While organizations are geared up to bring on creative workers, the added competition for those employees means that companies might have to get creative about how they utilize their skills.
In an era when automation seems to be kicking up, the value of the creative staffer—someone who can ideate, not just execute—is growing.
And as many organizations look for new employees in the coming year, two thirds are hoping to increase their creative teams, according to recent research from The Creative Group at Robert Half. In its State of Creative Hiring report, the firm noted that growing needs for technical skills such as digital strategy, content creation, artificial intelligence, and data science were driving the interest in more creative staffs.
“To keep up with changes in technology and consumer behavior, businesses seek people with a passion and commitment to improving customer experiences and driving growth through digital innovation,” said The Creative Group’s executive director, Diane Domeyer, in a news release. “Companies are increasingly hiring professionals with expertise in areas such as data analytics, demand generation, automation and artificial intelligence.”
Nearly 70 percent of organizations are willing to try freelance to help fill the gap, though given the recent law in California, that comes with some potential hiccups.
Another minefield that awaits organizations looking to hire creatives? More competition for creative roles. The report notes that 86 percent of respondents say that they run into challenges locating new creative talent, while 61 percent say retaining existing creative talent is a challenge. The tight job market is not helping.
As a result, it may help to look for a diamond in the rough—someone who has the creative traits at their disposal to succeed. Recently, Forbes asked a number of marketing agencies about lesser-known traits that creative folks can have that makes them more effective. Some of them, like a willingness to learn and general empathy, might be obvious; others, like an ability to improvise or a lack of experience, might seem pretty surprising.
“A leader seeking to forge an innovative team with depth, flexibility and adaptability shouldn’t focus solely on the most common traits,” the article states. “Instead, they should delve further into what makes that creative individual a unique asset to the team.”
And there’s always the factor of considering how creativity is distributed through an organization. Maybe you can’t hire a huge team, but if that team has an overarching role in the creative process of the whole organization, it could increase their reach and power.
Over at the Wrike blog, writer Sara Eisenberg makes a case for taking a systems-minded approach to organizing your creative teams. Beyond helping the organization, it could also help ensure creative people don’t get bored, she writes.
“It can be helpful when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut or only being assigned one type of work,” she explains. “Next time you feel that you’re only working on website wireframes and not having the opportunity to work on social ad design, step back and think about the system in place at your office.”