While you need to move swiftly to land highly qualified job seekers today, you can’t be careless. Here’s how to hire an employee in a highly competitive market for top creative talent.
Figuring out how to hire an employee with just the right mix of skills and abilities can sometimes feel like a daunting and high-stakes task. Bring aboard the wrong person and you (and your employer) will waste valuable time and money. Given the costs of making a bad hire, your team is counting on you to find a great fit.
Follow these six tips to attract and hire employees who will bring maximum value to your creative agency or in-house department.
1. Write an accurate job description
Generating interest from qualified job candidates is the most difficult aspect of the hiring process, according to a survey of advertising and marketing executives by The Creative Group (see infographic below). So, when a position opens up, take the time to write a job description that’s both detailed and compelling.
While you don’t want your job posting to be excessively long or so specific that it deters qualified candidates from applying, you do want to include enough information to attract job seekers who are well suited for the position.
If it’s a brand new role, carefully consider the tasks you want the employee to take on short-term and long-term, and the levels of education and experience your ideal candidate will possess.
If you’re filling a vacated role, take the opportunity to evaluate whether you want to make changes to the position. Chances are you’ll want to add or shift some responsibilities.
2. Cast a wide net
When you’re ready to start recruiting candidates, cast your net deep and wide. Of course, you’ll want to post the opening on your website and on job boards that cater to your company’s industry or the creative field. You should also share the job ad on your company’s social media accounts. But don’t forget about the power of in-person networking to spread the news of your open position, whether you’re attending a casual lunch, professional event or industry conference.
You may also want to consider working with a specialized recruiter who has access to highly skilled creatives, including passive job seekers. Staffing agencies like The Creative Group can help you identity talent on a project, contract-to-hire or full-time basis.
3. Carefully review resumes
Evaluating resumes can be tedious and time-consuming, but as the hiring manager you’re best able to decide if a candidate’s qualifications fit the bill. Look for resumes with keywords and phrases that match the job description. This shows that the candidate is focused on details and has experience that aligns with the job duties. Also, keep an eye out for resumes that highlight both technical and soft skills, and that include concrete ways the job seeker added value in previous roles.
4. Conduct consistent interviews
During the interview, pay attention to whether the candidate is well prepared by testing his or her knowledge of your company and industry. Again, zero in on both technical know-how and soft skills. Your job is to not only find the most qualified person, but also to build a well-functioning creative team.
While your conversations will naturally take different courses, be sure to ask all candidates the same questions to keep the playing field level. And don’t forget to sell yourself and your company. After all, interviews are a two-way street.
5. Determine the right salary range
Not sure how much money to offer? You’re not alone. Developing compensation packages and negotiating salaries is the second biggest hiring challenge for creative executives, according to the aforementioned survey.
Consult The Creative Group Salary Guide to make sure your starting pay ranges are on par with or better than what other companies in your area are offering. The guide features compensation data for more than 120 interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations positions, along with a formula you can use to quickly and easily compute average salary ranges in your city.
“With creative talent in high demand, hiring remains a challenge. Businesses need to be prepared with compensation packages that are commensurate with the value of candidates’ skillsets, experience and fit,” said Deborah Bottineau, senior regional manager of The Creative Group for Eastern Canada. “Coming to the table with a strong offer helps prevent a drawn-out negotiation process, minimizing the risk of losing candidates to competing offers.”
6. Don’t dawdle when you find the right candidate
Once you’ve identified your top candidate, extend an offer quickly. Candidates with strong portfolios and the right mix of skills frequently have multiple opportunities from which to choose.
Expect the candidate to take a day or two to consider your offer, and plan for some back-and-forth negotiating. Finally, make it clear the job offer is contingent upon any reference or background checks you need to complete.