No, it’s not dating advice.
But there is a lot of competition out there. And in the crowded and confusing marketplace, how can you stand tall? How will you attract the best talent and keep their creative minds working for you?
It’s not all about salary.
Maybe it’s about you being a bit creative, too!
Like attracts like. Put a creative stamp on your organisation and your methods, and like-minded people will be drawn to you.
Creativity brings success. An energetic and positive message gives you a competitive edge in the recruitment field.
But how do you keep up the momentum?
The answer lies in three basic and inter-related components of your business.
It’s about what you create around you
The nature of the working ‘world’ is crucial to innovation and creativity.The best environments:
- invite flexible approaches, ideas and solutions
- encourage freedom of discussion and dissent
- value and support individual difference
- demand open communication
- build confidence, autonomy and commitment – the key ingredients of creativity
Creative people are attracted to these settings. Creativity thrives in them, and creativity is contagious.
How can you communicate all this in the ‘tangibles’?
Do a quick audit:
- How do your publications, your communications and business stationery speak to your clients and prospective staff?
- What impressions do the office layout, furnishings and décor give to visitors and interviewees?
- What does your online presence say about your organisation?
- What impression do your job ads create?
If the good things that are happening in your organisation aren’t clearly communicated to potential employees, think about seeking expert advice to make sure that your recruitment processes are sending the right message.
It’s about how you stimulate and value creativity
If you identify and encourage creative individuals, you are making your company a place where people want to work – and stay.
Experience tells us that creative people appreciate:
- the opportunity to have some choice in, and ownership of their projects
- having their say, and genuinely being ‘heard’
- space and time for creative thought
- varied learning opportunities
- genuine feedback and encouragement
- recognition for valuable contributions and efforts
There are countless ways to foster creative and innovative thinking among your staff.
Necessity might be the mother of invention but creativity is often born of the unexpected.
- Ask for some ‘no limits’ ideas and, no matter how absurd they might seem at first, follow them through to their logical conclusion. One workable idea or strategy will often come from this process. Throwing things off balance from time to time can have surprising results.
- Take a day away from everyday duties and set aside time for creative solutions to a specific problem. With the chance to brainstorm together, and no pressures, staff will come up with something worth pursuing.
- How are your employees usually asked to ‘be creative’? Some studies suggest that men often perform better alone (not in meetings), and women’s creativity benefits more from divergent activities and ‘group-think’. Some have the ‘light bulb moment’ and others are most creative in response to a challenge when they can, quite literally, ‘sleep on it’.
Catering to different ways of ‘thinking and doing’ maximises creative output.
When you are actively seeking staff, are you providing potential recruits with a feel for the creative culture that you are building?
Does your ‘branding’ consciously include a message about the supportive strategies you have in place?
Would your key staff refer valuable candidates to the company?
The Human Factor
It’s about your leadership and example
‘Be the change you want to see’ – Gandhi
Your ability to inspire creative effort is closely connected to your own qualities.
As a leader, are you:
- Creative – willing to try something new, see further, act boldly?
- Open – clear about expectations, welcoming of fresh ideas, honest in communication?
- Warm – interested and approachable, enthusiastic about effort, and generous with praise?
Are you and your hiring manager ‘making it personal’ – taking that extra step to secure the best and most creative staff, without necessarily offering a higher salary?
Are the characteristics of a supportive, empowering environment evident in the whole recruitment process – from interview to job offer?
If you need it, seek some expert advice. With some creative effort of your own, you could be the go-to company for the best creative talent around.