How to attract talent - it's still harder than you think!

Yeah there’s a recession, yeah there’s bags of people on the market but I think creative agencies still need to be working harder to attract top talent.

It’s not enough just to exist and expect the best candidates to come to you - and be grateful for a job - they’re still in high demand so you need to do more.

Here are a few ideas:

Career path:

In my experience, prospects (or lack of) have got to be the number one motivator for a job seeker in the creative industries.

Yeah we’d all like a bit more money but the vast majority of people are looking for a move because they feel like they’re going stale, or simply aren’t moving fast enough.

It might be they’re not enjoying the type of work coming through, they’re not getting involved in as much of the project as they’d like, or they don’t feel trusted by whoever is above them, so letting your target candidate get a taste of what’s to come over the next year or two can be a huge carrot.

Creatives love to take ownership of projects and that sense of achievement you get from being so involved in successful work is why we all do the job. In my opinion that’s more important than the pay check - after all, I think we can all agree, there are easier ways to make a living!

Extras:

What little things do you do for you’re staff that they might not get elsewhere?

Do you give more than the average holiday allowance (loads of agencies don’t go to work between Christmas and New Year for example), any company away days, award nights, bike to work scheme (http://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/), headphones, ipods, bacon butties or fish and chips on pay-day??

There’s bound to be some, you might already take them for granted, but add them all together and they help to paint a picture of your agency.

Money:

Obviously this is a big factor, and the temptation, especially with the market as it is, is to offer less than you would normally. DON’T!

It’s only money but we’ve all got an idea of what we think we’re worth. So if we’re offered less it’s difficult not to take it as a personal insult - clearly not the best way to start a new working relationship.

I realise the cynical amongst will point to the fact it’s in my best interests to tow this particular line but, as long as the candidate has realistic expectations, you’re going to get much more out of them if you pay them their worth. Start as you mean to go on.

There are other methods of remuneration of course, and whilst I’d never suggest putting your creatives on “target related” pay, plenty offer profit related bonuses at Christmas etc. That can help supplement a salary but, perhaps more importantly, helps your staff feel part of a successful team.

Hiring people has always been a two way street. You have to love the candidates work and think their personality will fit well with the team.

Sometimes it pays to remind ourselves that those rules apply equally the other way around.

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