2016 is the Year of the Job Seeker, at least in the creative industry. 87% of companies report they will be either expanding/adding new positions or maintaining their existing staff and filling vacated positions. 58% of those same companies report it is very or somewhat challenging to find creative professionals (source). With so many companies in search of the same top talent, hiring managers can't afford to make any mistakes. We've pinpointed 5 common mistakes and how to avoid them so you get the best of the best in 2016.


Losing a candidate in a long hiring process.

With so many opportunities, candidates don't need to cling to whatever offer they've gotten. They likely have options, and won't hesitate to make a move wherever they'd like. The key? Keep them updated. It doesn't necessarily matter if your hiring process is long, but let the candidates know – tell them if you're discussing with the team and will get back to them on Friday, or if you are traveling and will have to give them the verdict in a week. There's no guarantee they'll wait around for you, but candidates are much more satisfied if they feel like they're in the loop.

Not looking within.

Years ago, companies hired recent college grads because they were inexpensive and ready to learn. As we all crept through the recession, many realized they could hire someone with a few years of experience for the salary as a candidate fresh out of college. What does this mean? Chances are, you have an employee who is already pretty advanced for the position they're in, and is willing to take on more challenging work and responsibilities. Look within your organization when you have an open position – your employees will feel appreciated and you can still fill that lower position with an outside hire.

A candidate only meeting the hiring manager.

You can teach skills, but you can't teach personality and team compatibility. Candidates' attitudes are potentially the most important quality when considering someone to join your company. Look for ambition, enthusiasm, self-direction, and willingness to learn and chances are that will translate to a good and successful employee. Hiring people with similar traits and aligned goals will create a tight-knit work community, but there's no replacement for handshakes with the team. Coworkers know what type of personality will thrive in their work environment, and their meeting a potential coworker is crucial

Only considering local candidates.

Talented and specialized workers can be found all over the country. Just because they can't physically walk into your office does not mean they shouldn't be considered. After overcoming the initial holdups of hiring someone you won't see everyday, consider this: many employers report their remote workers are more productive than those in the office, and remote workers themselves report being less stressed. It's a win-win for everyone, but the hurdles are often difficult for a hiring manager to get past. Technology has provided more solutions to support remote workers, like videoconferencing and screensharing, so there's actually quite a small adjustment to make.

Spreading your search too thin.

Don't waste hours listing an open position on tons of job search sites if you won't get quality candidates. Invest your time in the places that work, whether that's a job search site, a staffing agency (wink-wink), social media, or elsewhere. Listing a job somewhere it doesn't truly belong only adds to your workload the process of sifting through unworthy candidates.

Posted: 2/23/2016 2:01:34 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments

Adobe recently announced their newest easy-to-use, make a website in minutes tool: Adobe Portfolio. Make a website in minutes, they say. It'll be so easy, they say. Well.. it looks like all of that might actually be true.



Adobe is still trying to maintain an active customer base for it's subscriber-based Creative Cloud, and adding a tool for publishing completed work is the perfect way to round out their offerings.

We'll keep it simple and just touch on the important things.

The pros:

1) If you have a Creative Cloud subscription, it won't cost you a dime.

2) If you don't yet have a CC subscription, the cheapest option is $9.99/month for access to Photoshop, Lightroom, and thousands of Typekit fonts.

3) It automatically syncs with (Adobe-owned) Behance portfolios.

4) Live editing makes changes happen right away.

5) Clean layout options with responsive designs.

6) You can use your own domain name.

7) You can track your site's status.

8) They provide an option to disable right-clicking, making it harder for people to snag your work.

The cons:

1) If you have no need for a CC plan that includes Photoshop and Lightroom, $9.99/month is more expensive that Squarespace ($8/month).

Seems pretty straightforward - Portfolio is worth your time if you have a Creative Cloud subscription or are considering one. See examples of Portfolio templates in use: MatthiasLinaSawdustThomas, and Mercedes.

Posted: 2/9/2016 4:14:42 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


If they can't see the real value of you, it's time for a new start.

It's as simple as that.

You're a talented individual. The best suggestion we could give to you for the year of 2016 is to know your worth. If you're employed somewhere where you don't feel particularly challenged, you wish you were pushed to your full capacity, or you feel like your superiors downright don't know what you're capable of, it's time to reconsider.

It's like what your friends tell you when you have that boyfriend who's just not that great - you don't deserve to be (working for) someone who doesn't realize how great you are.

Are you putting all your skills to work? Are your strengths being highlighted or your weaknesses criticized? Do you find your work creatively fulfilling? Are you encouraged to expand your knowledge and spend time learning new skills?

If not, you have a couple options - begin to look elsewhere for a new job, or have a discussion with your current employer. Neither are easy, but to grow as a professional, you need more than an environment that tolerates you. Knowing what you bring to the table is one thing, but everyone else should know it, too!

Don't be taken for granted. Work in a place that celebrates you for everything you do.

Consider this a kick in the pants from your friendly neighborhood staffing agency.

Posted: 2/8/2016 11:22:11 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments