Brian is the Lead Creative Recruiter at Creative Circle New York. He and his team represent and place digital and creative talent in New York City and the surrounding areas. Brian brings over ten years of experience in the creative staffing industry, leading recruitment efforts and partnering with creative professionals and agencies, start ups and companies in need of creative solutions.

Since Brian will be a regular contributor to Our Notebook, we asked him a few questions so you can get to know him. Be on the look out for his biweekly columns on emerging trends and advice for job seekers in the creative industry.

What do you do at Creative Circle?

I joined Creative Circle as a Recruiter in 2009, recruiting talent for our Grand Rapids market and assisting with talent sourcing for New York. Shortly after, I began recruiting for New York exclusively. In 2014, I took on a Sr. Recruiter role, and in 2016, I earned the Lead Recruiter position. More recently, in addition to my recruiting duties, I’ve been partnering with our executive management team on strategic recruiting initiatives.

How did you end up becoming a recruiter?

Over the years, I’ve realized that nobody starts their career by saying, “You know what… I’m going to be a Recruiter.” Prior to jumping head-first into a Recruiter role, I graduated from Monmouth University with a Business (Management) degree, and then went on to manage the customer service team of a large eCommerce home goods retailer. Always having a passion for design and the arts, I decided to get involved with the creative community and landed in the world of creative recruitment. The majority of the team in New York comes from the creative industry, and we pride ourselves on that – it’s one of our company’s pillars of success. All these years later, I’ve fully embraced the unique opportunity to partner with creatives and actually have the ability to effect change in people’s lives.

What’s the best advice you can give talent looking to grow their skills in this field?

I’ve reviewed countless portfolios and interviewed over 4,000 candidates in my almost 8 years at Creative Circle, and my message has remained the same: through the changes in the creative industry – from broadcast to print to digital and experiential, mobile and social – it’s more important than ever for creative talent to keep learning. Grow with the industry. Never limit yourself to one discipline. Think full 360. Completely integrate yourself into creative.

If you’re a designer, understand classic design principles – Alignment, Hierarchy, Contrast, Repetition, Proximity, Balance and Space – and how to execute for all mediums. If you’re a writer, be flexible enough to grab a consumer’s attention in any space. More importantly, through design or copy – ENGAGE.

What industry trends are you noticing for talent in this role?

No one can predict what the next big technology is going to be, but let’s face it: VR, AR and MR are here. The challenge now is how companies are going to utilize them, and how creatives are going to adapt their skills to fit those needs.

What creative trends are you most excited about this year?

I’m interested to see what happens with the growth of social advertising and its integration into our lives. I’ve always been excited about the growth of branded content and how creating content that isn’t advertising (but is) engages consumers. I’m also interested to see how the lines are blurring between agencies and in-house companies.

How do you stay up to date on emerging trends?

Reading. I soak in all the information I can from sources like Fast Co., Mashable, AdAge, DesignTaxi and Awwwards – to start. I also ask TONS of questions of people I meet – the way I see it, there’s something to learn from everyone.

How do you live creative? What does living a creative lifestyle mean to you?

I live creative in a lot of ways (I have tattoos, and I’ve found that to be a great form of expression), but it’s really about being yourself. Enjoy what’s going on in the now! Take time to slow down, observe what’s happening around you and do the things that fuel you. How do I slow down in this hyper connected world? For me, there’s nothing that clears my head more than driving my 1963 Cadillac with the windows down, listening to music on a spring or summer night.

I’m really pumped to touch on emerging trends and technologies, as well as various other topics in my upcoming, ‘as I see it’ biweekly column. Until next time: stay aware, stay knowledgeable and stay plugged in. Engage. Evolve. Create something great!