This week on ArtEvolve we were joined by Karline Moeller, CEO and co-founder of Art Frankly. We discussed job hunting and hiring new talent in the post-pandemic art world.
The art world has operated on world of mouth for a long time – including in terms of job opportunities and hiring. Relying on this kind of closed, exclusive system is not conducive to inclusive hiring processes, which is one of the reasons Art Frankly was founded. Karline also noted that traditional ways of job hunting (job boards, social media, company websites) are not used by art professionals and art organizations as much as in other industries.
Linkedin, for example, originally only had one art-related tab, ‘arts and crafts’, which wouldn’t be suitable for many art world professionals, such as a gallery manager, registrar, or shipping coordinator. Additionally, many people’s profiles were missing profile pictures, career achievements, and other key information.
What effect has the pandemic had on employment opportunities?
It’s been a turbulent couple of years for the art world, with some employees finding their working hours reduced or positions cut completely. As we move through to a post-pandemic period, however, hiring seems to be increasing, particularly in private companies.
As a new generation of art professionals find work, and rise to new positions, we expect new leadership to catalyze change, particularly in terms of sustainability, technology, and social responsibility.
Like other sectors, remote working is on the rise and both employees and employers are enjoying benefits including better work-life balance, less stress due to commuting, and increased productivity.
Some arts jobs will always require in-person work and Karline noted that, with some people choosing to leave big cities like New York, there is a shortage of qualified staff for certain positions. As a result, these vacancies often advertise higher salaries than they would have pre-pandemic.
How can art organizations find the right candidate?
- Post the job everywhere – more exposure means more candidates, which, in turn, means you are more likely to find the find person for the role.
- Don’t wait – allow as much time as you can to find new staff. Fine arts roles often have long notice periods so people need time to make the switch. This also means more time to complete any necessary training.
- Dedicate resources – if you don’t have a hiring manager, assign one person to oversee the hiring process, and make sure they have enough time and resources to perform interviews and do due diligence.
- Don’t say no straightaway – a candidate might not tick all the boxes on paper but interview well in person. Skills can be developed with training if you think this person will be a good fit with the rest of your team.
Tips for candidates applying to arts and culture jobs
- Apply even if you don’t meet 100% of the criteria in the job description. Additional skills can be learnt on the job or in training.
- Read the job description – and use the same keywords in your application.
- Tweak your CV to the role – highlight your suitable experience and relevant achievements in your past roles.
- Include a cover letter – if there’s no space for a cover letter, a cover email can serve the same purpose and give you opportunity to summarize why you are the perfect match for the position.
Thank you for our guest, Karline Moeller of Art Frankly, for joining us!