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Thursday, March 17, 2011

The 10 traits of top talent

Anyone who has worked with freelance talent knows that they’re not all created equal. But it doesn’t have to be a crap-shoot - high caliber talent tend to have similar traits. Here are the top 10 that I look for:

1) A Distinctive point of view – I look for a thread that runs throughout their work – whether it’s an aesthetic, style or voice. THEN I look for how they adapt that style to create something unique for each client.

2) The X factor – They should have something special. You want them to blow you away.

3) Confidence – I look for creative talent who can stand behind their work, but not be so attached to it that they can’t see another point of view.

4) Adaptability - Freelancers have to jump into a project and hit the ground running. They need to quickly understand the client’s needs, respond to feedback and be able to turn on a dime.

5) Calm in the eye of a storm – when the shit hits the fan (as it’s been known to do on occasion) you want someone who can keep things in perspective and not lose their head.

6) Personality – You’ve gotta spend all day (and maybe all night) with these folks.

7) Timeliness – they deliver the work when they say they will – no excuses.

8) Experience – While there are some incredibly talented youngsters coming up the ranks, when you’re on a deadline you need to be able to brief someone and confidently leave them to it.

9) No attitude – let’s face it, no one likes working with jerks, no matter how talented they are.

10) A sense of responsibility – they may just be a freelancer, but they should feel a sense of responsibility to the project and be invested in it’s outcome.

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