How the best design recruiter in the country finds the top 1% of designers

Judy Wert is the co-founder of Wert & Company, a leading international executive search firm specializing in design – for top-tier startups and Fortune 500 corps. In this episode, she shares how she’s been recruiting the best designers for more than two decades, what she sees in the top 1 percent of designers she’s worked with, and how an internal database they created is helping to understand how design has changed over the years.

Of the tens of thousands of designers Wert has talked with over the past 22 years, there are two traits that weave their way through the best. The first is the mastery of their craft. Whatever craft it is, the best of the best own it and are determined to perfect it. The second is the mastery of themselves. Specifically, Wert says the ability to be self-reflective and the control of their exuberance is key. “A little is okay, but a lot is going to trip them up at some point.”

Before LinkedIn, the only solution to creating a network of potential recruitment leads was to build a database on your own. Wert & Company did just that and now have over 20 years of information from some of the best minds in the business. She even has a fun little anecdote on Airbnb Founder Joe Gebbia from a note written back in 2007.

Jared Erondu and Bobby Ghoshal are the hosts of High Resolution. This post and episode notes were put together by freelance writer, Gannon Burgett. Watch for High Resolution episodes to drop every Monday on TechCrunch at 8 a.m. PT. You can also listen on iTunes and Overcast.