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How to attract (and retain) creative workers to your organization

Aug 13, 2019

Wendy Kennah
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Wendy Kennah
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Creatives... They’re the envelope-pushing free thinkers who refuse to accept money, position or stability as their status quo. They create, innovate and develop new approaches to paths that may lead the more analytically thinking minds astray - and they're a key driving force for economic development.

According to the World Economic Forum, Creativity is or is related to 9 of the top 10 skills that global executives say were essential for 2020 and beyond.

Yet when creative talent has a tendency to migrate towards the Googles, Apples and start ups, how can your organization attract and retain the creative talent you need to compete within your own marketplace?

Misunderstanding the creative exodus is an employer's greatest mistake

The migration of creative talent to tech isn't a new trend, and employers often overlook one key aspect of the creative exodus: It's not the coolest company that creatives crave. Many employers find it easy to shrug off a creative's departure or contract refusal as the desire to add a big-bold name to their resume - and it's an employer's greatest mistake when misunderstanding creatives. 

The key word to creative talent, is "creative," and capturing and keeping these workers' skills means providing work with opportunities to tell stories, push boundaries and develop new approaches to doing things - Creatives want their work to make a difference. 

When designing your talent acquisition strategy to engage and retain the creative worker, try including these tactics:

1. Build and brand an evangelical business

Creatives want to leave their mark; they want to make a difference. So, you need to get people talking about your plans for a better future. This means, you're required to take your individual passion a step further and create a message or cause that encourages others to join your company's movement.Remember when Netflix took rainy days staring at an empty Blockbuster shelf and turned the dismay into digital delivery?If your business is a brand that has a creatives have a tendency to flock towards an opportunity to make it a reality.

2. 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 team manager 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 of the hiring process.

3. Fuel innovation

Every project has scope, 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 them 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 move your business forward. Remember, creatives don’t see what something is, they see what it can be.

4. Be flexible in your environment and provide the right tools

As the future of work continues to be re-imagined, more and more organizations are implementing remote or hybrid work models, which comes with the increased flexibility and work/life balance creative love.

However, working remote also means employers must set their creative workers up for success with the right software and hardware. What would this worker need in their role to achieve optimum success? 

5. Create a team and offer perks

As creatives value more than just their pay check when it comes to their work, it's important to have non-monetary incentives in place to engage and retain them. Does your organization use innovative technologies, offer classes or upskilling programs for things they care about, provide passes to conferences or even host virtual company events? Creating programs that include think tanks or even brainstorming sessions over (virtual) beers can be incentives for creative workers. 

The Voice of Talent: Return to the Office Report

Procom recently surveyed over 1,000 knowledge workers to discover how and where they prefer to work as offices re-open across North America.  

The Voice of Talent Report offers actionable insights into what workers expect in relation to mandatory vaccinations, remote work preferences, The Great Resignation, COVID-19 safety measures and more.

Access your complimentary copy to discover how to attract talent in a post pandemic world: 

Download Report

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