​The war for creative talent is heating up. Creatives have always worked as freelancers and it’s been no secret that creative talent is being enticed by the lucrative salaries and chance to make a difference in the technology sector. What is new is the migration of creative talent to businesses that offer better work-life balance and some are even moving away from full time employment all together.

There are reportedly more than 10 million creative freelancers worldwide, and those with creative skills are in high demand. The competition from big names and the appeal of self-employment can make it difficult for agencies and small businesses to attract and retain the best creative talent. So how can they compete and find innovative ways to attract the creative talent they need when and where they need it?

What is creative talent looking for from their workplace?

The key to creative talent management in an increasingly competitive environment is understanding what creative professionals want from their job role and their employer, which tends to be:

Unique challenges

Creatives love to innovate and take risks. They enjoy finding ways to keep their work unique, fresh and above all stretch themselves and their skills by being stimulated and challenged.

Access to great brands and great work

While some creatives may enjoy the rush of business development and landing work, others are simply looking for great projects where they can flex their creative muscles without having to go find the work themselves.

Opportunities to develop and grow

Learning new skills, pushing their creative boundaries and fast-paced career growth are all extremely appealing to creative talent. An incredible 80% of freelance graphic designers taught themselves a new skill last year. Without the opportunities to upskill and develop their creative practice they can become restless and move on to more exciting roles.

Freedom and flexibility

Creatives thrive when they have the chance to manage their own work with a degree of autonomy and flexibility. Creatives with the freedom to work remotely report being more engaged, more creative and more satisfied with their employer.

A sense of purpose

Part of the appeal of working in tech for creatives is the greater sense of purpose and chance to have an impact on how the world works. To appeal to and engage with creative talent organisations must convey their vision, their mission, and long-term goals. Creatives want to know why their work matters.

4 strategies for winning the war for creative talent

Once you understand what creative talent wants from their employers, you can use that knowledge to build innovative ways to attract candidates. You can also leverage that insight to develop inventive strategies for nurturing and retaining talent already in your organisation.

Below are our top four creative ways for winning the competition for talent in the creative industries:

1. Aim your professional development opportunities at creative talent

Recognise that the professional development opportunities you need to offer to attract and retain creative talent may look different from those you offer to other employees. Almost half of the designers in one study said that they advance more quickly if they were offered the opportunity to develop a more wide-ranging, multifaceted skill set. A great way to determine what development, training, and upskilling opportunities you need to provide is to talk to your creative staff. Listen to what they feel would benefit them most.

2. Supercharge your workplace culture

Your workplace culture should be one that rewards creativity and supports risk-taking and innovation. Acknowledge and accept mistakes and failures as part of the creative process and emphasise a sense that you value your employees as individuals with unique and valuable passions and interests.

3. Treat your full-time staff like your freelancers

Give your creative employees the chance to own their work and autonomously manage their time. Create space for self-directed learning whilst providing employees with the resources they need to succeed. This will help retain and nurture your creative talent in-house that might otherwise strike out on their own. Create policies and structures that encourage work-life balance and personal growth and consider offering different styles of flexible working from fully remote, four-day weeks or staggered working hours.

4. Rethink your hiring strategies

Think outside the box when it comes to how you seek to hire your creative talent. Rather than trying to meet every requirement of the job description instead hire for potential. This gives you the opportunity to offer creative talent the chance to stretch themselves and develop in the direction that will be most beneficial for your business.

How can DMCG help?

If you are looking for advice on how to create a recruitment strategy that attracts the best creative and marketing talent available, we can help. Our global talent consultancy at DMCG Global can connect you to quickly with talented individuals anywhere on the planet. Get in touch below to find out more.

Contact us today