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What to Look for When Hiring a Creative Director?

Just a few years ago, telling someone that you are looking to hire a Creative Director or that you are a one would get you a lot of blank stares, blinks and “What does a Creative Director actually do?” type of questions. At least outside of a marketing or a modeling agency.

Even in the high-level entertainment industry, such as movies and television, Creative Directors did not use to be all that common. And these are all about creativity. And making money – but that’s another story.

Nowadays, however, things are different. Every customer-facing business dedicated to building that relationship and doing some amazing PR needs an online and social media presence as well as capable gatekeeper to keep things on track. Basically, they need a Creative Director.

The shift had come stealthily and quietly. The buzz is steadily growing, and if the discrepancy between the current demand for Creative Directors and the available (and suitable) candidates is anything to go by, people don’t seem to have been prepared. At all.

But hiring whomever, just because you need the position filled is not really the best of practices. And can even be damaging. It is better to keep on going just as you did before, keeping the status quo, than doing irreparable damage to your businesses by trusting the wrong person to perform a very public and a very demanding task that they are not up to doing.

What is needed for a Creative Director position?

The position of a Creative Director demands a certain type of qualified individual, which is why it can be difficult to find, attract and eventually hire somebody to successfully fill it.

Before everything, it is important to remember that this is often a senior-leadership position. This means that the person has had years of experience doing creative work on various projects, with many companies and in a whole bunch of teams. Beginner creatives just starting out down this path are just not gonna cut it.

A Creative Director can come from any creative background – design, copywriting, marketing, etc – and build on their skill set through many experiences, projects and situations. Thanks to their passions and curiosity for anything new, they’ve had and embraced the chances to develop beyond their initial field and it shows.

In addition to knowing how to do all kinds of cool stuff and knowing how to implement them correctly, a Creative Director is someone who has worked with many people, someone who can easily adapt to your company culture and can gel seamlessly with the rest of the creative team and company.

A Creative Director should also have a well-developed soft skills, such as communication, flexibility, public speaking, general understanding of people and ability to read them, and many many more that can help them in their day-to-day responsibilities of leading a team, listening to and presenting with clients and stakeholders, analyzing the markets and trends and implementing that knowledge into the new projects.

They also need to be a good teacher and a listener and have the ability to direct the team’s efforts, impart their knowledge and generally be able to find and keep a project going into the correct direction. A Creative Director needs to know when to say NO and when to stop and listen and implement the new idea that isn’t theirs.

One of the most important things that a Creative Director should be able to do is to evolve the existing campaigns and not just create new ones from scratch. This is especially important if they are coming into an existing business with a well-established brand. A Creative Director should be able to hit the ground running wherever they happen to land.

What about Creative Director resume?

Saying that there is a discrepancy between the demand for capable Creative Directors on the job market and the number of suitable applicants, does not really mean that there are no candidates. In fact, the opposite is true.

If you were to decide that you needed an in-house Creative Director to help you boost your business and were to advertise the job posting today, there would be many a resume flying your way within hours.

It’s just that not many would make it past the first round.

In addition to the people that are simply not qualified for the position, you will also be getting resumes that don’t adequately show off the awesomeness of their owner. Unfortunately, there are people who are more than qualified to do a job, but think that just having the experience is enough to get them through the door. And this is simply not the case at the job market today.

With the number of hopefuls applying to any single position, especially attractive ones such as Creative Director, a candidate must have the chops to do the job, but also an awesome custom-made resume that is easy to read and understand. And is also up-to-date.

Faced with a mountain of resumes, you will quickly learn how to distinguish the ones that you want to read from the ones that you have no interest in. Unfortunately, people disqualifying themselves from the race because their resume looks lousy is not really something that you can do a lot about, except maybe be transparent regarding the selection process when creating the job posting.

What do you think?

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Written by ATH

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