Propel’s Creative Snapshot: The Changing Role of Creative Talent – Vikki Ross

03 Aug 2018

To celebrate the expansion of Propel London’s Creative department, we’re talking to some of the industry’s most influential figures to discuss how the role of creativity is changing in the tech and digital sectors, how companies can make themselves more attractive to the top creative talent, and how creatives themselves should be approaching the hiring process.

Vikki Ross is the copywriter behind brands from Sky and ITV to Sainsbury’s. She’s a tutor at London’s School of Communication Arts 2.0, runs masterclasses with D&AD and supports young female creatives with Creative Equals, SheSays and Who’s Your Momma.

How should creatives approach the hiring process? Is the standard CV and portfolio still the best way to show prospective employers their talents and what makes a portfolio stand out for you?

Like making ads, consider your target audience and make sure your CV/Portfolio speaks directly to them. If you want to work on ATL communications, don’t make BTL work the hero of your story.

Remember, people hiring are looking for someone who can do the job but also someone they’ll enjoy sharing time and space with. Show off your personality as much as your talent. Got a side-hustle or passion project? Shout about it.

A standard CV and portfolio is simple and effective. But it’s also expected. Creatives have the opportunity to advertise themselves any way they want when looking for a job, so this is their chance to stand out, be different and do something unexpected. I would hire creatives who did something like this or this over and above anyone who just did the minimum (send CV/Portfolio).

How are new technologies such as VR and AI affecting the way people hire creatives. Is there now more demand for specialists or should the best creatives be able to work in all mediums?

Call me old-fashioned but I strongly believe the best creatives are those who specialise in one thing. That means they live and breathe that one thing and do it brilliantly – better than anyone else.

Working across a number of mediums effectively is not always possible, and can be exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, we must be aware of – and have knowledge of – areas that touch our specialism but we must also be focussed on the medium we’ve learnt, developed and honed.

There is a battle for the best creative talent, so how can employers make themselves more appealing to attract the best?

Firstly, creatives must remember that they are in control of their job search. They can choose who they interview with and can ask questions too. It’s not a one-way conversation with all decisions made by a potential employer. Candidates must interview employers – they need to understand if the job, work and culture is right for them. Often candidates forget that.

Secondly, employers can attract the best by offering the best. They must be open and honest about what they offer in terms of role but also culture, development, flexibility, and anything else that makes what comes with the day job attractive. There’s more to a job offer than typical salary and benefits.

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