The Art Of Recruiting Creative Types

The ‘creative’ employee is often the cornerstone of a company, particularly in the marketing and video game industries. How to attract, recruit and retain this highly sought after talent? We talk with Pierre-Luc Labbée, recruiter at Framestore in Montreal.

Game designers, 3D artists, graphic designers, artistic directors, and advertising strategists: companies specializing in production or advertising tend to go after these types of talented designers. How to attract, recruit and retain them? Pierre-Luc Labbée, head of recruitment for ten years at the visual studio Framestore, shares his advice.

First of all, the project itself will often be the deciding factor in hiring, he says.

“Passion is important to them and this is why many companies have a retention challenge,” states Labbée. “This is a workforce that is on the lookout for the next big project: the next blockbuster, the next big video game, the next console, the next big advertising campaign that will win prizes at Cannes. This is a workforce that is on the lookout for what is happening in the market and who wants to be part of those projects.”

To attract them, the company must create interest by promoting its employer brand and showcasing its exciting projects through all possible channels of communication: social networks, blogs, articles, web content strategy, YouTube, Instagram.

“What is quite complex with the creative types is that they are people who work for a portfolio. They are mobile depending on the projects they are attracted to, whether in video game, film or advertising. These are people who are going to focus on a creative product that resembles them or resembles the style in which they want to work in. Some will be attracted by the style of a project, others by its size or by its magnitude. They should be inspired by their work and want to push their art to the next level.”

According to Labbée, the company must assert not only the working conditions and the quality of the work environment, but also projects that may attract them and the opportunities to learn and evolve as a creator within the organization.

“This is a very competitive field, so we must be imaginative, as an employer, to attract these people. We must invest in the corporate culture, ergonomic workspaces, stimulating development activities and continuing education. During the interview process, this topic will come up quickly: Candidates want to know how they are going to progress and evolve in the organization. We have to be very proactive in career management.”

To recruit creative types, old methods are insufficient. We cannot simply post a job and wait for the resumes to come in.

“Do not hesitate to approach them directly one by one,” says Pierre-Luc Labbée. “We are talking about a very personal recruitment approach similar to headhunting, passing through LinkedIn and developing a content strategy to attract them. I spend most of my time on social media to try and start a conversation with potential candidates."

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