Creative Talk with Hana Chadwick from The Creative Store
Creative Talk this month is with Hana Chadwick, a Senior Creative Consultant at The Creative Store, on the ins and outs of how roles and skillsets are changing.
Client roles and requirements have changed considerably with digital being a thread through every role. Are candidates keeping up with the digital skillset demand?
Many candidates don’t realise they have basic digital skills - it’s still shrouded in a bit of mystery and when you explain to them that the basic digital assets are anything from EDMS, web banners, mockups for home pages, landing pages etc, candidates are surprised that ‘that’s’ digital at its most basic level. More and more juniors have HTML and CSS as well which is fabulous. In general, those that have digital experience want to use it and keep it up.
A lot of clients don’t always have clear job briefs for us, how do you decipher their actual requirements?
From a great understanding of the clients’ business needs. Familiarity with the type of work they are producing or targeting, keeping across their updates, wins and industry chat in relevant blogs, StopPress and from their websites. If you already know the caliber of your clients, the internal culture and the type of people that make them hum - then we are 3/4 of the way there.
What would be your top 3 recommendations to clients when thinking about their next hire?
- Are there skill gaps in the current team? This is a great time and way to up the arsenal in your creative offering.
- Growth and career trajectory – keep it clear for candidates - does a career path exist or will they flatline - is there anywhere to move up with the company?
- Do they fit well culturally with the team? It is important to balance out the extroverts and introverts
We get asked a lot to help the client choose from the final 2 – what are the decision factors they should be considering?
Think about the capacity they have to grow and change, how adaptable are they? Your clients come and go and new skills are needed – how quickly can they pick these up?
Fit is always key - will they gel with your existing team, collaborate well and bring in some new skills to amplify your creative briefs.
Working across a range of jobs, covering CX, UX, Digital, Graphic, Artworking – are you finding more and more jobs and their skills are overlapping?
There’s definitely a huge interest in content creation, videography and service design/design thinking. UX methodologies are becoming the norm and can be seen company-wide, not just the remit of the digital team, they are now instilled from the top down. Lots of marketers are making the jump to CX/UX as they have a great range of parallel skills. In general a wider reach of candidates are interested in UX and how they can make the jump.
The Creative Store have offices in Auckland and Sydney – do you find this is a great benefit for clients and candidates alike?
It’s always interesting for seniors to hear of other roles across the ditch - I’m regularly sharing roles in Sydney with our Creative Directors here, and placing good people in those roles. Clients are interested in pay differences and packages, and it’s great to have roles on offer to those looking to move to Australia.
Salaries. Break this down for us.
We definitely look at a candidates’ experience, caliber of work, their years of commercial work and the balance of agency vs inhouse roles - this all builds the wider salary picture. Just because you have worked for 10 years – doesn’t make you a senior level designer and likewise, if you are a junior and did a year at Xero doesn’t make you a $100k worth candidate. We let candidates know if they are asking too much, we are realistic and let them know that there aren’t many roles for them at an inflated rate; they rapidly realise this when no roles are presented to them.
A lot of people think being the middle person in recruitment is easy – what’s your take?
I never knew how much work went into getting someone a job. Even when you finally get a contract to a candidate, it can fall over - they have other offers, they want to negotiate too hard, the client suddenly finds someone else…. When the magic does happen though, and you help someone get their first job or their dream job, then that’s the gold. This happens the fastest when you really know your client, you have met them, been to their studios and get a good feel for what they are after - it really does make the process more real, more visible. We work as an extension of their studio and know what they are looking for, and what that person needs to feel like.
What’s your best pearler moment to date?
So many it’s embarrassing. I’m that person, I fall off chairs, I snort when I laugh and I’m highly distracting, but I laugh a lot and bring the noise - that opens up the doors for far too many pearlers!!!!
If you are looking for any creative resource for your studio - freelance, contract or permanent - contact Hana@thecreativestore.co.nz