How To Find Top-Notch Creative Talent Online

LinkedIn is a great resource for finding and vetting candidates, but it’s not exactly built for the creative field. If you’re on the prowl for graphic designers, illustrators or photographers, consider adding these three platforms to your recruiting toolbox.

Needle HR

Needle is a talent search engine built specifically for discovering creative professionals. They crawl the internet through online creative communities, personal portfolio websites, directory listings, and more.

You can search by skillset, project tags, location, and experience, among other search fields. They also introduced something called the “Needle Score” which is a metric used to measure the creative potential of an artist based on their creative influence in the design community. This score works like Klout, but instead of tweets and facebook likes, the Needle Score is calculated by project likes, views, comments, etc.


Find Designers

On Dribbble, web designers, graphic designers, illustrators, icon artists, typographers, logo designers and other creative types share “shots” of their work, process and current projects.

While you’ll need an invite from another member in order to upload shots and comment, anyone can sign up to “Scout” or find, follow and hire designers. Try opening a Pro account to unlock several handy headhunting features including Pro Search, which lets you search according to location, skills, availability and more. You’ll also be able to send unlimited messages to designers you’re interested in interviewing, versus a limit of five messages with the standard account. Job postings are also available for a fee.



Behance is a digital portfolio platform for creative professionals including graphic designers, web designers and photographers. The company was acquired by Adobe in December of 2012 and has creative partnerships with a number of publications and organizations including AIGA, Adweek and the National Design Museum.

Those seeking talent can purchase job postings at a variety of price points. One benefit is that by viewing candidates through Behance, you’ll see all portfolios within the same interface rather than jumping from one site to another. A number of big names use the site for recruiting, including MTV, EA Games and Etsy.


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