4 Ways to Hire and Maintain the Best Creative Talents

April 27, 2015

10:00 am

Every company out there is interested in innovation, and innovation comes from creativity.  The problem is how to find and keep the brightest minds working for your company. Whether you are hiring a creative copywriter, animator, or marketing executive, here are four ways to help you score the best creative talents.

1. Offer fair pay

Nothing blows up your employees’ trust more than inconsistent salary. A typical scenario – a company offers “below market” rates at early stages, promising extraordinary bonuses and annual salary reviews to make up for it later in an attempt to keep the talent locked in place. This kind of strategy only results in suspicion and destroys loyalty.

Not only should you be proactive in maintaining current market rates, but you can also offer low-cost perks all employes love like flex working hours, discounts from local vendors, and commuter benefits. Set up a clear bonus policy – simple and motivating with compensations relevant to the results reached. Again, these bonuses could be financial or could include benefits like sabbaticals or extra vacation time.

Your desperate competitors may still want to overpay and headhunt your best talents, but the loyalty to you will drive the prices even higher.

2.  Recruit from nontraditional sources

If you look want to find extraordinary talent and make them fall head over heels for your company, connect with them through different channels. Check out The Talent Bank – a non-profit community where you can connect with hundreds of prospects in various niches from animation to songwriting. Behance and Dribble are a great way to discover amazing designers, illustrators, and pretty much any other creative dealing with graphics. Reddit has dozens of professional sub-reddits and even “I’m hiring” threads where you can screen your candidates by merely browsing through their advice and comments or shared work.

Set up a referral company program with some attractive bonuses. Loyal happy employees are more likely to attract their fellow creatives to your company than any advertorial out there.

3. Test creativity by asking the right questions

Don’t stick to the typical questionnaire. Shoot with specific questions aimed at probing creativity instead and discovering outside the box thinkers.  Here’s a few suggested by Victoria Hoevemeyer in her latest book High-Impact Interview Questions:

    • Tell me about a situation in which you have had to come up with several new ideas in a hurry. Were they accepted? Were they successful?
    • Describe the most significant plan or program that you ever developed or implemented.

4. Create a multi-generational work space

These days most companies seem to have a fix on catering to the needs of the Millennials. Make sure you don’t jump on that bandwagon immediately as you may find yourself left with a pretty young and inexperienced organization.

Make sure you address everyone’s needs and offer similarly attractive perks to folks in late 40s as well as the twenty-something professionals. Different age groups often have different views in the areas of remote working options, work environment and workplace design. Run a few surveys and group interviews to develop a comprehensive workplace plan.  Develop protocols for collaboration, decision-making, performance management and mentoring, that would speak to the priorities of multiple generations.

Image credit:Flickr/JD Hancock

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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