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Creative Circle

Mission: Creative Circles' mission is to connect the top advertising, marketing, digital, and interactive professionals with companies.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Employees: 750
Funding: Acquired by On Assignment for $570 million

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Creative Circle  •
Los Angeles, California
San Francisco, California
Our fast growing SaaS client is looking for a Product Designer to...
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Creative Circle Salaries

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What employees at Creative Circle think about working there

“Fantastic experience finding my work through Creative Circle! Within weeks they were able to find me a full-time position at a huge company on an exciting team. After my contract finished the company hired me full-time! If it weren't for Creative Circle, I would probably still be out of work. Best placement agency for designers ever!”
“In the end Creative Circle is a placement agency. There aren't substantially better or worse than the other ones like Randstad or RobertHalf, they all take a large cut of your salary and place you in ok companies. I'd recommend using them to get a job while you're looing for work, but definitely not for your full time position.”
“Love my job as a recruiter for Creative Circle! The job itself can be tough at times because we have to always meet our quota and people are counting on us to get them jobs. Best part though is seeing all the brilliant creatives who come in for interviews, makes you feel like you're connected to a really interesting scene, and to be able to help these people get the jobs they want feels amazing. The culture here is super positive as well and CC does a great job at keeping us happy.”
“Using Creative Circle to get a freelance position was ok. The process was slightly stressful because I didn't get much communication from the Creative Circle recruitment team, and so I didn't really know where I stood in terms of getting a job. In the end they got me a position so now I have a job, but I felt they could have found me a better fit if they engaged with me more.”
“I've been using Creative Circle for my last 3 placements and it's worked very well. The recruiters placing you are all nice and engaged, you can tell they want to help you. Not the best communication but there are usually enough positions available that they'll get back to you quickly. Best part of going through them is that I get to see how different big companies work from the inside which is pretty cool.”

Creative Circle Glassdoor Themes

Many opportunities

The great thing about Creative Circle is they have a huge amount of jobs available in so many different cities across the states. Looking for work as a freelancer can be tough, but they have so many opportunities available that it's rare you won't find one that fits your skillset. One of the frustating things is because they're so big, the great opportunities are usually taken by top professionals, so it can be difficult to compete for the better positions.
After hunting down companies to help with design, messaging hundreds of executives with my portfolio and reasons why they needed my skills, I was demoralized for barely getting any responses. Creative Circle was able to vouch for my skills and get me a job within weeks after I'd spent months stressed out looking for work.

Weak communication

Once you join the company for your contractual position that Creative Circle sets you up with, they completely leave you alone. It would be nice for the to follow up so they could get a better understanding of what I like and don't like. From there they could reference me to better comopanies. Instead, I feel like I've been thrown into the belly of the beast, and they just don't care.
Creative Circle has always been pretty timely with letting me know where I stand in the process for the companies. The staff of recruiters are really friendly and helpful, and usually return your calls pretty quickly. I've only had great experiences with the internal team and would love to have the opportunity to work with them again..

Low Pay

They really push freelance and contract work and don't actually have that many fulltime opportunities like they say they do. They told me they'd be able to find work at a top tech company and within the salary range I expected, but the only opportunities they gave were ones more than 30-40% below what I would be making if I were to find the job myself.
The reason you should use Creative Circle isn't to set yourself up with a high paying job. Recruitment agencies are known to take massive cuts off the top of your salary. If you're in desperate need for work and are having trouble finding companies, that's when I would recommend using them.

What do customers think of the freelancers and full-timers hired through Creative Circle?

“"Our company has been using Creative Circle for more than 7 years now and the majority of our experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. Trying to find good creative talent, knowing where to look and what to look for, is not an easy task. Especially when you're not someone who's versed in the space. Creative Circle knows what they're doing and has helped us fill positions we would never have been able to fill otherwise.

The account executives that we've dealt with have been extremely professional and courteous at all times. They're genuinely friendly people to talk to, and they know how to make sure they get the right information out of you so they can match you with the best candidates. Lots of times I came to them with no idea what I was actually looking for, and they were able to tease out of me what our goals were and who we should hire.

The people we've hired have also generally been very talented. There are some cases where someone oversold themselves and didn't fit what we were looking for, but the majority of people were super talented and well versed in being good freelancers. Handing in projects on time and of consistent quality.

Although the fees they charge are much higher than industry rates, we use Creative Circle when we need work done quickly and well. I would definitely recommend using them as a part of a portfolio of freelance workers."”

What is the interview process like for becoming a creative for Creative Circle?

“The majority of the interview process is them going through your portfolio and figuring out what areas of work they should be sending you and at what difficulty the work should be. I felt the interview was super casual, and that they don't really say no to people, it's more just to get a feel of where you're at.”

What kind of people succeed at Creative Circle internally?

“The environment at Creative Circle is very positive and energetic. If you want to succeed and grow with the company, you first have to hit your quotas, but almost more importantly is you have to be friendly to everyone. We work with people day in and day out, and our team needs to have a positive vibe so that clients enjoy their experience with us and come back. Being able to positively impact the office environment is key to your success at Creative Circle.”

What's the best part of working for Creative Circle as a freelancer?

“The great thing about Creative Circle as a freelancer is the amount of opportunities that they provide. I've always been able to find work through them that's relevant to me, not something that I've experienced with other recruitment or staffing agencies. If ever I'm inbetween freelancing jobs and am looking for work, I turn to Creative Circle to fill that void.”

What did you use Creative Circle for and when would you use it again?

“"I've used Creative Circle a few times in my career and there are some definite benefits to them, but also quite a few reasons why I don't use them unless I really have to. The times I did use them were when I was having trouble finding work and needed something quickly to pay the bills, and they definitely helped with that.

Why would I not recommend using them all the time? First thing is that they take a huge percentage of your salary that the company is technically paying you to do the work. I would say there cut of each employee's salary is about 50%, so if you were going to make $100,000 at a company, you would be probably only making $50,000. What this means is that companies will want to give you a lot of work because they're paying a lot for your work, but you aren't really motivated to do it because you aren't really getting enough money to make it worth it.

Another reason why I don't use them more often is because some of the companies they place you with don't seem to understand what your role actually is. They'll try and give you things outside your scope, or won't know how to engage with you. It's super important to be transparent with the company so they understand what work you can and cannot do.

With this said, I'm still using them here and there. Yes it's beause sometimes as a freelancer finding work can be hard, but there are also times where you don't know how to break into a different category of work. Creative Circle has given me the opportunity to test out different skills for companies that I wouldn't have worked on if I didn't go through them. I've been able to learn a lot through these opportunities, and expand my portfolio in ways I didn't think I could before."”

What's the best part of working for Creative Circle as a recruiter?

Best part about being a recruiter is seeing all the creatives come in and them letting you see their portfolios. I've seen some unbelievably talented people. People with millions of views on youtube and just flowing with creative energy. Being able to help these people find a meaningful job feels like you're helping them with their next video or song.

What kind of cut does Creative Circle take from their designers?

Creative Circle takes a huge percentage of the salary you'll be making, so you'll probably be making less normal and the company you're working for will be paying more than normal. Their general markup is about 75% of your base salary, and then they take 50% of the marked-up salary.

What are the benefits provided by Creative Circle?

As a creative you actually get a few benefits, which is better than a lot of other contracting agencies, but these benefits aren't really worth the cost. One of the things that really sucks is you won't have really any paid time off, which can make work tiring after a few weeks. In the end you're a contractor to the company so you won't be getting as good benefits as you would be if you're a full time employee.

What do you wish Creative Circle changed to become a better company?

“"As a creative I really wish they just lowered the cut that they take on the jobs you work with. If they lowered the cut down to 25% or 30%, instead of 50%, I would be much more tempted to keep using them to find a full-time job.

Because they take such a huge cut, I'm worried that they'll also want to make a company pay a huge amount of money to make me a full-time worker after my contract. I've rarely heard of people being hired by the companies that they were working for after their contract expires, and I feel it's because of this. Instead of using Creative Circle to find a full-time position, I use them to fill voids in my working whenever I can't find freelance work.

Another thing that would really incentive me to stay using Creative Circle in the future is if they gave us the opportunity to build up paid time off. You could be working for months before you even get one day off of work. After awhile you'll probably burn out because the company wants you to do so much work, and you won't be able to take any time off."”

About Creative Circle

Creative Circle is a staffing agency that connects creative professionals with companies looking to hire for full-time or freelance positions. Through a national group of recruiters, Creative Circle strives to understand the individual skills of all of their creatives, and match them with clients looking specifically for those talents.

Founded in 2002, Creative Circle has its headquarters Los Angeles, California. The company was founded when it was recognized that other companies were having trouble finding top creatives to do creative work for their companies, while creative professionals were having trouble finding these companies to begin with. Creative Circle was born and has since grown to be a national company. After its quick expansion they were recognized for there place in the market and acquired by On Assignment in 2015 for $570 million.

Creative Circle is a staffing agency, and as such have a wide pool of recruiters to find the creative talent, and a large roster of creatives looking for freelance and full-time positions. This article will review both, with an emphasis on the creatives side.

There are lots of opportunities to join the Creative Circle group of creatives. There are job opportunities for production, copywriting, marketing, development, user experience, motion/video, and more.

Creative Circle is growing their recruitment team as they continue to be a market leader in creative job staffing. There are opportunities for account executives, creative recruiters, and operations coordinator.

Values and Beliefs

Creative Circle has four core values that drive the company forward in building a staffing agency that consistently connects high quality candidates with great job openings.

- They engage with the community, making sure recruiting agents are present at different creative events across the city so they can find the people who need the help the most.

- They value the creative and innovative side of companies. Knowing that business growth can only come from taking risks and building a culture that thrives on looking at things in a creative way.

- They are committed to personal growth for both the creative roster as well as the internal team. Creative Circle knows that the best way to build a strong company is by investing in the people that will make it grow.

- The team is a data driven and is focussed on results. Creative Circle knows that the best way to measure the positive impact they have on peoples lives is measuring how many lives and companies they've changed for the better.

Interview Questions

What brought you to joining Creative Circle?

What was your past work experience?

Why did you leave your past job?

Where do you want to go with your career?

What is your favorite part of working?


Creative Circle was founded in 2002 in Los Angeles, California to help connect the top creatives with companies in desparate need for creative talent. The company was able to gain a foothold without and investment from outside sources, and continued to grow accross the states. Now with connections in over 30 cities, Creative Circle can help people anywhere in the United States find a meaningful career in the creative market. From its strong growth and high yearly revenues, competitor On Assignment recognized the threat of Creative Circle and acquired them in 2015 for $570 million.