With the competitive landscape for top creative talent and vendor management systems (VMS) in place, in-house creative services groups continue to struggle with finding the right talent that will fit within the culture of the group.

Put a spin on things, and start making your group a destination top talent are longing to join. It's not all about your company's name but your group's reputation and word of mouth. What creates a buzz about your group, the work and the people? -- Yourselves!

The first thing is to become recognized and stand out within other in-house creative services groups. The best way to accomplish this is to have a strong presence within the community--you, your team members and your collective group.

Winning industry awards attracts attention to your group not only for the creativity it produces but the talent and creative latitude behind it. Award winning creative stems from a nurturing environment and is a result of a goal's objective clearly being met. People will not only contemplate...wow, what great creative...they'll wonder who worked on it, what a great/fun campaign this is...I'd love to learn more about the group and people who did this. And here you have attracted attention!

Now that you have their attention, you must retain it. Here are a few other ways to have a strong presence in the community, attract more interest and build your department's employment brand:

  • Engage in PR
    • Industry periodicals and blogs
    • Sponsor (or at least attend!) industry events (our sister company, The BOSS Group, holds CreativeConnects happy hours to connect talent and opportunities; why not go meet talent and socialize your brand--regardless of whether you have an immediate hiring need or not.)
    • Participate in social media
  • Write for industry magazines and blogs--or start your own and have your team participate too!
  • Speak at industry events--there are small and big events across the country; work on getting yourself known. And don't limit yourself to leadership events, seek to network with talent of all levels.

Networking and leveraging your company and team's network will capture more interest as well. In addition to the above suggestions, become somewhat of a constant fixture in the community by:

  • Joining local organizations, e.g., your local AIGA chapter
  • Connecting with local colleges and universities (don't forget about internship programs to begin creating a presence with future employees)
  • Utilizing recruiters

And finally: Turn your team into evangelists. What better way to make your group a destination if not by having your own team members spread the word? Creating a nurturing environment for your team to flourish in consists of:

  • Matching each individual's aptitudes, passions and skills to assignments
  • Make it personal - take an interest in their life outside of work, find common interests
  • Create opportunities for dialog
  • Share professional insights, books, websites, articles, movies, magazines
  • Give everyone an opportunity to contribute

p.s. These also comprise a good retention strategy!

Sometimes your company name is enough to drive people to want to work for you (Target, Coke, Apple, Victoria's Secret), but for most in-house creative leaders our brands don't work as hard for us in creative circles. The experience you create for creatives can make your group a destination allowing you to employ the best of the best in your city.