If you are in the market for a new creative director, then you know how challenging and difficult the search process can be. Irrespective of whether or not you have hired this type of talent in the past, each recruitment push for a creative director is distinctive. Part of the complexity of hiring these creatives comes from a lack of consistency in the position. By their very nature these experts are, well, creative–and creativity is distinctive. Thus, it is hard to find even two creative directors who are cut from the similar cloth.
That said, this does not mean that you must be heading into this talent search blind. While each candidate you come across will be distinctive in his or her own right, the best creative directors do tend to share some essential qualities.
Creative Director’s Role
Brantley Dunaway says that in the past, unless you were a key fashion brand or ran an agency, chances are you were not in the market for a creative director. And this makes a lot of sense, given the creative director’s role. While each company will staff and depend on this position in a different way, for the most part creative directors are senior-level managers who supervise the production and quality of all creative assets a company or a brand puts out. Before the internet boom, few businesses had the resources or requirement for an in-house creative director–which assists explain their primary role in agencies that took on this outsourced workload.
The typical search for a creative director is a long one, so you will have some time to know the person whom someday might be steering the direction of your brand. Over your rounds of interviews, you will want to ask questions and pay specific attention to answers that depict the following qualities.
- The best candidates you will find are those who are inquisitive about anything and everything to do with their craft. These are the individuals who are most likely to be on the advanced of marketing innovations and understand how to make your company stand out amongst an ever-crowded landscape.
- A creative director without a portfolio is not one you can hire. Some candidates in the present day job hunt believe their experience alone is adequate to get them through the door, but a portfolio does more than just show off finished projects a hiring manager could possibly locate on their own. An updated portfolio–assuming it is a website built from the ground up, as it must be at this level–shows off the candidate’s distinctive style and how they serve themselves as a client. Not to mention, an outdated portfolio or one strewn together quickly, shows a lack of commitment and professionalism to craft that is unbecoming of top-quality candidates.
- Your creative director should be one of your most effectual communicators in the company. As a matter of leadership, it is always essential to hire those who can communicate ideas and directions effectively. But, in the creative space it is vital. You are creative director needs to not only be able to converse the value of their ideas to stakeholders, they also need to communicate effectively how those ideas will become a reality via their creative teams.