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Keeping up with the changing world requires constant innovation — and this includes hiring. Evolving technology, the shifting generational makeup of the workforce, and a candidate-centric market[...]

February 18, 2020

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6 Tips for Recruiting Creative Talent

Sometimes, recruiting creative talent can be a more of a challenge than recruiting for the tech or financial fields. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re searching for and interviewing creative candidates.

Know the Industry Inside and Out

You need to be knowledgeable enough to answer any of the candidate’s questions, even those coming out of left field. Otherwise, you won’t know how to talk to someone with a lot of experience as an equal if you don’t understand the job/company/industry. Why would the candidate trust you to be a good judge for the job if you don’t know anything about it? Know your stuff before approaching the talent -- study up on your industry of choice, and stay up to date on trends and news.

Learn How to "Read" a Portfolio

Thoroughly review the candidate’s portfolio as it’s a great indicator of past performance and their present skillset. You can get a feel for them before getting into the nitty gritty of an interview. It might also give a glimpse into their personality, which could help you determine if they are a good fit for the company culture.

Let Your Personality Shine

We know that as recruiters, many of your emails are based on templates, but don’t send out generic messages hoping to get a nibble with these candidates. You need to show interest or demonstrate uniqueness to capture their attention. Remember, you’re recruiting creative talent, and creative people tend to appreciate authenticity. Of course, a personal touch can go a long way with any type of candidate.

Balance the Team

If placing a candidate within a creative team, make sure there aren’t too many identical creative types. Like magnets, opposites work better together. But keep in mind that too many by-the-book stick-in-the-muds will stifle teamwork and creativity. Clearly, a balance will need to be struck, and, if possible, a meeting between future teammates would go a long way in finding any potential personality clashes before hiring.

Don’t Bother With Busy Work

A word of warning, creative types aren’t ones for structure, order, or predictability. You can’t keep them busy with mindless tasks until you have a project for them. There needs to be specific roles/needs already waiting to be filled, since creative talent prefer innovative and meaningful projects. This does, however, mean that you’ll have most of the details of the job already fleshed out before the interview, which will make it flow smoothly.

Identify Team Players

Collaboration is a big part of creative jobs so make sure the candidate can work in some sort of team environment. Get them to discuss the best ways for them to achieve their goals and how well they work with other people. Remember that you need to find the best candidate that will fit with the company, not just the best overall. So make sure you know what the company wants, and then suss out if that candidate is the best fit for that role. You need to find a candidate with value beyond a great skill set.

Remember: Recruiting Creative Talent Doesn't Have to Be Difficult

While it seems to be a rather complicated task, recruiting creative talent is clearly worth the effort when they are needed. Every profession can benefit from a healthy mix of personality types - especially innovative and creative thinkers. While it may seem like creative people need different handling in recruiting, it’s really not as different as you think. All candidates, whether creative or not, appreciate personality, genuineness, and of course - relevant and interesting job opportunities. In other words, don’t forget to give every candidate the VIP treatment.

Scott Giroux
Scott Giroux
20+ year veteran of all things staffing and recruiting. Proven innovator and leader adept at building long-term relationships and managing teams for growth. Dedicated to helping talent suppliers be successful by leveraging emerging technologies.
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