You know who they are.
They’re the odd ones. They’re the envelope-pushing rabble rousers who refuse to accept money, position or stability as their status quo. They’re the weirdos who see things differently and choose a path led by curiosity, passion and fun with a zest for all things just a little less ordinary over the white picket fence. They create, innovate and push forward with the insanity of believing they can change the world.
You know who they are—these creative types.
And you know you need them.
But how do you get and then keep these elusive yet ever effective round pegs in the square holes? Try these tips:
- Build and brand an evangelical business
Here’s the thing about one thing when it comes to creatives—they want to make a difference. Remember when Netflix took rainy days staring at an empty Blockbuster shelf and turned the dismay into a lovely streaming situation of your favourite flick right into your home via internet delivery? If your business is a brand that has a clearly defined vision of a better future, creatives have a tendency to flock towards an opportunity to make it a reality.
- Shake up the hiring hierarchy
Creatives just think differently—so when you interview, you need to think differently too. Instead of going the traditional route beginning with your HR department, let the potential boss do the initial talking. Then, involve the people and teams he or she would be working with. As a business, you’re way more likely to inspire passion if the desired hire can see your projects and get a sense of how they come into fruition. Sure, there’s a place for HR in the hiring phase, but creative types tend to be more inspired when fully immersed within their atmosphere and they may lose interest if you save this stage to the end without being first exposed.
- Fuel innovation
Every project has scope, scale and specs, but a true creative will never be a robot to someone else’s vision. Fuel innovation by actually giving creative freedom—it’s the lifeblood of what keeps these amazing oddities breathing—and their ideas booming. Autonomy gives the creative mind the ability to devise new ways of making the old better, fostering a mind path that can be the catalyst to moving your business forward. Remember, they don’t see what something is, they see what it can be. It’s a beautiful thing. And you don’t blindfold beauty.
- Be flexible in your environment
You don’t need to go full geek and Google out your office, but creative minds tend to rely on their environment to get the juices flowing. If you operate in a startup culture, this won’t seem too difficult, but if you’re in a more corporate atmosphere, you may need to accept the fact you’ll have to offer a space that encourages more movement, flexibility and even fun. Many companies are pushing the boundaries of office culture by including ping pong tables, sensory features and open layouts. Again, you don’t need to be Google out with bean bags, but you do need to create a space a step away from the conventional, rigid business environment. Four white walls will drive a creative up the wall quick.
- Create a team and offer perks
A perk of being in a managerial position is the perks you can offer your staff. Your current employees represent a vast talent pool with their personal and professional connections, and nothing creates employee advocacy better than cool perks and rewards. AND since we all know it’s more than money that attracts the creatives, perks are a massive motivator. Social events like team lunches, beer carts, sporting events, pub nights and employee birthdays all contribute to a culture that’s geared towards teamwork and family.
If you want a creative mind to work for you and your business, you’re going to have to have to work for them. And remember, “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”