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How To Attract And Retain Creative Talent


If your company wants to stay innovative and competitive, attracting and keeping the best talent is a priority. Unfortunately, that can be difficult when multiple agencies and startups are competing for a small pool of creatives. Your business must flow with the latest recruiting trends to secure top talent.

Although there are many ways to recruit skilled individuals, only a few best practices will keep them with you.

The Key Word Is “Creative”

Creative people, like artists, designers, and writers, enjoy challenging and nurturing projects. They don’t mind when something is hard; once given a project, they won’t stop until it’s done. A creative person will look for the best ways to meet your needs, even if that means conducting research off the clock or trying a dozen new methods.

Conversely, creatives hate boredom. These passionate individuals resent it if you treat them like pieces in a machine. Avoid giving creatives mundane tasks, especially if your company is large and requires many “cogs.” Give them complex problems. Provide room to experiment, grow, and find new and personal solutions. The more they can actually create, the more passionate they’ll feel – which will reflect well on your enterprise.

The Rules Must Make Sense

Every company has rules, but if they don’t make sense, creatives will instinctively buck them. They aren’t trying to be insubordinate; they simply feel stifled or see better ways to do things. Give creatives freedom. Make sure that the rules are clear and purposeful to them. If you can’t agree, look for ways to compromise. Above all, remember, “This is the way we’ve always done it” isn’t an answer. A creative doesn’t care how you’ve always done something. He or she wants to know how it can be better.

Listen to Their Ideas

More than most, creative people have vision. If you tell a writer, “I need a script for a courtroom drama,” he or she will immediately envision the players, their complicated backstories, their love interests, and why they’re in court. If you tell a visual designer, “My website is outdated,” his or her mind will jump to the latest technology. He’ll envision ways to make your website user- and mobile-friendly, come up with ideas for pages you don’t have, and make innovative product suggestions.

Creative talent want you to listen to their ideas. If you hire someone for a specific project, don’t make the parameters too strict. Ask, “What do you think? Have I missed anything? What would you do to reach this audience?” Give creatives some inspired direction. Let them know that you are as excited about a project as they are.

Offer Job Perks

In our competitive economy, perks are often the difference between keeping and losing top creative talent. When recruiting someone, find out what he or she needs most. If a single parent, they might be most concerned with healthcare.

Creative talent also need more “fun” perks too. Many people now work from home or otherwise remotely. Give creatives that option if possible. Offer free drinks and snacks and encourage team-bonding after hours. This lets your talent relax after work and build relationships with coworkers. If creatives feel that other workers are their friends, they’re more likely to stay.

Along with perks, offer incentives. This can be as simple as a vacation bonus or as complex as hiring a concierge to run errands. Some companies provide paid time off so employees can go back to school, attend kids’ events, or take time for hobbies. Unlike perks, incentives are earned – so creatives will work even harder to obtain them.

Nix the Traditional Office Environment

Almost nothing makes a creative feel more stifled than working in a cubicle all day. If you can’t let creative talent work at home, consider nixing the traditional office. Open up your space. Let your workers sit on comfortable chairs or couches or even work on the floor. Use bright colors to make the space inviting. Soft yellows and oranges or calming blues and greens are good choices.

Get Away From Work

Many companies coordinate team outings as perks. Although you might not do this, corporate outings are a fantastic idea. Once a month or so, take everyone out to lunch or for a refreshing walk around a public park or garden. Don’t make outings mandatory, as this could cause pressure. However, get to know the people who do go. Ask them about their lives outside work. Tell them what you like about what they’re doing. Your employees – especially creatives – will appreciate your interest.

How We Can Help

Need help finding great talent? We specialize in digital creatives, personally meeting each one of our candidates face-to-face and conducting hands-on assessments and full portfolio reviews to ensure our talent’s skills are best in class. Fill out our request talent form and we’ll get in touch with you ASAP!

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