Hmm, where’d we leave off? Oh, right. Creative industry unemployment is looking up, digital, video, and mobile jobs are in demand, and we started delving into the world of acquiring and retaining employees.
So, alright. It seems like opinions about the value of creative departments have been changing a little bit lately. Any thoughts on that?
Creative departments often look for the perfect, all-knowing candidate. A superman of creative skills, if you will. Though their intentions are in the right place, a shift is starting to occur where directors are realizing the professional value of developing the needed skills within their current employees, rather than spending excessive amounts of time seeking candidates that have all the necessary skills. They’re starting to consider the solution of maintaining a steady, solid staff, and supplementing it with more specialty-experienced contractors.
Does that mean the market of employable creatives is shifting towards contract-work?
Yeah! We’re actually finding that the recession has steered a lot of companies and creatives towards more contractual work. Since the economy has begun to recover, a little over half of all new roles have been contract roles. 40% of in-house agency Creative Directors plan to hire freelancers this year as well. Perhaps the best part is that it’s given these directors the opportunity to hire temp-to-perm. 75% of my clients grow their creative department this way.
With a decent percentage of agencies and companies competing for freelancers, what advice would you give them to ensure they’re getting the cream of the crop?
Simply put: compete. Put forth the best, most interesting work and the freelancers you attract will reflect that. Treat your contractors like a full-time member of your team, give them opportunities to develop their skills, and be honest and up front about setting expectations. Also, be open to hiring for aptitude and culture over hard and fast skills. People that are both adaptable to your company culture and capable of learning quickly will be valuable members of your team, even if they don’t fulfill your grocery list of technical skills.
We will be checking in with our lady-in-the-know regularly from now on, so stay tuned!