Three interviews with three digital spearheads. Based on the themes of the Digital Design Meets webinar sessions held late last year - co-hosted by our partner Adyen Design and ourselves. Our third and final interview is with Sebastiaan Scheer, head of design at global creative production company MediaMonks, with an amazing eye for detail and design, and a love for baseball caps. We talk about how to attract and nurture extraordinary design talent.
Happy designers = great work
‘Of course, MediaMonks’ aim will always be to attract top global design talent. Talent that can cover all areas of expertise, regional requirements, and fulfil client briefs at a level that people have come to expect from us. However, our starting point will always be to put someone in a position that makes them happy, and enables them to reach their full potential. It works for them, but also for us as an agency. A win, win situation. Because happy designers create great work!
It is also a very workable situation within MediaMonks as we have a number of different types of design teams, covering different skillsets. This means if you are the design talent for us, we will always be able to find you a position that matches your skillset.’
A multitude of design opportunities
‘We are a big melting pot of different skillsets, cultures and brands. A large creative production company, with more than 3,000 employees across the globe. This offers opportunities. A chance to work not only in your team of superstars, but also across teams - in your own country, but also across the globe. Meeting different people, learning different skills and, in some instances, even visiting different countries (not presently due to COVID-19). But always with that one aim: be a happy designer who loves to make great work. We will do our best to help you be the best and the happiest you can be. Whether you’re a content, digital, brand or unicorn designer.’
How do you make that happen?
‘We have three types of design teams: essence (content focused), digital (website development) and brand (building brands). Within those three teams we cover seven different disciplines:
- Large website projects
- AR & VR
- Experiential and Virtual events
- Interactive web campaigns
- Core teams: a team of all-rounders
- Pitch teams: new biz focus
- Client teams: teams that work on fixed, retained clients
This means there is something for everyone.’
The way we work
‘We are a flat organisation. This does not mean that there are no senior, lead or junior designers. This means there is no hierarchy. Whether you’re a junior or senior designer, the best idea goes!
Our aim across the design teams is to connect teams, people and skills. To share projects, and transfer knowledge. This motivates and inspires everyone involved. It also prevents us re-inventing the wheel. We will invite people to take part in workshops, and team presentations.
We are also currently in the process of developing an in-house platform where we can share our work. Matias (Jansen - fellow head of design) and I are also introducing ourselves to the design teams through an online presentation where people can ask us anything. A personal touch, to show that we care, are involved and interested in you as a designer, your ambitions, your work.’
Finding that perfect designer
‘There are two options. We either look for them through our own personal network or will post a job opening. Our preference is to always keep it personal: for the person who is hiring to be personally involved throughout. This makes it easier to find that person with the perfect skills but also the perfect match for the team. Also, if the person isn’t the one with the skills you are looking for, but definitely a person that fits MediaMonks, we will always recommend and present this person across the other teams.
Step one: your skills will have to convince us. Step two: we will have a chat with you, to see whether there is a click and a match with the team. We love talent and creative personalities, but you will always have to fit within the team. An extraordinary designer with a chip on his/her shoulder won’t do, however big his or her talent.’
How to get noticed
‘Make sure to pay a lot of attention to your portfolio. Do not start by sharing your most recent work first, but start with the work you’re most proud of. And be ready to sell this work to us. Why it makes you feel proud. How it showcases your skills, your personality. Be vocal about it, but not arrogant. Substantiate your choices. Be passionate. Let us be swept away by your enthusiasm. You might have the most beautiful portfolio but you need to make it real. Convince us.
And have some questions for us too. Why would you like to work here? How does it fit your ambitions, your work, your experience?
All of the above will give us an impression of you, your work, your skillset, your attitude to work. Be positive. Be a team player. However great your talent.’
Diversity = essential = amazing ideas
‘Diversity is us. Through sheer numbers, different cultures, work and opportunities. But on a more serious note, we have a special programme where we help ambitious people re-train, irrespective of their background, to reach their full potential. It’s about your quality as a designer, your personality and your fit within the team, not your background. As mentioned before, we are a flat organisation, and everyone is equal.
If we as a company aren’t open to all ideas, people and backgrounds, we would miss out on incredible talent, and, therefore, amazing ideas!’