How to attract the right creative candidate to your design agency
How to attract the right creative candidate to your design agency

Published by gabriele


How to attract the right creative candidate to your design agency

Wondering how to attract the right creative candidate to your design agency? Let’s discuss.

When the world stopped in 2020, the creative industry outdone itself – quickly adopting new technologies, learning new ways to collaborate, and putting in eye-watering amounts of overtime.  Creative agencies have bounced back in compelling ways, with the help of great talent behind them.

It seems this strengthened sense of ability has sparked a shift in creative recruitment and created a sellers’ market where getting the right candidate onto your team is harder than ever before.

For agencies, there is an opportunity to grow and learn new ways to care for their employees’ post-pandemic needs.

Company Culture

The design world is ‘tight’, and naturally, people talk. If your agency has a habit of treating staff poorly, it’s likely that your ideal candidate has heard out about it and is staying far away.

Gabriele’s MD Karina Beasley attests that ’a clued-up candidate will use Glassdoor and any other means to research their potential employers, so making sure your profile is ship-shape is a must. Better to manage effective damage control in the form of empathetic responses to anyone who seems aggrieved, and use the site to tell an authentic story of what working at your company is like.

Promote radical honesty and inclusion to foster innovation and agility amongst your team.

Nurture your employee’s individuality and allow those from different backgrounds, academic routes, and genders to feel comfortable expressing themselves. Not only will this enrich everyone’s work experience – resulting in better PR – but it will improve your team’s ability to pivot and adapt whenever necessary.

Address current turnover rates, employee engagement levels and opportunities for employee growth. Give your employees a voice during the analysis stage to help identify any real-life issues.

Employee Wellbeing

One major cause of the great resignation and the newly coined term:rage-quitting, is the increased importance employees place on achieving a healthy work-life balance.

Money is important. But for most in 2022, a healthy work-life balance holds more value.

Navigating a global pandemic showed many of us just how fragile the mind can be, and we all found new ways to manage our mental health – some were left in lockdown, others continued as the world returned to normal.

Now, candidates are no longer willing to jeopardise their emotional wellbeing in the name of income and will happily wait for a job within an agency whose ethics perfectly align with their own.

It is important to update your company’s beliefs to fit with the new emotionally intelligent employee.

To attract top talent, strive to offer your team a good standard of living – it costs nothing but will show candidates that you are employee-centric and in tune with their needs. Adopt wellness initiatives, whether this takes the form of healthy snacks, more holiday allowance, enforced daily breaks and knowing your door is always open to talk. You’ll be perceived in a more human light and your current ones will appreciate being part of an organisation that listens and prioritises their health.


Post-pandemic, a conversation around flexibility would centre around cross-pollinated departments or narrow job descriptions. But there is now another way agencies are offering their employees extra freedom, and it’s called remote working options.

Some candidates will want to work from home, others won’t. But they all hope to have the options to mix this up…

At a time when some agencies are going back to their studios, or some moving away from fixed locations, or shifting to co-working to have a rigid work structure is putting off talent. Of course, some creative agencies – ones that require constant collaboration – just don’t work well remotely; and if that’s your organisation, perhaps you can offer fluidity in your work hours and organisational structures instead.

Being flexible around your job descriptions is also still important, and our Clients Services Consultant Nadina Grad advises ‘hiring based on attitude, not just experience’. She states that ‘simply finding someone who already works for a competitor isn’t always the answer as skills can be transferable, but work ethic and mindset rarely are. If you only consider somebody who is already doing that particular job you may overlook the perfect fit for your agency.

The golden rule in recruitment used to be ‘80/20’ – finding someone with 80% of what you’re looking for and training them in the 20% which they lack.

Now, because of the diversity of talent and high demand, employers should be ready to consider 50/50.

It’s also worth noting that there is currently a high demand for roles in our design industry – particularly in creative and client services. Salary expectations have become very competitive, and the increase in costs around us is also beginning to influence this, so when hiring for these positions, maintain an open mind about what you can afford, don’t get stuck behind the curve and consider how else you can incentivise the proposal.


One thing above all that can turn a candidate off, is waiting for a response after the interview. Lack of feedback or unnecessarily slow feedback is bad PR for the agency, no 2 ways about it.  And if you’re talking to great talent it’s likely that they’ll have options, so snapping them up sharpish is key, not waiting days or weeks between interviews.

But even when you choose not to offer a candidate a position, it’s important to offer them feedback on why. As we mentioned in our first point, the industry is small and you’re likely to hear from them – or their friends – again.

We hope you found this article useful. If you need further help finding the right talent for your agency contact us and we’ll work our magic. Whilst you’re here, don’t forget to follow us on Linkedin and Instagram.

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