Washington, DC-based Taoti Creative (a digital strategy / web development agency) is looking for a creative leader to grow its creative department!

Taoti Creative is a Washington DC-based, creatively-focused, web development shop that specializes in open source website and web application development (Drupal is our specialty, but we’re not a slave to it—especially if we want to do something a bit more special purpose). We do some pretty cool stuff for some pretty significant clients—largely centered in the non-profit world (though we work with most sectors).

We’ve built a super-sophisticated kidney-matching web app responsible for almost 1000 transplants to-date, an scrolling infographic kind of animated story site to convince Congress to help the apartment industry, an interactive map to show how 8000 polled Afghans feel about political issues, and at the moment, we’re building out a knowledge sharing system to connect international water researchers in the MENA region for USAID, to name a very few. (See some of our work: http://taoti.com/portfolio.) Our ‘thing’ is being smart about what we do and what we build. Sure, we want people to oooh and aahh over our work as much as the next shop, but we’re passionate about our work getting results by utilizing unique and innovative designs, features, methods, etc. That’s where you come in!

We’re growing and need someone to take over the role of being our creative voice (at first) and then, as we continue to grow, help build out a robust creative team.  So in the beginning, expect to wear a lot of hats.  Before you can get to visual designing, there will be a lot of strategy and planning involved.  Stakeholder interviews, wire framing, story boarding, style guides, etc.  You’ll work closely with our project managers and developers (not to mention directly with clients) to figure out how to breathe fresh life and innovative features into old, stale websites (much of our work.)  Have you ever looked at a website and said, “man, this could be so much better…” This is your chance to make that happen.  You’ve got a killer bench of developers at your back who can execute anything you can conjure up. And you’ve got great project managers who will help you fight the hard fights to convince clients to sign on to cutting-edge ideas that might push them out of their comfort zones.  You’ll collaborate a lot with me, our de facto present creative director and founder. I largely fill this role now, but as we grow, I need to focus on more CEO stuff (steering the proverbial ship and selecting the next keg of beer for the office—that sort of important work), which is why we need someone to help me, surpass me, and eventually take over the creative department.

I’ll spare you a list of requirements—you know if you’re qualified or not. All I will say is that we are looking for someone who has enough experience that your body of work will largely speak for itself. We hungry for innovation and site features that just work. And of course, we want to see artistic passion, attention to detail, and visual polish that separates the ‘really nice’ websites from the kinds of sites that win awards. We’re all about giving up-and-coming talent the chance they need to prove themselves. But in this particular case, we are looking for someone with a proven track record of creativity, innovation and digital artistry. Leadership experience is a big plus, but not required. If you’ve got the raw strategic and creative skills, we’ll figure the rest out on the job. (Note: while we appreciate the benefits that freelancers can offer, we’re looking for someone to help grow Taoti’s culture, and given what a key position this is for us, we’re fairly insistent that this be a full time, in-house hire.)

That’s what you can do for us. Here’s what Taoti can offer you:

By most standards, we pay well and have great benefits. Full health, vision and dental insurance with no deductible. Company-matched retirement plans. Casual and fun office space in the heart of DC. Flexible work hours. Lot’s of perks too, like a company boat that we like to frequent on Friday afternoons, a full gym in our building basement (free!), easy metro access, industry events and conferences, etc.

While you’re have lots of support from your colleagues, you’ll never be micromanaged. You’ll have broad creative license and discretion. You’ll be encouraged (practically required) to innovate and push limits.  You’ll be rewarded for excellence and leadership and getting results. The position is creative in nature of course, but beyond that, it’s largely what you make of it.  “Creative” has largely been a thing that has just kinda happened in our shop—a very fluid and dynamic process that, while effective, was not terribly efficient or predictable.  That has been fine for us so far, but as our projects and clients get larger and more sophisticated, we’re looking to take our creative efforts up a notch (several notches), and start putting more process (and frankly, talent) in place to make us a best-of-breed shop. We’ve spent the past two years putting together a helluva development team. These folks can build anything.  In many ways, we’re more like a custom software shop than a creative shop right now. But we want to elevate our creative efforts to that same high level—which will give us the competitive advantage of being able to offer both killer creative and sophisticated development efforts under one roof—something not most of our competitors do equally well. So on top of the creative elements of the job, the career trajectory we can offer very much puts you into our senior management circle and gives you the opportunity to grow your own creative business within our business (without the hassle of having to find clients. Every creative director’s dream, right? 😉

So that’s the gig. We’re looking for someone ASAP, although there is no hard deadline. We’ll wait until we find the right person, however long it takes. Everything is negotiable. We don’t have a fixed salary for the job, but we know it’s in the 6 figures, and we’re prepared to offer what it takes to lure the right person to DC (or away from their current shop.)

If you like the cut of our jib and think you’ve got the chops for the job, we’d love to hear from you and see some of your work. Hint: We’re as interested in your precursor work (wire frames, story boards, creative briefs, style guides, etc.) as we are your finished work.

-brent (founder and soon to be former creative director)

PS: Recruiters, sorry, but we’re not interested. Thanks anyway though.