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Hiring Guides 24 May 2019

How you can attract the best creative talent

To stay ahead of your competition, you need a combination of the best leaders, the best communicators and the best creative minds.

The creative talent gap is widening, and the best creative talent can afford to be picky. Even once you’ve hired the perfect person keeping them is another story.

So, how do you ensure you communicate your values and culture effectively enough during the hiring process to not only find the best talent, but so that every candidate wants to sign your offer letter?

Below are insights from our own experiences that will help navigate you through the whole process.

1. Understand what you want and what you don’t want

Distinguishing what you are looking for from a candidate and what you are avoiding should be the first thing to consider. For example, recognising the attributes of your most valued employees and those not so attractive traits of previous employees. Once you know this you can build your advertising of the role from the ground up.

2. Get your timings right

Before advertising make sure your timings are right. Leave enough time between when you want to hold interviews and when you want the successful candidate to start. For example, if you know you need the successful candidate to start on the 1st of July, you should start the process around 8 weeks prior to allow for interviews, offer, acceptance and notice periods. You can run multiple versions of your ad and then monitor applications to assess the response rate for each one. Creating two or three of the same adverts with alterations in tone of voice, information length and level of detail, can help to get responses faster.

3. Be creative in your advertising

The balance between the creative and commercial aspects of the role is something only you can decide. But our advice is no matter how creative they need to be, your adverts should always stand out. How can you expect your prospective employees to be creative if you aren’t inspiring them to apply? It is important that you really sell your brand within the job description. The most important thing with your ad is to be honest and to explain how the successful candidate will contribute to the success of the business.

4. Give creative freedom

We all know how important creative freedom is in this industry. Although you are advertising a role with hard and fast responsibilities, you still need to demonstrate that you promote the freedom and autonomy that creative thinkers desire.

For example, encouraging the successful candidate to make the role their own (in terms of what they want to get out of it, where they want to go and how they’ll feed in any previous experience into the role.

5. Foster a great working environment

One of the biggest things to hinder creativity, motivation, productivity and contentment is how happy they are at their job. This all comes down to the culture and team environments.

By promoting a welcoming and warm environment you’ll be able to keep staff retention numbers in a healthy place with a lot more of your employees feeling positive and content for longer.

A positive work culture really encourages employees (of all skill levels) to become invested in the tasks/projects they have been assigned. When employees feel like they can speak up regarding what they think is the best strategy to resolve a problem, or working on making a project / service better, they’ll automatically feel more open in discussing their creative ideas.

6. Be flexible

Flexible working not only promotes focus and productivity but can also improve how a future or current employee views the business.

Working on their own terms and adapting hours around their family life, can keep an employee more engaged and focused whilst they are out of office hours. Recruitment company MRL Consulting, have recently introduced a 4 day week, with many employees praising them for adopting this style of working – as well as giving them a great PR story…

Likewise, embracing long working days and shorter holidays will be undesirable to many candidates.

7. Promote benefits

Promoting your core benefits can often give you the edge over your competition. Whether it’s a great bonus scheme, additional holidays, paid holiday over Christmas, company car, etc. you should ensure you promote these benefits as much as possible. Benefits can sometimes be the deal-breaker that will give your offer the edge over your competitors.

8. Use social media

Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram are all important tools for communicating your business ethos. Try to communicate your values and culture through stories, posts and galleries. This will be integral to how you are viewed by candidates and their impression of you.

There are many company review sites that can also be used to your companies advantage. Sites like Indeed, Glassdoor and Google My Business allow employees and customers to leave their experiences of dealing with your company for all to see. This can be great when the feedback you receive is positive, but when not-so positive it can be a challenge. However, this shouldn’t put you off, as when feedback is monitored and replied to regularly, readers can see that you are committed to correcting negative impressions and improving things for the future.

In addition to social media, any online channel that you use to advertise or promote your jobs needs to be in-line with your company marketing efforts. This is often the first port of call for your potential candidates, so make sure their first impression of your company is a good one.

9. The interview

During the interview process, as well as all the things you want from the candidate it is important you consider everything the candidate has to offer. Taking the time to explore their creative portfolio, their CV and any published material will show the candidate that you have done your homework. Ask them questions about their CV and encourage them to draw on their experiences with each possible scenario, dilemma and even problem. One way a candidate’s creativity can be tested is through mini-assignments. For example, if you’re looking for a graphic designer why not give them a real, live brief to take away with them. Task-based interviews are often the only way to demonstrate creativity. cut-e.com can help you assess each candidate on their creativity and how their minds process information, problems and more.

10. The offer

A compelling offer includes everything, not just what the candidates starting salary will be. It also includes any benefits, perks, flexibility, paid time off, car, bonus etc. A good recruitment consultant can be an invaluable asset here – they will have a wealth of knowledge on salaries in your industry and should be informing market rates to you.

Remember that from the salary and benefits to the incentives that you offer, there will always be one benefit that will stand out to a candidate over another. Listening to the candidate during the interview process helps to try to understand what it is that’s likely to get them to accept.

To read the full article on ‘How to get your perfect candidate to say yes’ click here.

In summary

Overall, it is vital that you place yourself in the shoes of the creative candidate and learn what it is that they want and what will make them happy to work for your company for the next 5 or so years.

If they understand how they will creatively contribute, they are more likely to choose you over another company. Even if you don’t secure your perfect candidate their impression of you will be one they’ll want to share with others, so make sure you leave a lasting one.

If you have any questions then please email me Vicky at vicky.fellows@ic-resources.com

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