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.

Listen now:

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

The first report focuses on talent

For this episode, I wanted to pull out 4 of the trends that I thought were the most interesting, useful or thought-provoking.

Why talent?

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 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.

Recruiting 2.0

One of the biggest changes is happening with how teams are recruiting their talent. 


It’s about creating trust right from the beginning.

Best practices

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.



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.

Best practices



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.

Final thought

We need to focus on cultural and emotional innovation just as much as product innovation.

Subscribe now

You can listen and subscribe now on Apple iTunes, Google Play MusiciHeartRadio, SpotifyPocket CastsStickerTuneIn and on all other major podcast platforms.

Join the community

Ask questions, suggest topics for future shows and connect with other Crazy One listeners. Check out the Facebook page.