So Derek, if you had to choose between 2 people for a job that had a very similar portfolio, who would you choose? The guy who has shown a sincere commitment to the industry or the guy who may be a good artist but hasn't really put the time in.
Good question. I suppose if I were to REALLY think about it, the tie-breakers, for me, might come down to:
1. "Fit." This one is SO hard to qualify, but I'm sure you've had experiences where you just can feel or "know" that someone is going to be a good or bad match for your team. Fit is VITAL, because a bad match can actually bring the entire team down.
2. "Diversity." This might be something that is more-specific to our own firm and our markets and needs, but someone who brings a new/different perspective to mapping that we don't already possess is HIGHLY attractive to our team members. "Tie" quite honestly might also go to women and/or non-white males applying for a position within our firm, since we are EXTREMELY "white" (10 of 10) and EXTREMELY "male" (9 of 10). That hurts us when marketing in some overseas locations and/or to North American groups such as the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Diversity in background, design styles, expertise, etc. is a hallmark of our firm....yet we currently do a very poor job on diversity when it comes to gender and ethnicity, something we are very-much hoping to improve upon as we (hopefully) continue to grow.
3. "Cost." It may sound a bit shameful, but if I am being honest, an important tie-breaker for me would be the amount of money that I know/sense each designer will command. If Designer A won't work for anything less than $60/hr, while Designer B will be doing cartwheels to receive $45/hr, Designer B, all things being equal, is going to be more attractive as a potential "sub" or team member.
Degree or longevity/loyalty in the industry would be potential tie-breakers for me too...but not as high as those three I have listed. I still would contend, however, that expertise, commitment (passion) and longevity shows through in one's work....NOT in their resume. One's resume gets them into a discussion or hiring process, but their portfolio is what gets them hired.