If innovation is about off-angle thinking, collisions of concepts that come from different fields, and opening windows to the outside world, then why are so many innovation teams made up entirely of company insiders?

We believe homogeneity is one of the biggest weaknesses of today’s innovation teams, labs, and R&D organizations. Many of the leaders running them acknowledge this, and are working to address it.

Our latest report, Hiring Innovators: How Innovation Teams Bring on Top Talent, explores how some of the most successful companies are:

  • Getting the budget
  • Describing the role
  • Working with HR — and promoting openings on their own
  • Evaluating candidates
  • Integrating new hires into the organization.

It also includes more than 20 recent job descriptions for roles like Chief Innovation Officer, Innovation & Insights Manager, Open Innovation Manager, Director — Innovation Labs, R&D Innovation Manager, Chief Digital Officer, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, and VP—Innovation. And we lay out five phases of an approach to getting from “hiring full-timers is not possible for us” to becoming a talent magnet.

Companies featured in this report include Target, Starbucks, Zodiac Aerospace, Visa, Hospital Corp. of America, Reliant Energy, MassMutual, Avanade, Draeger, and Kimberly-Clark.

Table of Contents 

Introduction 3

Getting the Budget 4

Describing the Role 6

Working with HR — and Doing Your Own Marketing 8

Screening Candidates 10

Post-Hire Considerations 12

Bringing in Outside Talent — a Phased Approach 13

Concluding Recommendations 14

Job Description 15