Many in-house creative leaders can very quickly list off the type of talent need that is always in demand, or so it seems, in their particular department to meet client demands. Regardless of industry, department size, or staffing model, creative leaders often seek the same types of talent skill sets.

In addition to seeing a spike and commonality amongst desired skill sets, it is important to note that the employment market is heating up and talent have more choices as to their next career move or their next project assignment. According to Staffing Industry Analysts the marketing and creative vertical of contingent staffing has projected growth year-over-year of 7% in 2013 and another 7% in 2014. Comparatively the same report predicts the legal vertical of contingent staffing to see a 5% decrease in 2013 and predicts no growth in 2014. Additionally they state that 2013's marketing and creative niche staffing business revenues will nearly reach peak levels, and in 2014 will exceed all previous year's revenues. So, it is clear that more employers are taking advantage of contingent workers and that creative talent is in demand more so than ever.

Across the past year The BOSS Group has seen a steady and growing demand in the following three areas:

  • Designers
    Nearly all design roles The BOSS Group is asked to fulfill require interactive design skills. We have seen an increase in the demand for designers with very specific experience and portfolio samples to mirror the industry or niche for which the client services. For example, a client may be seeking a visual designer proficient within CS6 with interactive experience and a strong understanding of User Interface specifically within the financial niche. Or a client may be seeking a designer who has responsive design skills with mobile portfolio samples in a retail setting.
  • Front-End Web Developers
    This has been a hot skill set for quite some time, and that has not changed. For the most part clients who see a need for front-end development require talent who are skilled and proficient within HTML and CSS. Yes, HTML5, JQuery and JavaScript skills are still something that clients need. From time to time we even see a need for a Flash Developer. However, the nuts and bolts of solid HTML and CSS skills are highly in demand, and the talent who fill this niche stay very busy!
  • Project Managers
    Interactive Project Managers, in particular, are hot talent. The needs vary depending on the client to include experience working with vendors, specific workflow management experience, creating scope and definition of projects, and specific understanding of the industry. Clients seek talent with solid leadership skills, detail orientation, time management skills, team facilitation experience, and overall solid communication skills.

  • There are a few common themes to the hot skill sets listed above that lead to tips to quickly obtain quality talent.

    First, now more than ever clients are seeking talent with very specific portfolio samples and working experience, narrowing the overall pool from which to source talent. Thus, it may be wise to start considering talent with transferable skills who fit your corporate culture, have the hard skills and can really excel within the department. For example a highly regulated department, like one that would fall within a financial institution, would produce talent with transferable skills to another industry which faces similar strict regulations.

    Secondly, many creative leaders are actively seeking the same talent. It is important to move quickly through the interview and offer stages to procure talent before another opportunity steals them away. Be sure to have a plan in place to actively network within the creative community to fill a 'bench' of talent for upcoming projects or openings. Now is the time to be proactive about meeting and engaging with talent who could be your next superstar before the need arises. A strong partnership with a staffing provider, like The BOSS Group, can really help this cause, as can a strong partnership with your talent acquisition or recruiting team.

    Finally, be prepared to really know how to 'sell' your department, company, and opportunity to talent. With more choices talent are seeking environments and cultures that fit their goals and objectives, whether short or long term. They will not know how your particular department can add value to their career path unless you speak with them about it!

    Understanding that talented Creatives are in demand and creating a plan to win the 'talent war' will ensure your team is staffed with top tier talent.

    It's time to start thinking about your 2014 strategic priorities--do you know the single most important thing your team could do to improve your performance in the eyes of your internal clients? You would, if you deployed PartnerPulse to your clients. Learn more.