Hiring Innovative and Creative Talent

Written by Scott Harrison

It’s always tempting to hire candidates who on paper fit match the job description. It is comforting to know that a new employee can seamlessly integrate into a team and knows how to get the job done. However, in this ever-changing business world, hiring someone who has a more creative or alternative outlook can be more advantageous than hiring someone who has done the same job numerous times.

Candidates that fit a typical mould might not be particularly interested in a firm’s unique position and its needs because their goal is to secure a role that they are familiar and can start the moment they walk through the company’s doors. They have also adopted a certain way of doing their work regardless of the difference in goals and challenges from one company to another. They may not spend time to ponder over the why-s, what if-s and how-s. What is the best solution for this team? Why does it work for that organisation and not this? How should we change this to make it better?

To ensure the continuous growth of a company, HR and Line Managers should work with their recruitment partners to develop a less conventional way of hiring. They should start to look at candidates who demonstrate strong passion, vision and those who are happy to share his or her opinion. Only by hiring these talents can a company create a vibrant working environment that foster innovative and creative independent thinkers. This might just be what it takes to be one step ahead of your competitors or to achieve this year’s over the chart business target.


How to look and tell the difference between a typical candidate and a creative force.

As recruiters, we screen thousands of CVs and conduct interviews every day, and it is clear there are certain things we look for that demonstrate a candidate has a creative or innovative approach to their work.

CV, Resume

  • Do they use a standard template?

  • Is there personal touch?

  • Does it stand out?



  • Ask questions – a candidate that conforms to the norm will not ask a lot of questions regarding the role itself. They have done the same job so many times, they know what to do and what to expect once they get the job.

  • Demonstrate interest – typical candidates may not come up with well thought-out questions that show their understanding on the:

    1. challenges of the industry/company/team

    2. they are not interested in identifying the gaps in your team/firm. Let alone coming up with a solution for it

    3.  not interested in learning what makes your company different from competitors


Generally, HR and line manager should aim to hire a candidate who fits (or have the potential to fit) all three of the criteria below. Of course, it also depends on the role that you are hiring for, the scale to which each of the criteria below is required may differ. If you are hiring a “problem solver” position, this candidate might require a higher attribute of goal and culture fit compared to a “do-er” position. Ultimately, a candidate who checks all three boxes should be in your short list of potential hires.

  • Role Fit – does the candidate have any job-specific skills that is a must in this role? This could range from specific technical to language skills.

  • Culture Fit – do you want to hire the same type of people for the team? For a “problem solver” role, hiring “like minded” people will lead to less diversity in thought processes which will in turn limit the development of innovative ideas and solutions

  • Goal Fit – having a common purpose or goal for the team/organisation is the key to success in this ever-changing business world. This should be the final piece in the puzzle. Hire someone who is interested and curious about your organisation and the market you are in. These candidates will not shy away from having a discussion with you about their opinions or come up with follow up questions on the information that were presented to them.



Hiring someone who simply ticks the boxes is no longer an option in today’s dynamic market. “Progressive thinking” is the way forward for businesses that are operating in competitive markets. It is always wise to reconsider that slightly junior candidate with immense potential or the bright candidate whose approach to work makes up for any lack of industry experience. The comfort that comes from hiring based on a “job done” mentality is often short lived, whilst creative and innovative thinkers will pave the way for business growth the moment they set foot in the door.