Find Your Unicorn: How to Identify and Attract the Perfect Creative Candidate 

Creativity is like the oil to your rig (that is your business) that helps it flow smoothly in today’s fast-paced business world. And who brings this creativity into your business? Of course, the creative Unicorns! 

With so many candidates out there claiming to be the best, it can be tough to sort through the noise and find the real rock stars. Using traditional recruitment techniques is well and good, but there may be a need to take a step back and re-strategize to find your Unicorns! 

But how do you identify and attract game-changers who can bring fresh perspectives, innovative solutions, and out-of-the-box problem-solving skills to the table? 

What’s a Unicorn Candidate? 

Contrary to what you’re used to, a Unicorn candidate is not some mythical creature, but rather a super special candidate with the right skills, experience, and qualifications. 

Think of them as masters who have sound skills in tech, art, marketing, and other fields where creativity is a must. 

For example, they can rock Photoshop like a boss, but they also have an eye for design that would make Picasso proud. They’re the ones who bring their A-game to every project and even go beyond that “A” to achieve exceptional results. 

Their work is EVERYWHERE – in advertisements, movies, music videos, billboards, you name it!  

They help shape our culture and what we see every day. So, the next time you see something that catches your eye, remember that a Unicorn or a professional creative probably had a hand in making it happen! 

The Hunt for the Perfect Creative: Tips for Attracting Top Professionals 

The quality of your team equals your business output and productivity. Now that you understand what Unicorns mean to your organization, here’s how you can shake up your hiring process to attract them: 

1. Create job postings that pronounce growth opportunities. 

If you want to attract the best creative minds out there, show them what you have to offer. What’s a better way to reel in top candidates than by highlighting all the attractive details in your posts? 

Let’s talk about headlines! Your heading is the bread and butter of your job post, it’s the thing that gets those creative juices flowing. Since you’re after creatives, it has to be catchy! 

Be crystal clear about job descriptions and what your company stands for. Make sure you reflect your unique culture and values, and most importantly, keep it fun and exciting.  

After all, creatives thrive on inspiration! 

2. Tap into social media. 

In your hunt for creative geniuses, you might want to check out social media. It’s the go-to spot for jobseekers nowadays. But hey, just having social media pages for your business is not enough. You have to make it shine. 

  • What story do you want to tell about your organization on social media? 
  • What kind of vibe do you want to give off? 
  • Do your design and message match your company’s values and culture? 

Here are two surefire tips to make your social media pages a total magnet for the rare candidates you’re looking for: 

Speak the language of the creatives. 

Curate every single one of your posts to reflect innovation, intelligence, and mastery. If you want to appeal to the artistic souls of creatives, you have to catch their attention by relating more to them using their language. 

Showcase your company’s vibe. 

Creatives are mostly inspired to work in an innovative and inspiring workspace with a team that’s killing it!  

If you want to attract them to your team, then you have to show them your company’s personality. Show off those team pics, project videos, and testimonials, and let people see what it’s really like to work with your squad. 

3. Engage in multiple recruiting methods. 

Are you still using just one way to find the best candidates? Job boards are the common avenues you can use to look for candidates but what about trying something new? 

Try connecting with creatives at events, hop on those online searches, use your employees as recruiters, partner up with a recruitment firm, post your job openings on your website, AND don’t forget about social media. 

Think about it, the more channels you use for your job posts, the more chances you have of finding the perfect fit for your team.  

Unicorn Hunt: Finding Your Super Special Candidate 

Now that you know how to attract the perfect creative candidate, it’s time to identify and source them out there. 

1. Look beyond resumes.  

Relying solely on credentials in your recruitment process might not help in identifying your Unicorn. Try looking at: 

  • strong portfolios 
  • experiences in different industries 
  • technical and soft skills 
  • track records of jobs they’ve done in the past 
  • the value they can bring to your company 

In fact, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, says their company endorses candidates based on the skills they possess rather than college degrees. According to him, there’s a “mismatch” between the skills acquired through college and what businesses need.¹ 

To find your diamond in the rough, you have to look beyond those papers. Let’s make skill-based hiring the goal, shall we? 

2. Sizzle your interview process. 

If you want to snag awesome candidates, you have to keep things fresh. That means considering non-traditional approaches to interviews. After all, some of the most exceptional candidates might not shine as brightly in a typical interview setting. 

Don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit!  

Think outside the box and try alternative techniques to cast a wider net and reel in those amazing candidates who might otherwise slip through the cracks.  

Your interview process can follow simple steps but there should always be room to be creative.  

After all, you’re the one looking for creativity. It sends a clearer message if you can be as creative as well! 

Let candidates strut their stuff.  

Give them a scenario and let them show off their skills. You can ask them how they would handle a certain project or ask them how they would strategize and process a scenario.  

How will they follow through? Or have they done something in the past that is worth mentioning? Was it successful? Have they made an innovative solution or award-winning content? 

Whatever it may be, the goal here is to see their creativity in action. 

Who says show and tell is only for kids?  

You can also put their skills to the test by assigning them a relevant creative task. Whether it’s designing a logo or crafting a compelling social media post, you’ll get a glimpse of what they can do. 

Of course, don’t forget to compensate them for their time. Creatives put in effort into their work, and they should receive something in return even if it’s just a “test.” If there’s a saying in the gym, creatives should have one too—no pay no gain! 

By shaking things up, you could be offering equal opportunities to candidates who might otherwise be overlooked or discouraged from applying due to the same old same old. 

3. Go beyond the norm. 

When hunting for your Unicorn, don’t rely on generic questions like “What’s your biggest weakness?” or “Are you a team player?” to help you spot the perfect candidate.  

Instead, try asking hairy, challenging, and unusual questions, like “Is it better to be perfect but late or just good yet on time?” 

Here are a few questions you can ask for your next interview:² 

  • If you were on a desert island and could only bring three things or people there, what or who would you bring? 
  • What animal best represents you as a person? 
  • If you found out you won the lottery, what would you do with the money? 
  • On a scale of one to ten, rate me as an interviewer. 
  • What superpower would you like to receive? 
  • Someone gives you an elephant, which you can’t give away or sell. What would you do with it? 

Seeing these questions already makes one wonder. But it’s not about answering any of these questions correctly. It’s about how the candidates answer them.  

By asking out-of-box (or even out-of-the-world!) questions, you can get real insight and see the extent of their values, problem-solving skills, creativity, motivation, or even how they provide feedback.  


Looking for that perfect creative teammate to join your squad? Let our team of expert recruiters take the reins!  

At Portfolio Creative, we can help you identify and attract the absolute best candidates with the skills and experience needed to rocket your company to the top. 

We’ll help you navigate the tricky hiring landscape and find the perfect fit for your specific needs and company culture. Why settle for anything less than the best?  

Contact us today to find the right candidates for your organization. 


1. Eadicicco, Lisa. “Apple CEO Tim Cook explains why you don’t need a college degree to be successful (AAPL)” Business Insider, Mar. 7, 2019,  

2. Indeed Editorial Team. “Unusual Interview Questions.” Indeed, Mar. 1, 2023,