Trends in recruiting, hiring, and retaining the best talent.
Finding and hiring great creative talent is getting harder every day due to record low levels of unemployment, the increasing demand for creative skills, and the expanding role of design. In this episode, we will look at a few of the trends taken from the new Design Trends Report I co-authored that affecting how we find, recruit, hire, and train the best creative people.
I’ve talked before that one of the things I love about my job is that it gives me the ability to work with such a huge variety of companies all over the world. If you have followed me on social media for any amount of time then you have seen a sampling of some of that work. I’m very aware that this exposure to so many different teams and companies is really rare and gives me a very unique perspective to see what really works, what really doesn’t and some really interesting trends as they emerge across the industry. The more travel I did and the more I learned the more I started to think about how I could share what I was learning – the Design Trend Reports were born.
About the reports
- Created with Adam Fry Piece
- Released a few times a year
- Each one will focus on a different theme
- Uses the Design Frontier Report as the foundation
- Start, watch, stop recommendations
- These are trends not definitive outcomes so it is meant to start conversations.
The first report focuses on talent
- Talked with design leaders at companies like Amazon, Google, PWC, Bank of America, McKinsey, Indeed and many more.
For this episode, I wanted to pull out 4 of the trends that I thought were the most interesting, useful or thought-provoking.
Talent sets high maturity, design-forward organizations apart.
How we find, grow, and keep our best people is becoming more difficult due to
- There is a downside to record low levels of unemployment.
- We’re seeing some of the lowest US unemployment rates in history
- The lowest global unemployment rates in a decade. That gives your people more options.
- 84% of people say they are just “coming to work”
- The expanding role of design
There is an unprecedented demand for creative talent.
According to the 2019 In-House Creative Industry Report, there are 11% more creative jobs this year.
Creative professionals and their companies understand design’s value like never before, which means the old ways of finding and retaining your best talent aren’t working as well as they used to.
The old ways of working don’t work for creative talent anymore.
Many companies struggle because their traditional recruiting methods do not appeal to today’s creatives, and they move too slowly to address top issues like work-life balance, career development, and imposter syndrome. This unresponsiveness causes frustration and retention problems.
The impact they want seems unattainable, so people leave.
Many design leaders and designers were hired on the promise of a product or organizational impact. But those same design pros are realizing that what they were promised in the interview is unrealistic, as most of their organizations are stuck in the lower levels of design maturity (where design is still treated as a siloed function). As a result, they’re taking advantage of the healthy job market and moving on.
One of the biggest changes is happening with how teams are recruiting their talent.
- All that increased demand has created a workforce that wants to be catered to more, feel like they connect with future employers and know what they are getting in to.
- HR departments have not matured quickly enough to land the best people.
It’s about creating trust right from the beginning.
- Outreach is the new recruiting
- Build relationships with the people you want to work with.
- Think of it as a sports franchise
- Invest in job descriptions – KPI’s, success profiles, your team’s story
Rethinking interview techniques
Once they have reached out to people it is also becoming about new ways of interviewing. Portfolios are dying and are being replaced by teams who want to see real products, real files or see people in action to see their skills.
THE NEW INTERVIEW
- • Companies want to see creative talent in action.
- • They have been burned too many times by people who tell great stories but lack real talent
- • Many high design maturity teams are asking candidates to work through a test on their own.
- • Sometimes the candidate is also asked to work through a problem with the team they will be working with.
- • The team does this to understand the candidate’s creative process, test team chemistry, and get a firsthand look at the candidate’s skills.
Some candidates hate this approach, believing they shouldn’t have to prove themselves beyond their portfolio or experience. Some have had too many run-ins with companies who use this process to get free ideas from potential candidates.
- Be transparent
- Be ethical
- Use hypothetical or exaggerated problems.
- Not everyone can show or has the files from old projects
- It may not give you the complete picture of how someone works
Companies want talent with smarts and heart
Companies are starting to realize that culture matters and the character of the people they hire matter. Talent gravitates toward culture. In an attempt to understand if people will be a cultural fit some teams are turning to techniques that aren’t the best way to vet them. We have seen some teams turn to social engineering where they create situations to test how someone will respond.
New ways of working
The gig economy and the digital nomad lifestyle impacts how we work. Technology has freed everyone from their desks, and there is no going back. We are seeing a massive increase in remote work and new ways of working because technology has evolved to the point where anyone can work effectively from anywhere. As a result, people want a better work/life balance and are rethinking traditional work constructs.
We need to focus on cultural and emotional innovation just as much as product innovation.
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