Creative executives need the best possible talent in order to meet the needs of their clients. In large corporations, securing that talent often requires navigating mandated hiring processes--both for full-time employees and/or contractors. If you're a creative executive, hiring may not be your primary responsibility. Nevertheless, it's important for you to fully understand how to maneuver through the hiring maze. The trek can be a complex feat, especially in larger organizations, whether the goal is to satisfy temporary needs or to fill permanent positions.

In all cases, it is a best practice for creative executives to join in the hiring conversation with Procurement and/or Human Resources early on, lending a voice to determining what the processes for hiring should be. So one of your main priorities as a creative leader is knowing whom to contact about filling which positions. In many organizations, the HR department manages full-time hiring, while Procurement is in charge of temporary talent acquisition. Of course, this will vary depending on the corporation. Which brings up another point.

You and your coworkers in Procurement and/or HR all share the same goal: enabling the corporation to access the best possible talent to achieve its mission. But your coworkers also have other goals that may not align with yours, and vice versa. That's why it's critical for you to gain your seat at the table--so you can make your voice heard and advocate for your goals while they advocate for theirs.

Here are some examples of questions that you can use to guide conversations with each department.


  • Who in procurement is involved in the 'purchase' of temporary labor?
  • What are the goals, from Procurement's vantage point, that lead to success with temporary labor? Decreased costs? Diverse supplier spend? Compliance?
  • Is there an approved vendor list for staffing support? Can you provide input and help screen vendors that would suit your unique needs? (If not, build the kind of relationship that will ensure you CAN!)
  • Does your company work with a centralized contingent labor team? If so, is this an internal team or a 3rd party service provider? Does procurement manage the contingent labor team and program? If not, who does? Which vendors in that program support you?
  • Are you able to work with staffing services directly and execute working agreements with them directly?
  • What is entailed in adding a new staffing service with the ability to assist you?
  • Do you have the ability to work with freelancers (1099ers)?
  • Who is involved with determining the success of the contingent hiring processes? Can you get a seat at that table?

Human Resources

  • Does your business unit have an assigned HR business partner? What are his/her goals and how can he/she help you?
  • Does your team have an assigned talent acquisition resource?
  • Do you have the ability to engage with outside search firms for full-time hires?
  • What is the process for adding staffing vendors to support your full-time hiring initiatives?
  • Does your company offer a referral program for full-time hires? If so, how is it promoted? (Leverage this with your team to hire in team members!)
  • What are the goals of the talent acquisition group and/or HR concerning new employee hires? Do they wish to increase speed of hires? Increase diversity hiring? Increase retention?

Typically there is a point of contact within HR or Procurement, or a talent acquisition or contingent labor program resource that can answer the above questions for you. Request an opportunity to get in touch, and open the door for a conversation about your unique hiring needs and the rules of engagement.

If you have trouble making a direct connection, go to your network. For example, if you have personal relationships with staffing vendors, ask whom they work with in your contingent labor department. In many cases, a staffing vendor's main point of contact for temporary placement needs would also be your point of contact. Additionally, your vendor partners will typically work with a specific segment of your Procurement department; those are the same folks you need to know.

The bottom line is this. As a creative executive, you need to have a seat at the table when determinations are made about the hiring process for full-time employees and the procurement of temporary labor. Regardless of how well the current procedures are working (or not), your voice needs to be heard. Many times, developing a relationship with key players in HR and Procurement is an excellent first step.

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