Resourcing remains one of the top challenges for in-house creative, digital and marketing teams, according to our 2021 In-House Creative Industry Report. As workloads and expectations continue to grow, deadlines are getting shorter and shorter, and we don’t foresee the pressures letting up anytime soon. Added to this situation are the challenges brought on by a hot job market that make recruiting and retaining talent especially difficult.

Now more than ever, marketing and in-house teams need a creative staffing partner with the experience, skills and insight to understand the types of workforce capabilities and attributes you’re looking for. In other words, your partner must deliver the right talent at the right time—so you can do your job of running an efficient, effective creative operation. Here are five essential considerations to help ensure you’re hiring the best creative staffing agency for your needs.

Seeking a creative staffing agency that offers an array of talent solutions?


1. Hire an Agency Focused Only On Creative, Marketing and Digital Talent

Nobody knows your team, your clients, your business and your goals like you do. But your staffing agency should come pretty darn close. That’s why we recommend hiring one that shares the same areas of concentration. Why is this so important?

  • They’ll attract the best talent for you. By focusing solely on creative, marketing and digital workforce solutions, a specialized staffing agency is more likely to attract top talent in the areas that matter to you. Cella, for example, often receives referrals from A-level talent who recommend us based on their own experience and our reputation for providing excellent service to both job candidates and employers.
  • Specialization makes candidate vetting more complete and efficient. Deep, broad and intricate knowledge of your unique requirements allows the creative staffing agency to ensure that the candidate’s skill set and career aspirations will match your specific opening.
  • Candidates are evaluated on the basis of corporate culture fit. The creative-centric staffing agency you consider hiring should appreciate the importance of compatibility in a fast-paced, team-based working environment. And it should be able to draw from a robust roster of highly skilled candidates who will fit right in.
  • An industry focus flattens the learning curve. When your creative staffing partner has spent years or even decades establishing a track record of success, you can count on it to be intimately familiar with the types of proficiencies required for your open roles. So check for longevity and experience.
  • You’ll save everyone countless hours. You can move faster to fill positions with the right people, the first time, and quickly benefit from having productive talent in place.
  • Your call is answered by someone who understands. There’s no underestimating the value of having a dedicated point person who fully grasps your requirements and partners with you to meet them. This is why creative staffing agencies like Cella assign their clients an individual contact person capable of addressing all their talent solution needs. Whether you need immediate hiring help, want to work together on forecasting upcoming needs, you’re looking for consulting assistance with technology implementations, or you’d like to explore staff optimization, you’ll have someone highly knowledgeable in your corner who can respond with guidance and support.

2. Be Sure the Creative Staffing Agency Offers Flexible Talent Solutions That Grow With You

The needs you’re experiencing today will likely change in the months to come. It’s simply the nature of the business. Even so, some events come as total surprises. The pandemic taught us all the importance of moving quickly when the need surfaces. You’ll want an agile staffing partner that can react with speed and precision when the call to action is sounded.

  • Choose a staffing firm that can meet a wide array of needs. Bring in a company who can address your operating demands with innovative, custom and flexible solutions. Finding a trusted partner and creative expert to serve your group in all of these capacities can be invaluable. For example, these requirements might include:
    • Filling positions with freelance, temporary and full-time workers.
    • Staffing and managing an embedded team that might be needed, say, due to unexpected events such as the advent of a pandemic, or to fulfill the growing demand for digital marketing or video production expertise.
    • Stepping in as an outsourced expert when you need help in specific areas—optimizing an existing team, making operational adjustments, designing a new operation or process, to name just a few.
  • Seek out creative staffing experts that serve teams or industries similar to yours. Ask what kind of companies the staffing agency is working with. Its familiarity with organizations similar to yours can jump-start a productive relationship.
  • Work with seasoned pros who meet with you regularly. The agency should be prepared and available to discuss your needs, performance and progress.

3. Get An Agency With Creative Experts At the Helm

Get acquainted with the leadership of the prospective creative staffing partner. After all, they are the individuals who will be steering the solutions you receive.

  • See that the leaders have firsthand experience with the types of challenges facing your industry, and your clients in particular. This understanding can give you further confidence that your partnership will generate value, prove to be relevant, and provide forward-thinking insights.
  • Benefit from a staffing agency that shares its insights of a changing industry and supports the creative community. From benchmarking and thought leadership to emerging technologies and industry trends, your partner can help you and your clients stay informed and ahead of the pack.
  • Grow your people with top-tier training provided by industry experts who have been in their shoes and done their assignments. Career development is fundamental for keeping your team happy, challenged and engaged. A creative staffing agency led by creative experts will understand this. At Cella, we’ve developed popular bootcamps and leadership programs focused on helping to advance knowledge of teams like yours.

4. Learn If The Agency Prioritizes DE&I

Determine if your prospective creative staffing partner will be truly driven by a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion strategy as it provides your talent solutions.

  • How is the agency’s commitment to DE&I demonstrated in its processes?
  • Are they able to address and meet your DE&I pledges and obligations?
  • What initiatives have they undertaken to ensure diverse recruiting and eliminate applicant screening bias?
  • How does the company ensure the engagement and advancement of members of underrepresented groups?

5. Confirm That Third Parties Give It Two Thumbs Up

Just as you’d request it of anyone you’re hiring, you should gather referrals, recommendations or opinions from people who have worked with the staffing agencies you are considering. Seek answers to the following questions before making your decision.

  • Does the agency consistently survey clients and talent to understand where they excel and what they can improve?
  • Do they have methods in place to measure their performance and benchmark it against other companies? For example, Cella underscores its commitment to providing outstanding customer experiences via Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys. The NPS rating indicates the likelihood that a survey respondent (talent or client company) would recommend Cella to others. Recently, Cella scored a world-class NPS of 81.4% from its clients and 70% from talent, while the staffing industry average is 28% and 18%, respectively. Is the agency willing to accept and adopt feedback from those surveys or other sources? How does the agency work with talent and clients on the operations side to make things easier?
  • Is the creative staffing agency staying current with and implementing new technologies?
  • What performance measurements are reported to employees and clients to track success?
  • Have groups in the industry recognized the agency’s achievements?

In summary, the creative staffing needs of in-house creative, marketing and digital teams are constantly changing and extremely critical. And complex talent requirements demand a service provider with expertise and innovative, flexible solutions—along with an intimate knowledge of your operating environment. Partnering with a creative staffing partner such as Cella, which is solely focused on your areas of specialization, can deliver the right talent at the right time, while bringing added value to your leadership, your team, your clients and company.

If your in-house agency or marketing team is looking for a well-established creative staffing partner, please reach out to us. We can begin working with you today to fulfill your talent needs.