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On a hiring freeze? Here’s how to maintain your creative team’s capacity when resources are on ice

3 min read
Aaron Marquis

Do more with less. This stomach-churning phrase becomes almost an inevitability when companies are faced with strong economic headwinds, and no one hates the phrase more than creative teams. 

Faced with the inability to bring on more people or resources, creatives are still expected to deliver exceptional results on the same tight deadlines. But the stakes are arguably higher, because during economic slow-downs, internal stakeholders and clients alike question the need for every piece of creative produced. 

So how do you counter this demoralizing force? How do you deliver top-tier creative output with less resources, constantly demonstrating your team’s value? Keep reading below to discover what industry leaders are doing.

Track the creative production metrics

View counts, click-through rates, engagement times… there are endless ways to measure the results of creative output and creative campaigns. The metrics never lie, as they say, and a cursory glance can tell decision makers what is working and what is flopping.

But this measurement of the “ends” gives you no idea of how the “means” unfolded. Afterall, your creative teams have their collective heads down making great work, and can’t spare their already stretched resources to track the effort that went into production.

But you must track the process from start to finish to understand the state of your creative production process. Even knowing roughly the amount of time it takes to get feedback from stakeholders at various stages of the process can be extremely helpful to discovering bottlenecks.

Without an eye on the production journey, you have no idea as to where efficiency leaks lie, nor do you know the consistent roadblocks facing your team. Put simply, you’re leaving resources (and money) on the table.

Tighten up leaks in your creative workflow

There is no reason today that you should be manually sharing and converting files, or updating your tasks across platforms. Rethink what you know about process automation — you don’t have to be a Fortune 50 company to harness the power of automation in your creative process. Besides, if you aren’t using this critical resource, you should know that your competitors are.

Automating tasks like creating briefs, assigning stakeholders to projects, notifying people of feedback requests, and updating project statuses across your tech stack can be a game changer for project transparency. But more importantly, it gives crucial time and resources back to your creative team so that they can do what they do best.

With a robust, intuitive automation system for your creative process, you can cut out the headache of chasing feedback and following up on tasks, which can up the morale of a team at risk of losing it during economic uncertainty.

Revisit your project history and asset library 

Forget your conceptions about project histories and asset libraries — they’re not just an archive of past work that is buried in a corner and forgotten about. Your creative history can be a jumping off point for new work. 

So often past projects are shelved because there wasn’t the bandwidth to complete them, or project requirements changed, or any number of things sprung up to force your creative team to apply the brakes. But these projects still exist, and not utilizing the creative power already spent on them would be a waste.

With a robust, easily searchable project history and asset library, you can spend less time “reinventing the wheel” with new projects, and empower your lean creative team to experiment with and execute on ideas that were placed on the back burner. 

Hiring and resource freezes don’t have to spell doom for your creative team. Orson Welles once said, “the enemy of art is the absence of limitations.” With a thoughtful, robust creative collaboration process, you can deliver great work in the face of limitations and motivate your team. 

By tackling inefficiencies and roadblocks in your creative process now, you’ll set up your organization to be even stronger when economic circumstances stabilize. And having ready access to production metrics, as well as project statuses, enables decision makers to give their creatives the resources they need to scale when the time comes.

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