Finding the designers & technologists of tomorrow for D-Ford


The Brief

D-Ford is the creative laboratory arm of the Ford Motor Company. This highly specialised division of the company finds solutions to the most complex transport and mobility issues of our time, from the development of self-driving cars to the mass production of facemasks in a pandemic.

This was a fascinating challenge for Zebra People, as each hire had to work in the exciting innovation space, with a blend of skills and experience that qualified them to work on real-life UX tasks that incorporated digital, physical and mechanical elements. D-Ford initially briefed us on a team of permanent Software Designers, but then expanded our remit to the Research, Design and Operational Support teams, including Director of Software Design, Senior Interaction Designer, Design Researcher and Senior Software Designer roles.


The Approach

We started with an in-depth discussion, which dove into granular detail about D-Ford and what makes them tick. This covered everything from the many appealing factors of working for D-Ford to the specifics of what the hiring manager was looking for in prospective candidates. We researched the job descriptions, read up on D-Ford press and gained a holistic understanding of the client. From there, we led a proactive headhunting and market mapping stage, looking for individuals with innovation at the centre of their very specific skill sets and histories. We used a Trello board to keep in constant communication with the client, with each role’s progression posted to reduce the need for frequent Zooming.


The Result

In total, Zebra People placed ten permanent roles and eight contract roles in nine months. These included placements in the Design, Research and Operation Support areas of D-Ford’s business. Almost every candidate that was offered a role accepted it, and Zebra People operated at a 3.5:1 interview to successful placement ratio.

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