‘Innovation’ is an overly used term, and to an extent, so nondescript and ubiquitous we now barely even register its presence.
But, when understood by definition—the introduction of something new, something that creates value or growth it’s powerful and exciting. It defines our contemporary experience and its influence is felt across the world.
It’s about unlocking insights, and translating those insights into ideas, products, services and experiences. So, it’s no surprise that Apple, Uber and Airbnb spring to mind when we think about innovation.
Innovation’s both a thing and an industry.
Today it’s one of the fastest growing sectors in the Consulting and Creative Services’ industries. It operates at the intersection of Technology and Design and Strategy. Where a new wave of “inventors” are tasked with designing, creating and building breakthrough propositions that change the way we do everything; from face-detecting systems that will authorise payments, to driverless cars. And smartphones that are now millions of times more powerful than all of NASA’s combined computing in 1969.
Innovation is BIG business, and perhaps the most powerful catalyst in galvanising growth, both for economy and evolution.
Whilst innovation has been rife throughout civilisation—from pioneers in science, to inventors and entrepreneurs—it’s only been an industry for the last decade or so.
The intersection of Tech, Design and Strategy, has seen rapid growth in the consulting and creative industries. With big firms such as Accenture, Deloitte and IBM, investing heavily in teams of “inventors” they carve out new opportunities and revenue streams for their clients. And conversely, their clients’ consumers.
This is where creativity meets business.
These inventors are an eclectic mix of people. They’re Strategists. They’re Researchers, Designers and Technical Evangelists. They’re teams who as a collective, work from upstream thinking and idea development, to downstream design, build and execution of high-impact innovations. Strategists and Researchers (the “thinkers”) typically come from strategy and management consultancy backgrounds, and the Designers and Builders (the “makers”) tend to come from design and digital businesses.
Drew Welton, Founder of Innovation recruitment consultancy, Bamboo Crowd, uncovers what it’s like recruiting for the future.
“We’re fortunate to be where we are. We get to work with people that genuinely stretch your mind, people who have actually invented something. Our clients have one thing in common – they’re brave, and invest in change and growth”.
Your mind is stretched working in this industry.
Candidates are hugely diverse and typically sit at the top of their peer group, from Oxbridge and Ivy League talent, to successful entrepreneurs and inventors. The “change makers” that sit within strategy consultancy, digital and creative businesses. Learning, growth and exposure in innovation recruitment is second to none.
Clients range from disruptive, agile start-ups to global innovators, labs and brands.
Apple, Deliveroo and Tesla are some of the infamous names. But there are also hundreds of consultancies and agencies that fuel the growth of these global innovators.
Being consultative, entrepreneurial and curious will take you a long way in innovation recruitment.
Unlike more traditional recruitment, innovation’s about truly understanding the audience. You need to be an expert who’s passionate. The industry doesn’t suffer fools, and isn’t driven by old-school recruitment and selling. Clients and candidates look for expertise and advice, and recruiters who are consultative and entrepreneurial.
Salaries are high in this industry, and right now, there are very few specialists who understand the sector. More importantly, even less that have the network and clients. This means the opportunity to be rewarded is huge. Alongside the chance to learn, the potential for personal and professional growth in Innovation is exponential.
If you’re recruiting in a market which feels stagnated, tired or over saturated with the Recruiter to Client ratio, now’s the right time to explore the world of Innovation.
Article by Drew Welton
Principal Consultant - Finance at Marshall McAdam
Recruitment Consultant at Just IT Recruitment (JITR)
Senior Consultant - Drinks Sales at New Chapter Consulting
Consultant / Financial Services at Oakleaf Partnership