do. There are costs to having a designer (and a whole marketing department, for that matter), aside from their salary. Employee overhead includes necessary programs and software subscriptions, equipment, insurance and taxes, and more!
You Need an In-House Designer if You Are Super Involved
Some companies want to be more hands-on with each of their designers. It’s ok if you want to touch every process of the design. But it’s not a great fit when working with a company who has several other clients at a time.
If you’re an owner who knows exactly what you want, a design company may not be your best fit. When hiring a third party company, your bill will add up if you need lots of revisions, especially if your designer doesn’t understand exactly what you’re asking for.
It’s also painful to pay per project if you end up trashing the project and decide not to use it. When working with an in-house designer, it’s less painful to part with a salary you’re already accounting for than to pay for a project you didn’t even use.
It’s not fair to expect your design company to design for free. They spent the time on it and deserve to be compensated for it. But your in-house designer is getting paid either way, so if a project doesn’t turn out how you imagined and you scrap it, it’s no big deal.
If You Don’t Understand Your Branding
This isn’t a hard and fast rule but someone who works directly with your company will understand your brand and give you feedback when what you’re asking for doesn’t align with your brand.
That isn’t to say third party design companies can’t understand your branding – especially if you work with one who specializes in it.
That being said, an in-house designer will help you hone in on your branding elements and help you stay consistent with them. And again, that time is built into their salary so you’re not on the hook for paying a third party company for their time.
The perk of third party designers is that you only pay per project. Some companies need more and understandably don’t want to pay their hourly fee – which can be costly – for a brainstorming session. However, a third party company should charge for brainstorming or consultations. So paying $15-$25/hr is likely the cheaper option.
You Need an In-House Designer if You’ve Outgrown Your Current Company
As mentioned above, large companies don’t usually hire third party designers. Instead they have an entire department who handles things for them. If you need a designer, a social media manager, and a marketing director all working together, then you’ve likely outgrown your third party company. Having to communicate through multiple employees and a third party gets clunky and frustrating. At some point it becomes easier to bring all that communication in-house.
The Bottom Line
Hiring an in-house designer isn’t for every business. It’s is often more costly than paying per project with a third party designer. However, sometimes that cost is easier to swallow if you’re already accounting for it by way of salary. If you often scrap projects, it may be more convenient to hire an in-house designer. If you need a lot of brainstorming and problem solving, you may prefer to pay an hourly wage than for design time for brainstorming. Consider how much work you have. Is it enough to keep a dedicated designer busy? It may be more expeditious to have one in-house than to wait for a company who’s working with many businesses. And if you’re an owner who wants to be involved in every aspect of each design and requires many revisions, you probably want someone closer to home.
These are all things to consider before opening your own design department as an arm of your business. In the meantime, we’re honored to be your third party company.