This blog is a continuation of our series of posts regarding writing job descriptions for specific positions. As we’ve written on this topic a few times now, I’m not going to spend a lot going into detail regarding the general aspects of writing a job description, as many of these things are consistent from job to job. What does differ though are the two aspects of the job description that are the position requirements and the position description.
FOUR KEY PARTS TO ALL JOB DESCRIPTIONS
As a quick summary, we want to remind everybody that we recommend your job description has four key pieces. The first key piece is a company description which should include information about your company and your services. Also, what other perks or cultural pieces are important to note for any prospective candidates when they’re looking at potentially joining your team. Then there are the two sections in the middle which are the position description and the qualifications. The final section is typically information about salary, benefits, and other perks. The first and final section typically will remain the same in terms of structure across all of the job descriptions for your organization, whereas the two in the center are the ones that really change.
CLARIFYING YOUR CREATIVE DIRECTOR ROLE
Hiring for a Creative Director can be challenging because the title is a title that can differ greatly from organization to organization. A creative director is in my eyes one of the titles that has the widest range of potential experience for a position. Therefore, a job description is extremely critical when it comes to fleshing out for potential candidates what your requirements are for the job.
Not only can a creative director title vary in terms of years of experience and level of experience, but a creative director position also can differ greatly in terms of the type of creative work this person will be working on. Creative director titles are most commonly found within agencies, whether that be an advertising agency, a marketing company, a media agency, a PR firm, or something of that like. But, we also are seeing more and more creative director theme titles within in-house marketing departments that are wanting to bring the creative for their brand and/or brands in-house versus relying on outside sources.
ALTERING THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR TITLE
The creative director title is one that we recommend altering as much as possible depending on the level of experience that you’re looking for. So, using things to differentiate the level of experience are very important in your description. Creating titles like Senior Creative Director or Junior Creative Director or Executive Creative Director or Group Creative Director or things of that nature will allow your position by the title to be differentiated in terms of seniority.
We also recommend working into the title something that differentiates the type of work this position focuses on. This way you will attract the correct type of talent. For example, you may want to say Group Creative Director, Copy or Group Creative Director, Digital, or Group Creative Director, Print. Or some combination of that. The point here is to use words in the title that both differentiate seniority and the type of medium that this person will be working on.
CLARIFYING THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR CHANNELS
Along those lines, when you start getting into the details of the actual position description, you’re going to want to be very clear about the types of channels this person will be working on. To repeat ourselves here again, creatives work across a variety of mediums, so some are more multichannel, but some are more specific and honed in. Your job description needs to be very clear in regard to the different channels and/or mediums this person is going to be working on on a day-to-day basis. Be sure that the description also speaks to seniority. Will this person be managing people? Who are they going to be reporting to? Will they be involved with pitching new business? Or are they going to be more involved in-house on a branding perspective? You need to be very, very clear about what the day-to-day is going to be with this position as day-to-day is very different across creative director-type positions.
The position description is going to be very critical so that the person looking at your description can really tell if this is something that is up their alley or not. In regard to the position requirements, you’re going to want to follow a lot of the same guidelines. Like we’ve talked about in previous posts, you want to get very clear about what the must-haves are versus the nice-to-haves. The position requirements should always be split up in these two categories.
Depending on the level of seniority, previous management experience might be a must-have. This is something that we always recommend looking at. Regarding certain channels, you may want someone who’s a specialist working just with copy, or someone who’s a specialist just working with art, or someone who has been more on graphic design, etc. You want to get very clear on what the channels and mediums are that are must-have requirements, and what are the channels and mediums that are nice-to-have. You need to be realistic in your thinking. If you try to go too multichannel and try to have this person have experience in every single possible channel, it’s likely you may lose out on people who are going to think they aren’t qualified. List in priority the channels that you would like someone to have and the types of experience.
Spelling all this out is going to be critical as you want your description to be a fair representation of the role. So, when it comes to writing a creative director job description, the key things are getting very clear about what your seniority level is and what the specialty in terms of a channel are so that you can have your position description and your qualifications truly speak to the details of the role, and so you can also have the title of the position communicate right at the beginning what level the role is and what it’s going to be focused on.
Be sure to include as part of your description that these persons will need to submit work samples, whether that is a portfolio or other samples. It’s going to be a critical piece of your interview process to see work samples in the specific channels that you are looking to hire this person in.
Take all these things into account and you’ll get yourself a major advantage in hiring a creative director for your team. Good luck!
Here are some more great tips to add to your tool chest for hiring creatives! https://bit.ly/2ECWd8M
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