Creative temp agencies are a rare breed. Nowhere else can top creative professionals reliably find project-based or freelance positions that so closely match their skills, strengths and interests. Candidates might not immediately recognize how much work goes on in the background to match creatives with assignments at which they will excel. So, Angela Vitzthum, assistant vice president of The Creative Group (TCG), provides an inside look at how temp agencies work.
Finger on the pulse
Recruiters at TCG are constantly networking with both potential candidates and creative companies and agencies in their region for a bird's-eye understanding of the job market.
"The people at TCG are experts, often coming from the creative industry they recruit for," Vitzthum says. "We're active at networking events, meetups and tradeshows, where we gain a broad understanding of what's happening within a specific industry or related ones."
She and her agents attend conferences and gatherings of professional associations such as AIGA, the professional association for design; the Interaction Design Association; and Industrial Designers Society of America to strike up conversations with anyone and everyone they meet. (She and her recruiters have met designers currently working at electronics stores, tending bars and driving taxis.) Knowing who's hiring and who's looking is the first step to be able to start putting the pieces together.
Finding the right skills match
Once you know a bit more about how temp agencies work, and you've decided to work with one, it all starts with a conversation.
"When candidates come in, we talk about their background and strengths. And then we talk about soft skills and what kind of environments they want to work in," Vitzthum says. To know what kinds of workplaces might be a good match, "we interview clients and see their work environments. It's really that human touch that sets us apart from competitors."
That inside information not only helps TCG match candidates with positions but also sometimes even creates new possibilities.
"When we call up a client, it can result in a new opportunity, especially for senior-level people," Vitzthum says. "After listening to our clients describe their challenges, we start figuring out how to help them. So we'll say, "I know you're not hiring right now, but this freelancer I have in mind has the talent to be creative and the efficiency to meet your deadline for this particular project – and he can start today.'"
An agent for you
Once there's a potential skills match, interviews have been conducted and feedback from both the candidate and the company have been received, TCG does the rest. We'll handle salary negotiations and paperwork for you, so all you have to do is show up at your new gig.
The TCG Salary Center is a great resource for benchmarking your current or past salary with industry averages in your area. But if you find your own pay isn't up to par, it can be hard to bring it up on your own.
Vitzthum says, "Thanks to our recruiters' negotiating expertise and knowledge of the marketplace, we've helped our candidates secure wages that they may not have been able to attain on their own. The difference can be significant and is sometimes life-changing."
Would you like to know more about how temp agencies work and how they can help you find your next job? Contact The Creative Group today to find out.