Creative Talent In Short Supply. Here’s How To Find It

Diane Domeyer. 

Diane Domeyer is managing vice president at Robert Half, a global talent solutions firm. In this role, she oversees the practice that offers strategic project solutions to address clients’ marketing, digital and creative initiatives.

About Robert Half. 

Know The Creative Group, your source for specialized creative and marketing talent solutions and job opportunities? Then you already know Robert Half, The Creative Group’s parent brand. When you see communications or content from the primary Robert Half brand, know that they’re from the same creative and marketing experts you’re familiar with, ready as ever to support your contract, temporary hiring or job search needs. Find your next creative hire or career opportunity.


At the start of the pandemic, companies needed to reach digital audiences and craft new kinds of messaging in a hurry — often with limited resources and shifting priorities. And they were able to achieve this with help from outstanding creative and design professionals, further emphasizing this field’s importance and value to an organization.

Today, creative leaders need more of this talent as trends like the boom in e-commerce drive demand for versatile creatives. However, competition for their services is intense. Research for the 2022 Salary Guide from Robert Half, a talent solutions firm that specializes in creative and marketing, shows that 54% of creative and marketing managers plan to recruit in the coming months. But with more vacancies than job seekers, your options may seem limited.

Don’t panic. While you can’t control the hiring market, you can tailor your recruitment strategy to the current landscape and make your firm attractive to talented candidates. Let’s look at some of the most common challenges facing hiring managers — and how you can address them.

We Can’t Find Qualified Candidates In Our Area

Around 60% of creative leaders say they start their recruitment process by looking for local candidates. If they can’t find anyone, they begin to cast their net farther afield.

But in the era of remote working, there’s no need to restrict yourself in this way — particularly when looking for professionals who rely on access-anywhere tools like Adobe Creative Cloud. By recruiting in areas beyond your region, you can broaden your pool of available talent with the highly sought skillsets your team needs.

We’ve Had Several Offers Turned Down By Candidates

Competing on salary alone can quickly turn into an arms race. The employer with the deepest pockets will secure the most skilled talent, leaving competitors to fight over the rest.

To illustrate what you’re up against, here are the midpoint salaries for some of the most in-demand positions in the creative and design field right now as reported in the 2022 Salary Guide:

Graphic designer — $58,250

Packaging designer — $60,000

Web designer — $72,500

Multimedia designer — $74,250

Visual designer — $84,500

Product designer — $85,000

UX designer — $102,000

(Note that these are national averages. To adjust salaries for regional cost of living, talent availability and other factors, access the Salary Calculator at

Fortunately, salary isn’t the only thing that sways great candidates. Consider the fact that 48% of employers plan to give existing workers a title bump as an incentive to stay on. You can incorporate this thinking into your recruitment strategy, giving prospective hires the chance to instantly improve their resume. Most candidates respond positively if the position you’re offering them feels like a step up. Additionally, showcasing your organization’s career growth and learning opportunities, as well as company vision and purpose, can enhance the appeal of joining your team.

It’s Hard To Compete With Larger Companies

Competing on reputation can be as tough as competing on salary. Big-name corporations and agencies are powerful brands in their own right, which appeals to many candidates. Gen Z workers may be especially keen to hitch their wagon to a star, with 66% of this group feeling that the pandemic seriously derailed their career.

Training and project experience are two very tempting rewards smaller companies can offer. Most designers need to keep their skills up to date, including working with emerging technology. If you can provide new hires with education and training as well as continually upgrade your company’s equipment and systems with investments in new technology, you’ll create an appealing employment proposition. Hands-on project experience is also valuable, so be prepared to give people the chance to prove themselves.

The Hiring Process Is Taking Too Long, and We’re Losing Interest From Candidates

There’s no question that taking too long to get back to applicants can be risky. Did you know that 62% of candidates lose interest if they don’t hear back within two weeks? And don’t think you can breadcrumb them by padding out the hiring process with assessments and aptitude tests. Around one-in-four applicants will criticize your company on social media if they feel they’ve been strung along in this way.

You control your hiring process, which means you can take steps to speed it up. Talk to all stakeholders involved in the hiring decision and make sure they’re available for interviews. When you’ve found the right person, move quickly to make them an attractive offer. Technology can help, too, in condensing the time to hire. Conducting candidate interviews via video, for example, allows companies to increase the number of people involved and also speed up the time it takes for the interview process.

Another way to streamline the process is to work with a talent solutions firm. Tell them what you’re looking for, and they’ll provide you with pre-screened candidates with the appropriate skills.

We Are Concerned About News of Employees Leaving Their Jobs

You’re right that the pandemic is prompting employees to rethink their work and life priorities, including even making permanent job changes. Over one-third of marketing and creative professionals in a survey conducted for the 2022 Salary Guide said they plan to look for a new job in the next few months.

Much of this relates to concerns about personal wellness and the recognition that health is wealth. Many professionals are experiencing burnout. Even if you can’t compete with other firms on salary, you can still attract talent by showing your commitment to a healthy work-life balance and promoting it heavily in job postings and candidate interviews. Right now, 44% of employers offer wellness-related benefits, while 50% provide employee assistance programs that include mental health support. If you provide any of these popular benefits, don’t keep it a secret.

It’s a red-hot job market right now. But if you make sure your hiring strategy is in touch with the times, building a dream team could be easier than you think.