When people think of the most creative person they know, they might picture their painter friend, their musician neighbor, or their writer cousin. But creativity isn’t only limited to the creative arts—it’s an inherent trait in many people across industries and walks of life. There is some evidence that everyone has a high level of creativity at a young age, but over the course of years of focused education, that divergent thinking gives way to the analytical side of the brain.
In the business world, creativity plays as crucial a role as it does in the artistic world. Companies that lack creativity are less likely to be able to keep up with market changes, consumer preferences, competitor moves, or to maintain internal agility. That’s why HR professionals should seek out creative people to join their team—here are a few ways to bring in those minds:
Learn to recognize creativity
As noted earlier, creative people aren’t all artistic geniuses. But how are you supposed to tell how creative someone is if they don’t have a portfolio to demonstrate? The same way you learn about any other type of aptitude: Test for it. During interviews, HR professionals can give applicants questions and brainteasers designed to reveal how they approach a problem.
“We pay attention to how the person approaches and analyzes the situations, takes into consideration the different stakeholders, the tradeoffs they propose, and their implementation plan,” Jacques Bergeron, Cirque du Soleil’s director of talent management, told Inc.
How does your organization attract creative candidates?
“Creative people respond to creative postings.”
Offer roles that require divergent thinking
No creative type is going to feel comfortable in a job that has no room for alternative solutions. If your organization offers rigid roles, expect to field candidates who operate best within a strict set of parameters. On the other hand, if your job openings call for an individual capable of examining a task from many angles or finding multiple solutions for one issue, those kinds of people are likely to apply. It also helps to have an applicant tracking system to navigate the right job boards and determine how well an advertisement is attracting the right candidates.
Produce creative job postings
Creative people respond to creative job postings, according to Forbes. One CEO harnessed the inherent creativity in his own company by having employees film a six-second home video of them performing their “dumbest talent ever.” She then inserted the clips into an intro and ending slide with the company information and watched as people flocked to the jobs webpage. Additionally, job postings that are more conversational or passionate tend to attract fewer applicants, but more dedicated ones, according to Inc.
It’s important to note, creativity is not the end-all, be-all trait in an applicant. There are plenty of creative people who lack the discipline, experience, and ambition to be successful employees. But there are also plenty of disciplined, experienced, and ambitious candidates who lack the creativity to take their job to the next level. Any great organization should seek the individuals who possess both sides of that equation to promote their creative workplace.