How to Talk to a Recruiter About Your Creative Staffing Needs

A graphic of a recruiter talking to a candidate

Your business market is expanding, your agency or in-house team is growing and you need to build your creative team – quickly. The challenge? Finding skilled creative professionals remains one of the most pressing business issues facing advertising agencies, marketing firms and in-house creative departments.

More and more, hiring managers are turning to specialized creative staffing professionals to forge connections with prospective employees and to wade through the glut of applicant resumes and portfolios. If you're considering a staffing partner, understand how to talk to a recruiter – so you can make the best hiring decision for your team.

When you talk to a recruiter, remember the 4 + 4 Rule: Share 4, Ask 4.

4 Things to Share
Give recruiters some content and context to work with. That way, they'll be able to paint a vivid picture of the company and the position when they approach candidates.

  1. The job description – As you consider how to talk to a recruiter, place the job description on the front burner. Job descriptions don't have to be long, but they do have to be focused and thorough. The recruiter can help you shape an effective job description; begin with this blueprint.
  2. The corporate culture – Making sure the new hire fits with the team's personality and chemistry is always important – even more so when you're seeking a creative employee because of the collaborative nature of creative teams. Talk to a recruiter about the work environmentwork-life balance, creative freedom, management styles and the like.
  3. An overview of the existing team – If you haven't already, conduct a skills inventory to identify the team's roles and responsibilities and uncover any talent gaps. Help the recruiter understand how the position you're hiring for interacts with others.
  4. An overview of the current business climate – Is the team or agency facing significant change? Is the firm adding new expertise? Talk to a recruiter about the company's future and how he or she can help you identify upcoming hiring needs.

4 Questions to Ask
Knowing how to talk to a recruiter also includes knowing the right questions to ask. Understand the recruiter's perspective and glean his or her tips and ideas.

  1. What does the job market look like in our field and our region? Creative staffing agencies continuously research hiring trends and track what's happening in your specific fields. They can help you understand how competitive the job market is and provide tips on finding strong candidates.
  2. What salary range should we expect to offer? Again, your staffing company can be a tremendous resource for salaries for creative professionals.
  3. How can you help us sort the good prospects from the bad fits? Talk to a recruiter about how he or she will connect with job seekers, filter applications and conduct evaluation interviews to ensure you spend your time only with the highest-quality candidates.
  4. How can we avoid making the wrong decision? Bad hires are costly – in time, money and morale. Ask your staffing firm to help guide you through the process, so you don't hire out of desperation or let "decision by committee" lead to a poor choice.

As you're considering how to talk to a recruiter before you begin working together, understand that this could be the beginning of a long-term relationship. Share all the information the recruiter will need about your company and the position, and be prepared with questions of your own.