Finding skilled creative talent can be difficult, especially if you're looking to fill roles that are in demand. A job recruiter – also referred to as an employment agency, a staffing firm or a search firm – can help save you time by searching for qualified candidates on your behalf while you focus on your key projects. Because of their deep networks, expertise and familiarity with the creative industry, they can find the right candidate quickly, evaluate them so you don't have to and even help you avoid a bad or desperate hire.
Here are some tips on how to find a job recruiter to staff your creative agency before you make your next hire:
Work your network
Chances are you're friendly with other creative agency managers and owners, and you're not all looking to fill the same position in the same locale at the same time. Seek your peers' advice on how to find a job recruiter – and ask them to share their feedback about the ones they've worked with.
Narrow your search
A staffing agency that specializes in the creative industry will understand what skills candidates will need to fill your position. They'll also have a wide network that allows them to quickly provide you with a pool of qualified candidates.
You can get specialized staffing agency referrals from industry groups like the AIGA, the Public Relations Society of America, the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the American Marketing Association. Also, recruiters are often quoted in business press or trade journals, so you might find good leads in articles about your city or your specialty.
Ask lots of questions
Ultimately, you want to work with a job recruiter that's trained to match you with creative professionals who can start right away, so you'll need to vet your top contenders.
Understanding how to find a job recruiter often means knowing what questions to ask the staffing services you're considering. For example:
- How many candidates do they expect to find for your vacancy?
- How will they help you narrow the list?
- How much experience do they have with your industry?
- How much knowledge do they have about the role you're filling?
- How big is their network?
These are all good questions to ask a recruiter before you retain their services.
Don't cheap out
Hiring the wrong employee can be costly, which is probably one of the reasons you've decided to work with a staffing agency. But working with one that's a bad fit can be just as draining. A good staffing agency will be equipped to conduct personal interviews, technical skills evaluations, reference checks, soft skills assessments, job offer preparation and analysis of which candidates will fit best with your work environment. Make sure the recruiters you're considering offer these services, and don't be wooed by a low price tag.
Expect a lot
The best staffing firms provide personalized, friendly service and will dedicate a recruiter to handle your account with one-on-one attention. Make sure the recruiter not only has a good handle on your particular market, but also has a broad reach to bring in candidates from outside your area. You want it both ways.
Look for a firm that can tailor its services to your requirements. Creative companies often need to fill temporary positions as projects ramp up and down. At a moment's notice, you might need a freelancer to fill in just for the day. Look for a firm that can work with you to create a customized plan or one that's flexible enough to accommodate a quick turnaround.
Prioritize progressive agencies
Especially in the cutting-edge creative industry, you need to know how to find a job recruiter that's keeping up with technology trends and implementing new systems and strategies in a rapidly changing job-placement landscape.
Knowing how to find a job recruiter that can meet your needs takes time and careful consideration, just like finding the right employee. But if you make the effort to choose the best recruiter for your firm, you'll come closer to accessing the talent your business needs.