Bryce Cannon Witcher

Marketing & Creative Director

11 Things Recruiters Should be Looking for in a Creative Director

3D and Mockups
Case Studies & Creative Process

Skills Demonstrated

Creative Direction
Thought Leadership

1. Passion For Being a Mentor and Ability to Give Constructive Feedback

Is your candidate even able to offer creative criticism without hurting someone’s feelings? Does your candidate have the ability to shape the minds of younger talent to dissect ideas? Constructive feedback is the cornerstone of helping people grow and improve. Progress and continual improvement are key to creating a high-performing art/content production team. Great feedback also makes mentees feel more engaged and willing to help the organization shoot for the moon.

2. Ability To Be a Hands-On Leader – Expertise in All Facets of Content Creation

Your candidate should have good, foundational knowledge of the tools used to create content. At the very minimum, they should be comfortable with the Adobe Creative Suite. While they do not have to be experts in every single application, they should at least know how to use the software in order to understand what roadblocks might exist.

3. Have an Analytical Mind as Well as a Creative One

An analytical mind can fuel the creative process. Creative Directors are often intimately involved with marketing campaigns, and should be able to take any results or KPIs from previous campaigns, examine them to figure out what was working and what wasn’t, and use that resulting information to feed ideas into upcoming campaigns.

4. A Really Fun and Impressive Portfolio – Not Only Past Projects for Their Employers, But Also PERSONAL Projects

While a portfolio of past work is not relevant for many positions, it’s an absolute MUST for a Creative Director. Recruiters should look for portfolios that contain a good balance of actual projects as well as personal ones. This shows that your candidate is always thinking, imagining, ideating, working on continual improvement.

5. Curiosity

Curiosity can predict a candidate’s ability to creatively solve problems. As workplaces evolve and grow and jobs become increasingly complex, having employees who can adapt to ever-changing environments and acquire new skills is becoming increasingly valuable to a company’s success. As it is a Creative Director’s job to explore new and fresh ways to present company messaging and content, being curious about the world around them is a significant and required trait.

6. Not Only Creative Vision, But the Strategy to Go Along with It – How to Incorporate All the Ideas into a Cohesive Brand Strategy

Strategic branding helps companies set themselves apart from their competition and build customer loyalty. Since a brand is made of stuff like the look-and-feel, personality, and other things that feel intangible, your next Creative Director needs to be able to navigate that ambiguity.

7. Lack of Ego – Willingness to Laugh at Him/Herself/Themselves at Times

Let’s face it… In my experience, people who have big egos tend to zap all the energy out of others around them. It simply gets in the way. While a bit of ego is a good thing, too much can put things out of balance, especially when leading a group of creatives.

8. Ability to Put Him/Herself Into the Minds of Your Target Customers

This is one of the best ways to connect with potential customers. Marketing is all about meeting customers where they are with content they can use to improve their lives. A good Creative Director recognizes this and anticipates what really matters to customers as well as how they consume their content. Also, knowing what visual cues they respond to can go a long way in building an effective marketing campaign.

9. Not a Yes-Man/Woman/Person – Ability to Say NO to Something That Might Be Trendy

Your next Creative Director is your brand guardian and needs to be someone who fully understands your brand’s identity and knows how to say NO when a new trend or best practice doesn’t fit with that overall identity. Just because something might be trending online, doesn’t mean it’s right for your company. Your Creative Director should know where those boundaries exist.

10. Ability to Prevent Ugliness

Of course, what someone considers ugly is very subjective. But a good Creative Director will have training/education in things like typography, color theory, and composition. This creates a powerful foundation for justifying certain designs or arrangements of your company’s content and advertising. Knowing how to effectively use white space, certain fonts, or a specific color palette can make or break your marketing effectiveness.

11. A Good Generalist

The more experienced Creative Directors will generally have tons of knowledge about many different things. I like to call this having their “hands in a lot of cookie jars.” As a Creative Director progresses in their career, they collect experiences that help contribute to a wider variety of problem-solving abilities and actions. You will want someone who has more of these than less.