Page Setup Design hit on a winning formula to get staff

With massive recruitment issues facing most employers, a Belfast design company has widened its hiring process to get the best person for the job. Alan McNally and Gareth Humphreys of Page Setup Design hit on a winning formula that could help other businesses finding it difficult to get staff.

They were on the hunt for a new junior designer to join their growing team based at Innovation Factory but felt that relying solely on the traditional educational and experience requirements were too restrictive and chose a more open format to increase the pool of potential candidates.

“We were looking for a young, ambitious designer to join the team,” Alan explained. “We decided that it was too restrictive to look for someone who had gone the traditional route of a degree in design. Finding the right person was much more important so the application and interview process needed to be adjusted to allow for a wider pool of people.”

Page Setup Design

Rebecca Hughes had applied for dozens of jobs to break into a career in graphic design without success, continually falling at the hurdles of university qualifications and hands-on experience.

While she had an HND from Belfast Met in Graphic Design and Illustration, the former St Louise’s Comprehensive pupil was never called for interview.

“I was working in retail but was determined to get the head down and apply for everything. Then I spotted the job ad for Page Setup Design and it was far more open. I interviewed and got it and it’s offered me the most amazing opportunity to learn on the job,” she said.

She is already taking on more responsibility. Alan added: “Rebecca was precisely the sort of person we needed. Her work is amazingly creative and dynamic, and her attitude is so positive. She has a very bright future ahead of her.”

Alan and his business partner Gareth moved to Innovation Factory on the Springfield Road in 2016, hoping to tap into the rich creativity and energy of the west of the city.

He said: “Innovation Factory is all about collaboration, working with local people. I’m originally from North Belfast and wanted to give back to this area. Since moving to Innovation Factory five years ago we have got more and more business through collaboration and strategic partnerships.”

Among its varied client base, Page Setup Design has been busy with Government, Health Trust work, large private sector commissions and community-based work, including the design and production of healthcare branding projects and creative for an interface project run by the Department of Justice.

Innovation Factory Community Engagement Manager, Shane Smith said: “Innovation Factory is all about giving more opportunities for people in the local communities. By giving someone the chance that doesn’t have traditional qualifications, Page Setup Design has found a young designer with huge potential and an incredible future ahead.”

Innovation Factory is owned by Belfast City Council and operated on their behalf by Oxford Innovation. The £9.1m business hub was funded by Belfast City Council and Invest NI with support from the European Regional Development Fund.

As well as providing jobs and developing entrepreneurship in West Belfast, the centre is dedicated to engaging with the local community through outreach programmes, education, and work placements.

Customers include a range of start-ups and growing businesses in a variety of sectors including digital services, creative industries, business services, financial services and research and development.

For more information on the Innovation Factory visit:

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