Creative staffing agencies, which specialize in placing creative professionals on freelance gigs, temporary, project, or permanent assignments, have been growing in popularity with both employers and creative professionals.
Last year, the top eight US creative staffing agencies came in at just under a billion dollars of total revenue. Additionally, 78 percent of staffing specialists in all categories expect the trend to continue. Employees can benefit from connecting with a creative staffing agency by having clearer sight lines into open positions and leads on projects that may not be posted to the general public. Likewise, employers can benefit by connecting to an agency’s extensive database of pre-screened, qualified candidates for creative positions.
A candidate should employ these steps to make the most of your connection with a creative staffing agency.
1. Compile A Resume And Portfolio
While a resume may give a potential employer information on basic job skills and experience, it only shows your own interpretation and evaluation of those skills. To determine a candidate’s fit for a creative position, it’s important that the recruiter and hiring manager evaluate a sample of actual work that has been produced.
Assemble a portfolio that includes your best work, noting why you feel this is your best work. Was it the most effective? Did it have the most reach? If it won an award or special recognition, if it was reblogged, received a large number of page views, or started an interesting conversation, make sure that information is included with the portfolio.
2. Prepare For An Interview – Even If The Job Is Remote
While many freelance gigs and contract positions can be completed remotely, should your work meet the agency needs, the recruiter will still expect to conduct a pre-screening interview. A pre-screen is to verify that the information is included on the resume as well as to check any requirements as far as a background check or drug screen.
However, the main purpose of a pre-screen interview is to gain a feel for the candidate’s personality, which can be as important to a positive working relationship as skills and experience.
If the office is located outside of your geographic area, however, often a video call can satisfy the basic pre-screen requirements.
3. Prepare A Range Of Acceptable Compensation
Know the value of your work. Complete research on regular compensation for the type of job that you are looking for: look online, speak with peers, and use past experience to create a range of compensation that you would accept for a certain type of job. Certain creative jobs pay a flat fee for completed work. Others will pay by the hour or on a retainer.
A recruiter can also let you know if your expected compensation is in line with the type of work available in your region. Do not be afraid when discussing salary in a job interview with a recruiter. Unless you’re volunteering, compensation is a major reason that you are looking for a job in the first place.
4. Leverage Your Network
The people that you meet, both in the staffing agency and while on assignment, can be a valuable resource in finding future work. Some of the people you meet, like recruiters, can connect you directly with new jobs. But co-workers, even short-term, can be important in providing referrals and/or references in the future.
Recruiters need candidates to be professional, responsible, diligent, productive and reliable. This makes you look good, as well as the recruiter, which both the recruiter and employer will appreciate.
5. Understand The Details
In considering a new assignment, short- or long-term, it is important to understand the details and to be specific with the recruiter on your preferences. It doesn’t do you or the recruiter any good to say you are open to a short-term contract to hire position when you are really looking for a permanent position.
Current economic conditions, including the rise of the freelance gig economy and the talent-constrained job market, have created a great and growing market for creative staffing agencies. Creative professionals can benefit from a connection with a creative staffing agency, like Sparks Group, to find the contract, project, or permanent job that is a great fit for both candidate and employer.
Sparks Group is a marketing, digital and creative staffing agency that rapidly provides highly-skilled talent in a range of positions. Our specialized team is comprised of dedicated creative recruiters and account managers, many of which hold real world experience in graphic/digital design and/or creative recruiting experience. Our expert team truly understand the needs and career goals of creative candidates to help place them in the ideal role.
View our free job board to easily apply to available full time, contract, and temporary, and freelance creative positions.