The Best Design & Creative Staffing Agencies in 2022 (2022)

Employers in need of creative design talent may be dealing with inefficient software, less-than-ideal marketing managers, lackluster user experience design, and other staffing issues.

Many employers also do not have the time to search for top job candidates, conduct interviews, or be assured that the talent they seek will excel in certain positions or office culture.

To speed up the hiring process plus guarantee a highly qualified candidate perfect for an open position, staffing agencies for design talent may be the solution for a business or organization.

What Is a Creative Design Staffing Agency And What Does It Do?

A creative design staffing agency helps employers staff creative roles, including short- and long-term staffers, individual freelancers, or entire teams.

The agency connects employer clients with national, regional, and local networks as well as top candidates best-matched to a specific role based on the employer's needs and hiring criteria. An agency can also provide employee screening, recruitment, and onboarding services for clients.

Design staffing agencies are proficient in identifying an employer's needs and connecting the employer to highly talented creative job applicants who will excel in a role or team. An agency will ask about the specifics of a business or organization, how it operates, the types of employees most likely to thrive there, and a timetable for providing the best-matched candidate.

Specifically, a creative design staffing agency's work for employers includes the following:

  • Searching for and identifying top talent and marketing an open position to potential hires.

  • Evaluating several candidates' skills and their potential to fit within an employer's team or corporate culture

  • Using professional evaluation tools for job candidates, including personality assessments, resume reviews, reference checks, and skills testing

  • Conducting phone, video, or in-person interviews with top candidates

  • Delivering to employers the most highly qualified candidates for further consideration

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  • Managing payroll, benefits, and continuing candidate evaluation to save employers time and money

Ideally, an employer will work long-term with a design staffing agency, not just through the hiring process.

What Does A Creative Recruiter Do?

Similar to a staffing agency, a creative recruiter can work with a specific employer or assist multiple employers in finding top job candidates. A recruiter might also work directly with creative job seekers and direct them to creative design staffing agencies.

Creative recruiters can also be the first step between an employer and a job seeker by conducting a preliminary interview before recruiters refer a job applicant to the employer.

Roles to Hire For With Creative Design Staffing Agencies

Creative design staff agencies help employers hire for the following positions and more:

Always check with a staffing agency for the specific positions for which it hires.

What Creative Jobs Are In Demand?

In-demand creative jobs include designers, PR specialists, creative strategists, developers, and marketers. The best-paying creative jobs in 2020 include UX designers, creative directors, and mobile designers.

The Creative Group's 2020 Salary Guide reported that the most high-demand, competitive positions include virtual reality designers, content designers, content strategists, front end web developers, machine learning analysts, marketing analytics managers, search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) specialists, UX/UI designers, and more.

How Employers Pay Creative Staffing Agencies

Employers, not job candidates, pay a design staffing agency for its services.

Generally, an employer will pay the agency a recruitment or placement fee, and agencies usually receive payments from multiple employers or organizations, often referred to as a client or client company by the staffing agency.

A percentage of the candidate's first-year salary wages often is the base on which a staffing agency's bills an employer.

Agencies can be paid in at least three ways:

  • An employer pays an agency only until a candidate is placed in the open position.

  • An employer pays the agency upfront before the agency begins work on filling a role or identifying a candidate. The benefit to the employer is that the agency will be searching full-time for top talent since the employer has already paid the agency.

  • An employer can pay half of the fee upfront before a staffing agency begins a candidate search. The agency receives the rest of the fee after a candidate fills a position.

How an employer pays the agency depends on that staffing agency's operations or preferences, how employers prefer to deal with staffing agencies or the type of candidate search involved.

As An Employer, Should I Hire and Use a Creative Staffing Agency?

Hiring a creative staffing agency can reduce the time and effort needed to find high-quality candidates. Other benefits include the following:

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Agencies can connect employers to highly qualified talent networks. These networks often include top talent with excellent credentials and extensive experience. What's more, an agency's database can lead employers to top candidates who are not currently applying to job postings but still seek to move to another company or organization, commonly known as passive candidates. A passive candidate generally has a long-term connection to the agency and its network.

Creative staffing agencies do background checks for employers so that candidates are fully vetted and highly qualified. Staffing agencies can perform candidate interviews, check references, review work history, and evaluate a candidate's personality and skills.

Employers save time and resources by circumventing a long hiring process. An employer can avoid lengthy candidate searches, resume reviews, and interviews of numerous applicants who may not be the best fit for a position.

Working closely with a design staffing agency will likely ensure that the agency's experience in securing the right candidate aligns with an employer's talent needs and criteria.

With a fully-vetted and top candidate secured through a staffing agency, employers can be sure that the new hire is fully capable of immediately excelling in the role, regardless of the onboarding or training requirements.

What Is the Best Creative Staffing Agency To Work With?

Toptal draws the most talented and experienced from around the world to work on your design projects. Each design applicant must undergo a thorough screening process, and Toptal only accepts the top 3 percent of all applicants. Toptal is especially a great resource for fields that cross design and technology, such as UX/UI and web designers.

Mondo has described itself as the largest staffing agency in the United States specializing in tech and digital marketing. With a GlassDoor rating of 4.3 out of 5, Mondo has won over 127 awards and has offices in New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and more. It hires for creative design and production, eCommerce, marketing automation, content and social marketing, UX/UI designers, web analytics, and more.

Artisan Talent is a creative staffing agency specializing in digital, marketing, and artistic talent. With a GlassDoor rating of 4.6 out of 5, it received the Best of Staffing Client Satisfaction in 2019. Additionally, it has been cited by Time Out New York (as one of the best staffing agencies in New York City), Forbes (as one of the best staffing agencies nationwide), and Entrepreneur Magazine (as the best company of 2019).

Tips For Choosing A Creative Staffing Agency

  • Find out how long the staffing agency has been in business. An older agency will likely have more accomplishments and greater trust with its clients.

  • Find out exactly the types of positions for which a staffing agency hires. While the kinds of positions filled do overlap with different agencies, always inquire with an agency directly about the jobs they fill.

  • Discover where the agency is located and which areas it serves. For example, is the agency national, regional, or local? If an agency is national, where does it have offices?

  • Ask how many clients the agency has, and how extensive its candidate network is.

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  • Inquire about the agency's fees and how it pays clients.

  • Ask if an agency will handle a candidate's payroll, benefits, taxes, and other requirements for an employer.

  • Check if an agency has received any awards or been cited in major publications. These markers can distinguish a higher-quality agency from its competitors, though highly awarded and frequently mentioned agencies may require higher fees.


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