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Creative 'Help Wanted' Ads: Be Less 'Creative'
By: Tom Roarty
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Anyone who has been working in the creative industry for any amount of time could tell you that the perfect job does not exist; well, at least not on paper. “Creative Guru,” “Master of All,” and “Design God” are all titles that are popping up in order to help make an employer’s plea for creative talent stand out from their competitors'. However, from a designer’s perspective, reading headlines like this automatically raises a red flag. Usually after landing one of these outlandishly presented gigs, it’s not long before the lack of job satisfaction grips its claws around your creative jugular and starts to squeeze tight, slowly draining the inspirational life from you.
 
Although there is a time for creativity, it is not always best practice to use it when creating a job description as today’s modern day “title-smiths” do. That is what you are relying on us for. When you are looking for a candidate be as clear, honest, and direct as possible; state if you are looking for a director or a designer and know the difference in the two. Specifically list what tasks you would like for them to preform. As the hiring manager, these are things that you should know — otherwise, how will you find the talent you need?
 
No one wants to walk into an interview after applying for a job they know they would be perfect for, only to be asked, “We may add other tasks to this position going forward. How are your programming skills?" Especially when the position you are applying for is a copywriting gig! Or, “We are still not completely sure if we need a Graphic Designer or Creative Director yet, since we are in the very early stages of our interviewing process.” Shouldn’t the difference between those two titles be identified before a single candidate is seen? But it happens all the time.
 
As employers, it is important that you know what you want when writing your ad. Potential employees do not want to sit across from someone who may be their boss and hear them change job titles and descriptions on the fly. It makes us nervous when you forget the job you are interviewing us for. When you say, “I see you’re here for the Junior Graphic Designer position,” when we are obviously interviewing for the “Design God” position, we tend to immediately “check out” of the interview. If you cannot be consistent during the hiring process, how can we be confident in working for you on detailed projects?
 
As designers, we expect to have our responsibilities change as creative arenas grow. All we ask is that you give us a clear starting point to build from. If given the right tools, a good designer can adapt for any challenge, no matter what their title may be.

   

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