What Working with an HR Creative Services Vendor Should Feel Like

By Andrew Davies

Supplementing your HR communications team with an outside creative vendor should make your life easier. Here are some signs that they’re going to be your new secret weapon.

Collaborating with an outside creative services vendor for your HR communications can bring many benefits. By working closely with HR consultants, we have developed into a specialized player in the HR communications industry and have gained a better understanding of what our clients value most in a vendor. Aside from the typical considerations like costs, sometimes it’s the more intangible benefits of working with a trusted outside vendor that matters most. Many HR consultants mention the necessity for an “innovative” HR partner, but what does that actually involve? And perhaps more crucially, how should it feel? Read on to discover what it should be like to collaborate with a creative HR partner!

1. Somewhat Invasive… at First

Even if you’re hiring them for a single explainer video or microsite, it’s essential they have a clear picture of the scope, goals, and audience of the project. One of the signs of a good vendor is that they ask a lot of questions upfront to get a better understanding of your client and their specific needs. Along with the standard project information like deliverables and deadlines, this also involves understanding your client’s culture and values and how they relate to the project. This will help to prevent confusion and mistrust among employees by guaranteeing that the finished product will be consistent with the messaging and tone of your client. 

Some red flags to watch out for are a vague scope of work and opaque estimates. These could be a warning sign that they’re not clear on what you want and are planning on figuring it out as the project goes on, or worse, shoehorning your project into a predetermined template. Additionally, if they don’t take the time to understand your company’s culture and values, a vendor may produce communications that are misaligned with your company’s messaging and tone. This could lead to confusion or mistrust among employees and ultimately affect the project’s success.

2. Seamless

When hiring an outside creative vendor, it is important that they feel like a part of your team. This means that communication between them and your team should be open and easy. A vendor that is willing to work closely with your team and adapt their approach to meet your specific needs will be a better fit for your company. Open and easy communication ensures that the project runs smoothly and that both parties are on the same page.

One red flag to look out for is when it’s unclear who the point of contact is. This can lead to confusion and miscommunication, which can ultimately affect the project’s success. Bonus points if they use a platform for project communications like Teamwork or Slack to organize messages and prevent things from getting lost in email.

3. Stress-free

When working with an outside creative vendor, you shouldn’t have to worry about missing deadlines or embarrassing errors. A good vendor will have a project manager on staff to keep track of internal deadlines and provide quality control. This way, you can focus on your job and not have to stress about the vendor’s performance.

So, one red flag to look out for is if the vendor doesn’t have a project manager on staff. If they don’t have a dedicated person in that role, make sure to ask about their project management and quality control processes. This will give you peace of mind and a better understanding of how they work.

4. Refreshing

Hiring an outside creative vendor can be a great way to bring fresh perspectives and ideas to your HR communications. They can help you break out of old patterns and find new and innovative ways to reach your client’s employees. This can lead to more effective and engaging communications, which can ultimately lead to a more positive company culture.

5. Reassuring

You’ll want to work with a vendor with a proven track record of creating effective and engaging communications for other companies in your industry. It’s important that the vendor has experience working on HR-related projects and understands the unique challenges and goals of HR communications. This will ensure that they are able to create communications that are tailored to your specific needs, accomplish measurable goals, and make you look good.

The inability to offer case studies of their prior work or references from pleased clients is one thing to watch out for. It may be a sign that a vendor lacks the experience or knowledge necessary to deliver the kind of work you require.

6. Rewarding

Always think about the variety of services an external creative provider offers. Your team can save time and money by working with a vendor who has a broader range of skills, such as design, videography, and copywriting. Making the process more efficient and less demanding for your team is possible by working with a single vendor that can meet all of your creative demands.

For instance, a vendor that provides video production, scriptwriting, and editing services can handle the entire process, from creating the screenplay to filming the video to final editing, if you require a new explainer video for your employee onboarding program. Your team will be spared the time and effort required to look for, evaluate, and work with various providers for every service.

So, Basically…

In essence, hiring an independent creative vendor for your HR communications might have several advantages beyond the standard considerations like expertise and price. It’s crucial to find a vendor you can trust to make you look good to your clients and who makes an effort to fully comprehend the project’s objectives and target audience. In the end, having a strong HR partner will result in more effective and interesting communications as well as a more favorable workplace culture.