How To Hire A Unicorn* For Your Organization

by James Favata

Leading a ragtag team of video warriors, scoundrels and do-gooders has taught us that your organization is only as good as the people in it. And when not collaborating with your favorite agencies (like us!), you need to rely on an internal marketing team that knows their stuff. But how do you recruit such talent? Or "How do I hire a creative?"

There's no such thing as a unicorn


Oftentimes, people hope to group multiple skills under one title. You need someone who can design a company brochure and manage the website. And write emails. And make weekly videos. With animation. And podcasts! This jack-of-all-trades mentality can result in an applicant who's good at a lot, but a master of none.


Let's do a quick exercise! Select your needed skills from the list below. You can add to this list too.

 Scriptwriting       Copy Editing       Graphic Design       Video Shooting 

 Web Design 
      Project Management       Video Animation        Website Management 

 Video Editing       Podcast Editing       Video Producing       Social Media Management 

If you picked more then three things, you're looking for a *unicorn. Stop it.
If you picked less, you're ready to start the search for someone who's truely remarkable. Or, at least, someone who's not set up to fail.


When posting a job description, we typically prefer small creative groups to large recruiting websites. Look to organizations that specialize in those skillsets (design groups for design, writing groups for writing, etc.). Or you can seek out individual creatives one-by-one. Choose a social platform and search for a local hashtag like #acreativeDC. Once you've located someone with an eye-catching portfolio, find their website and contact info. Message them to schedule a casual meet-up. Don’t grill them with questions just yet. After all, you’re wooing them!


Once you have a lineup of applicants, I offer you some steps (more steps!) that we have found useful in seeking new team members — steps that deviate from the traditional hiring process.

        STEP ONE: Get Rid of Step One          

you like this?
Don't waste your time reading a resume. A creative's resume is simply a vehicle to deliver a link to a portfolio, demo reel or website. And maybe spark some interview chatter (but let’s not get ahead of ourselves).

        STEP TWO: The Proof is in the Pudding           

puddingThink of what you want this position to create and make sure you see work examples that you could picture applying to your brand. We all run into the trap of seeing something super complicated and assume, “If they can do that, surely they can spice up our annual report." Sadly, raw creativity and application are two very different things.

        STEP THREE: The Proof is in the Hustle          

good things come to those who hustleChris Mechanic, CEO & Co-founder, WebMechanix, coined the term “Proof of Hustle” — evidence that your creative applicant is putting themselves out there.
Beyond a portfolio, you are looking for consistent posts to Instagram, Vimeo, Dribble, Tumblr, Flickr, Trixstr, Yopplr, Snooglr (OK, I made those last few up). You want your candidate to have a drive for creative expression in their free time. Maybe they’re big into cosplay? Knitting? Boat carving? Search for them on social media platforms. All of them. If you can't find them on the web, this may show a lack of hustle.

        STEP FOUR: The Interview          

awkwardInterviews are awkward and interviews with creatives can be even awkward…er. Mix things up and meet in a casual setting. And if they show up to your office in jeans (and your company is not a “jeans” company), don't write them off. Yes, I personally believe that people should dress up for interviews, but creative people don't always. Get over it. And if they're weird and lack confidence, that’s OK, too.*

Tori Does Not Approve

        STEP FIVE: The Test         


If you are considering a group of individuals for a specific position, send them all the same creative challenge. In the end you should have a clear visual comparison of how your applicants stack up. If you just want to evaluate one or two applicants, offer them a paid freelance project.

Ultimately, hire someone who can offer something unique to your brand and organization. Give them the opportunity to do what they love every day and, in the end, they'll be as a happy as a unicorn. And isn't that what really matters?

Are you ready to take your video marketing strategy to the next level? Contact us now. You can also call us at 202-416-4660, email us, or live chat with a member of our team right now.


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