Interview with Brian Young
Lead Recruiter @ Creative Circle
Brian Young is a lead creative recruiter at Creative Circle in New York. A champion of Creative Circle’s culture, Brian partners with stakeholders and executive leadership to shape and uphold core values and operational best practices. Throughout his tenure at Creative Circle, Brian has mentored, managed, coached and developed teams, in multiple markets – directly contributing to Creative Circle’s year over year growth.
In this podcast, Orangenius founder and CEO Grace Cho interviews Brian Young, a lead recruiter at Creative Circle. Creative Circle, a national recruiting firm specializing in placing creative candidates across 30 U.S. cities, is driving the future of creative recruiting forward by focusing on personal development. Young is tasked with championing this culture while shaping and upholding its core values.
Within his work, Young sees a variety of trends affecting the creative economy. Today’s market is demanding graphic designers with a dearth of experience in illustration, for example; while the majority of positions being staffed today are seeking experienced UX designers with a portfolio supporting animation graphics. As a whole, he also notes that recent graduates are better prepared to enter the creative job market, and are ramping up for their careers by seeking internships or employment during college.
While most young grads understand that a portfolio and resume are essential to landing the right gig, most haven’t quite nailed down the importance of making these assets as strong as possible. Young often finds portfolios either include too many examples or not enough; he frequently counsels his candidates explaining that 10-15 examples of your strongest works are the right balance. In addition, resumes are often in need of the same level of curation: Young advises that jobs unrelated to the field you’re looking for work in shouldn’t be included, while extracurricular activities, professional associations, and internships should be exalted.
When it comes to interviewing or talking through your portfolio and experience, Young notes that every creative should be prepared to talk through their decision process and explain their stylistic choices. For example, colors, imagery, type, and text should be highlighted and backed up with key problems this design was meant to solve. Moreover, candidates should tackle their job search with a very clear intention for where they’d like to work. If a candidate is looking for freelance work, for example, you should identify what’s required for you to compete within this environment. Likewise, candidates searching for full-time positions should identify their dream companies and align their portfolio and resume to reflect the expertise that such a company might be seeking.
Finally, Young stresses the importance of being a well-rounded candidate. Most companies, he notes, are approaching Creative Circle with a checklist of requirements to fill a position. “They’re looking for candidates that hit all of those marks,” he says, adding that interview presence and personality certainly contribute to whether or not a candidate gets hired. Having a solid resume and portfolio, along with an elevator pitch about yourself and your accomplishments, is paramount to landing the creative job of your dreams.
With over 25 years of experience in the financial services, media and entertainment, and private equity industries, Grace has transformed global business units at GE Capital, NBCU, and Nielsen. Skilled at taking conceptual initiatives and turning them into $100 million businesses, Grace founded startup Orangenius to assist independent, working artists in building their own creative empires. In between leading a team of creatives and strategic development of art industry partnerships, Grace can be found cooking for friends or dabbing a paintbrush.