Hiring a design team - best practices, methods of hiring, benefits, drawbacks

Alexandra Maksimova

July 20, 2022


Whether you have or don’t have a design department, no matter the size of your company, chances are - you will probably need designs. Social media banners, branding, presentations for clients (and internal!) and even building a website all need to be done by designers. One of the most popular ways to ensure that these needs are met is design outsourcing. 

So it is surprising that with all of those needs arising in any company, not many managers make the decision to put in the time and effort into finding a professional to fill those needs. 

Making the decision to hire designers is already a difficult first step, but really understanding all of the ways that you can do so is even more challenging. So this article will break down the few main ways you can hire one (or more!) designers for your team, as well as the pros and cons of each approach.

What does it really mean to outsource design services? We are here to answer some of the questions associated with outsourcing creative services, and will answer the big question - how to outsource graphic design? Below, we included some of the reasons why you need to outsource graphic design, as well as some common pitfalls.

When considering hiring one or more designers, there are a few ways this can be done: 

1.Hiring directly into your team.

This means posting a job ad or directly recruiting designers, then onboarding them into your team, paying them salary and benefits as they create designs sitting in your office.


  • You know who you’re hiring in and out, HR making sure you only hire professionals.
  • Employee works for you knows your brand and company.


  • Long and difficult hiring process, due to limited availability of local talent
  • No guarantee of quality
  • Difficulty shrinking or expanding team if needed

2. Hiring freelancers.

This is the most basic and common way of design outsourcing. This means tasking someone on your team to find the perfect designer, usually from a freelancer platform such as Fiverr, Freelancer.com, Upwork among many others. Although there are instances where the company hires the freelancer time after time, company-freelancer collaboration is usually the length of one particular project, and the freelancer works with many other clients.


  • Hiring specific professionals for specific needs and projects
  • Quick hiring, no long contracts
  • A lot of designers available


  • If you jump between people, the output is unreliable
  • If the freelancer gets sick, there is no backup to finish the project

3. Submitting your design requests to a platform.

There are countless platforms where you can submit unlimited design requests which then get picked up by whichever designer is available at the time and then completed and delivered. This means that you are not paying to a specific specialist, but usually you pay a monthly/annual fee which allows you to use the platform.


  • One fee for all needs
  • Most platforms are easy to use and take any type of project


  • The output is unreliable if different people complete the task each time
  • Lower quality than hiring a person directly

4. Hiring a Dedicated Designer.

This method, in its essence, means that you hire a specific designer (usually from an agency) and assign your daily design tasks to them. This means that you get the same output as if you hired a designer to work from your office minus the hiring costs, minus the hassle and you define the time that they need to work for you.


  • Specific designer who understands your business goals and branding working with you, meaning consistent output
  • Ability to sign a NDA 
  • No long hiring processes, the hiring is done for you
  • No hassle of firing, you can expand and shrink the team at any time


  • Sometimes, this method is more expensive than the other methods

What does outsourcing a graphic design mean for your business?

In the digital age, there are more options than ever to hire employees into your team (or ​​outsource design!) - hiring for a single project, hiring for long or short term, and hiring any type of professional you need, which means that you as a business decision maker need to spend more time researching and understanding all of the different options available to you and selecting the right one.

We can discuss the pros and cons of different methods of outsourcing graphic design all day, but at the end of the day the choice you make should be a result of your business goals and strategies. 

If you are keen on walking into the office and seeing that all of your employees are working behind their desks, then obviously hiring remote employees be it freelance or dedicated teams is simply not an option, and that's completely fine. Similarly, if your company is fully remote and simply does not have an office, you will likely be most interested in hybrid/remote hiring solutions (graphic design outsourcing) for your company. However, understanding all of the options available to you and assessing their relevance in your situation is key to having a productive and successful design department. 

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