Unhappy with your current position? If you’re having trouble finding freelance or full-time work, consider teaming up with a recruiter to help improve your employment situation.
But what if you’re hesitant to reach out for job search assistance from a stranger? Recruiters—like creatives—can be misunderstood from time to time. So let’s look at six common myths about staffing agencies and bring a little clarity to the matter.
1. I don’t need a recruiter.
Perhaps, but a recruiter can be a valuable resource. While you can spend hours each day scanning online job postings—the same ones other candidates are reviewing—to uncover design opportunities, you can dig deeper with a little help. Specialized recruiters have contacts—lots of them. Chances are, their network of creative agencies and art directors is larger than yours. Recruiters have relationships with design-focused organizations you may have never heard of, and they can let you know of jobs that haven’t hit public job boards yet.
2. I can’t afford a recruiter.
This is a common misconception. Reputable staffing agencies never charge job seekers a fee. Employers are the ones who compensate staffing agencies for each successful placement. So, if potential recruiters ask you for payment or commission, cut ties before they waste any more of your time.
3. Recruiters don’t understand design specialists.
Sure, many recruiters don’t know Illustrator from InDesign or the difference between vector and bitmap graphics. That’s why designers should work with staffing agencies that are well versed in the field. Recruiters who specialize in creative jobs understand your needs, the latest industry trends and what employers are looking for. They often can make a better employee-employer match than general staffing agencies.
4. All recruiters do is schedule interviews.
The right recruiters have been around the block and deeply understand the industry. They can help you put the polish on your application materials, be it your creative resume or a digital portfolio that pops. Not sure what to expect during an interview? Ask your recruiter. They’re pros at this, having interviewed and advised dozens—if not hundreds—of job seekers.
5. Recruiters will present pretty much anyone for a job opening.
Not all recruiters are the same. Good recruiters are in the staffing business for the long haul. As such, they understand the importance of delighting both their business clients and job seekers. If they lose the confidence of either party, they know their reputation and performance will take a big hit.
6. Recruiters take too much time.
If you’re currently employed and are juggling work and family life, you probably don’t have a spare moment to spend on a thorough job search. A little upfront investment in time can pay off in the long run. After you sign up with a staffing agency, a recruiter will likely interview you to help determine the design job and work arrangement—full-time, contract or temporary-to-full-time—that works best for you. Some agencies may follow that up with a skills assessment, such as asking you to complete a project or do a few design exercises using Adobe’s Creative Cloud software. After that, your recruiter will do the legwork to identify job opportunities that may interest you.
You don’t have to manage your search for a new creative position alone. It’s a recruiter’s job to help you find a job, and they have the expertise and insider knowledge that can greatly benefit your career.