Robert Brunner, director of Apple’s Industrial Design group in the 1990’s, recruited Jony Ive to his team. Some of his thoughts on how he did this are recorded in Jony Ive by Leander Kahney.
Creating a work space:
“[The studio] was essential to recruiting talent. I can’t have people working in cubicle hell. They won’t do it. I have to have an open studio with high ceilings and cool shit going on. That’s just really important. It’s important for the quality of the work. It’s important for getting people to do it.” -Robert Brunner
Getting the word out:
Talented, ambitious designers were more inclined to go to firms with a strong creative history like the Bay Area’s IDEO.
To help with recruiting, Brunner […] started promoting his work through design magazines. He created mock-ups of fantastical Apple products and ran big glossy photos of them on the back of I.D. magazine, the international design bible. One was a gigantic bicycle navigation computer that showed maps and local landmarks. Another was a chunky wristwatch computer the size of a cantaloupe.
“They were concepts, not real products,” said Brunner. “They started to get attention. It was totally recruiting. No other reason. They were sketchy, information appliance models. A little bit tongue in cheek.”