5 Tips For Building A Great Design Team In 2020

By Diane Domeyer, Executive Director, The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing creative, digital, marketing, advertising and public relations talent with the best companies on a project, contract-to-hire and full-time basis. 

The creative industry is growing and evolving, and we expect great things from 2020, especially in the area of digital design. But creative managers might be faced with a challenge: you need to expand your team to keep up with business demands, but where do you find the talent? And how do you keep your top performers from leaving for a better offer?

These are concerns a majority of advertising and marketing leaders expressed in a recent survey by The Creative Group. Eighty-six percent of respondents said it’s challenging to hire creative talent and 61% report that retaining employees is more difficult now than one year ago. As you begin your hiring efforts for the new year, be wary not to underprepare — or overlook your current staff.

Keep these five tips in mind to build a great design team in 2020:

• Have a defined hiring plan. Before you post the open position publicly, make sure you have an established job description (that isn’t a laundry list of required skills and experience) and a comprehensive compensation and benefits offer. Inform all key players in the hiring process of a timeline and interview schedule to avoid delays.

• Highlight your company in the interview. This is your time to evaluate the candidate’s qualifications, but also make your organization and team shine. Creative job seekers may have multiple offers, and you’ll want to establish your company as a great place to work and grow a career. Emphasize your company’s mission and team’s goals in the interview, while highlighting unique perks and qualities, like flexible work options, skills training programs and team building activities.

• Make the connection. Don’t only focus on skills and experience in the interview. You also want to assess how this person would work on your team. Ask them questions about how they like to work and what they look for in a company. When you’ve selected your top few candidates, organize quick meet-and-greets with key team members, and they can provide their input, too. Bear in mind, that while you are evaluating the importance of cultural “match,” so is the candidate.

• Recognize and reward. Retention is important in today’s employment market, and your staff wants to know that you appreciate their hard work. Everyone likes to be recognized in different ways, but a few ways you can celebrate successes are with a nice note, a shoutout during a meeting or an organized team lunch, or more formally with bonuses, raises or promotions.

• Provide opportunities for growth. The creative industry is changing rapidly, with a growing importance on innovation. New tools and techniques are emerging, and employees want to know that you are committed to investing in their professional development. Consider sponsoring skills trainings and attendance at industry events, as well as involving your team in new projects to help them spread their wings.

Thinking ahead is one of the best things you can do to effectively and efficiently hire. But you also need to think ahead when retaining your staff — don’t wait until it’s too late to let your employees know they’re valued on your team. In 2020, make it a goal to be prepared with a hiring and retention plan.