Any art director or creative team manager who's struggled to fill an open position knows the challenges of hiring creative employees – and the perils of making a bad hire. The time required to manage the process is daunting, which is why many creative leaders turn to a recruitment agency for help.
A recruitment agency does more than simply file an online job posting and schedule interviews with candidates. The most valuable staffing services are proactive in seeking candidates on the local creative scene.
And you'll find that a highly specialized recruitment agency with a creative focus is staffed with veterans of the creative industry. These experienced recruiters understand each position from the point of view of both the hiring manager and the creative employee because they've filled both roles themselves. They have terrific local contacts. And they're highly in tune with the rapid pace of change in the field.
A creative recruitment agency can help hiring managers meet the most pressing challenges involved in hiring employees, including:
Searching, rather than responding
If you're a hiring manager, and you've only posted an opening on local job sites and your AIGA chapter's job board, you may be missing the strongest candidates. A recruitment agency can actively search for the best prospects instead of simply fielding resumes. Creative recruiters have deep connections in the local design community; furthermore, they have insight into employed professionals who may be looking for a new job, along with strategies for tactfully and quietly reaching out to those prospects.
Managing the administrative chores
A recruitment agency can help you with every step of the hiring process, from writing an effective job descriptions and preparing smart interview questions for creative candidates, to evaluating resumes and conducting preliminary interviews. A trusted staffing firm can take a lot of these tasks off your hands so you can spend time where it counts: interviewing and selecting from among the top prospects.
Finding the right person
Perhaps more than in other fields, it's crucial to get the "fit" right with creative employees because of the personal nature of the work and the diversity of personality types among creatives. In any agency or in-house team, it's critical to consider the corporate culture and weigh whether the candidate can sync with that culture. A recruitment agency representative can take a third-party view of the workplace and assess which candidates will sink or swim in that environment.
Onboarding a new employee
Finally, your work with a recruitment agency shouldn't end when an employee accepts your job offer. Specialized staffing firms have a stake in the success of both parties and offer plenty of resources for employer and employee alike – from advice for managers on keeping top talent to expert career advice for creative professionals that can help them perform at their highest level.
Want more resources and information about working with a creative recruitment agency? Check out the TCG blog for tips on conducting a successful candidate search and interviewing prospective employees.