Dear Employer, Hire Artists

15 Jul

We do a ton of talking about (potential) employees and job seekers here, but what about employers? What is their role in all this? It’s not like they are just blindly hiring people that aren’t you. They clearly are looking for something. To me, job hunting is neither a crap-shoot nor a beatable video game. There are principles but also a ton of grey area.

I really admire this recent article on hiring aimed at employers:

Artists, as a species, are amazing people. And America, as a general rule, does not fully get this. Show me a good artist and I will show you a highly educated, highly creative, highly passionate, highly driven human being. If they’re a performing artist, I will show you someone who breathes teamwork. I will show you someone who eats healthy critiques for breakfast and grows an inch that day because of it. I will show you a communicator, and a thinker. I will show you someone you want to hireAnd all you have to do, is not destroy the whole reason you want to hire them. All you have to do, in short, is create jobs built for artists. The result? Instant competitive advantage.

Artists. Hire artists. And I think “artists” has that larger definition here that includes liberal artists. I can’t guarantee that liberal artists take criticism well like performers who get their egos beaten down by directors everywhere, but I can guarantee we are communicators, thinkers – usually highly driven and passionate, if we haven’t been disillusioned by fatigue.

So, dearest employers, it’s not all our fault. You should be employing the non-robots and then not destroy our capability to make art. That last part is somewhat glazed over by the article. The way to keep young people (Millenials?) is to make sure they are still doing art, even if it has nothing to do with your company. Make sure they are dancing, performing, singing, creating and you will have wonderfully productive staff. Finally, Chris Ashworth, author of the article above, says hiring artists also means money stops mattering — don’t know about that, though.


2 Responses to “Dear Employer, Hire Artists”

  1. Chris Ashworth July 15, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    Regarding the last bit, it’s not that money stops mattering. Money does matter, but only to a point. Past that point other things matter more.

    Taking this fact into account has huge implications for how we structure employment, and opens up tremendous win-win opportunities.

    Chris “a happy small liberal arts college graduate” Ashworth

  2. Ryan K. July 15, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    We’re happy small liberal arts college graduates too! Thanks for the comment, Chris!

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