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Candidate Experience | 4 minute read

Hire For Creativity: 3 Aptitude Test Ideas To Qualify Creative Talent

February 25, 2016

Creative people see the world differently. As Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, once said, “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative talent how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it — they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.” The best talent knows how to quickly adapt in this ever-changing world, both in the ability to learn new technical skills and to produce original work. Creatives are valuable to today’s employers and how they go about searching for their next creative jobs will be as unique as they are.

You might also enjoy these 4 creative recruiting ideas to win top talent.

These individuals use their intuition to make connections, expand the boundaries and find creative solutions. As the business world evolves at a rapid pace, creative talents are in high demand. Creative job recruiters must adjust their assessment and interview processes in order to accurately identify and attract the right candidates.

Overall, giving candidates the opportunity to communicate their creativity throughout the recruitment process will be important. Because recruiting creatives goes beyond a resume and delves into the imagination of candidates, the recruitment process won’t be traditional. Learn how to find the best creative people by reviewing the three aptitude test ideas below.

1) Ask for tangibles to gauge successes

It can sometimes be difficult to objectively measure creatives’ work, but asking for tangibles such as analytics and metrics for their projects could be a good way to gauge their successes. Creative job candidates expect to show you their portfolio of work, but measurements of success will allow you to understand the results of their creativity and assure you that they understand the end goals of their projects. For example, if a candidate puts together an engaging and visually appealing website, ask for the hard data behind it, like how much traffic increased, bounce rate decreased or time spent on site improved when certain actions were taken. This shows they have the ability to develop original work that’s effective.

2) Give candidates open-ended problems to solve

Creatives are motivated by challenges. In a post on Inc.com about hiring for creativity, it’s stated: “The best kind of homework is a scenario that asks a candidate to solve an open-ended problem. It puts technical skills, critical thinking and aptitude for communication on display. When you're hiring for creativity, ideas are great, but scan for initiative. How does a candidate contextualize creative ideas? How do ideas impact the business? Does he or she show a track record of execution? That should be the No. 1 barometer.” Of course, behavioral-based questions in the interview process will be a good indicator, and even better is asking candidates to complete a work sample for your organization. A request for this is not uncommon for these types of roles. This will allow you to see evidence of their style and skills, and determine if their creative abilities are a right fit for your brand.

3) Curiosity should not kill the candidate

Creative job recruiters should look for a high level of curiosity in candidates because this attribute is typically suggestive of other qualities, such as ingenuity, resourcefulness and confidence. Ask simple questions such as, “Explain something outside of your area of expertise that you recently learned about,” or “What is the most recent book you read and why?” This can show you how they stay current with the trends. Curiosity also prevents boredom and laziness, actions that will plague any creative venture. During interviews with your potential hires, be conscious of how many unprompted questions they ask and how much they already know about your company.

Ultimately, throughout the recruitment process, creative job recruiters must understand that the conversation is different when assessing the qualities of creatives. Solid candidates will not only be creative but will also understand the product or service at hand and the impact their work has had. Developing a recruitment and interview process that helps you quickly identify candidates who have the whole package will help you recruit creatives in no time.

What other methods have you used to find creative talent? Creatives, how are you finding creative jobs? We invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

[BLOG] 4 Creative Recruiting Ideas HR Leaders Should Invest In.

About Theodore Stenger

Ted is a sourcing specialist at WilsonHCG. He graduated from the University of Tampa with a degree in entrepreneurship and his knack for thinking outside-of-the-box led him to start a small consulting company of his own. With experience in content creation, Ted has an understanding for modern marketing and advertising and how it is integral to the recruitment process. Currently residing in the Tampa area, Ted grew up in New Jersey. He has a passion for the outdoors, particularly surfing and skiing.