Creative Circle Chicago Sucks

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JZ in Atlanta, Georgia

92 months ago

Don't waste your time working with Creative Circle or any of the other freelance/creative temp agencies in Chicago, if you're a real freelancer. Creative Circle doesn't hire true HR people to do their recruitment, just hacks off the street and people who can't get a job in marketing. It's not worth the time, and their reps are unprofessional.

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AJ Scott

86 months ago

JZ in Atlanta, Georgia said: Don't waste your time working with Creative Circle or any of the other freelance/creative temp agencies in Chicago, if you're a real freelancer. Creative Circle doesn't hire true HR people to do their recruitment, just hacks off the street and people who can't get a job in marketing. It's not worth the time, and their reps are unprofessional.

This is SOOOOO true in Chicago. Matter of fact, you can reply to Creative Circle's dozen or so "we have a job" e-mails a day for months on end and never get a response. Creative placement agencies like Aquent and Digital People -- or any other placement agency, for that matter -- are equally worthless.

AJS

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JS in naperville, Illinois

85 months ago

AJ Scott said: This is SOOOOO true in Chicago. Matter of fact, you can reply to Creative Circle's dozen or so "we have a job" e-mails a day for months on end and never get a response. Creative placement agencies like Aquent and Digital People -- or any other placement agency, for that matter -- are equally worthless.

AJS

i signed up with Digital People and i have to say they were very friendly and profesional and found me a temp job within 2 weeks...

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AKS in Portland, Oregon

85 months ago

AJ Scott said: This is SOOOOO true in Chicago. Matter of fact, you can reply to Creative Circle's dozen or so "we have a job" e-mails a day for months on end and never get a response. Creative placement agencies like Aquent and Digital People -- or any other placement agency, for that matter -- are equally worthless.

AJS

I've responded to several Creative Circle postings. They get back to me right away, or call with very excited tones, ask for samples, then I never hear from them again. One job the recruiter asked for samples of my "retail" experience; I politely explained that I think my Adidas (hello?) experience qualified...never heard back. Meanwhile, I answer directly a posting that looked strikingly similar to the job Creative Circle was posting and, I not only got the interview, but was invited to work on-site as a trial. I got the full-time job offer yesterday! Creative Circle threw away a great candidate. They don't know what they are doing.

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AKS in Portland, Oregon

85 months ago

AJ Scott said: This is SOOOOO true in Chicago. Matter of fact, you can reply to Creative Circle's dozen or so "we have a job" e-mails a day for months on end and never get a response. Creative placement agencies like Aquent and Digital People -- or any other placement agency, for that matter -- are equally worthless.

AJS

Aquent is the biggest waste of time I've ever experienced. Useless. Once, I got a job on my own while I was signed up ("active") with them. I needed an assistant so the company put in a work order to Aquent. Aquent didn't know I had hired on so I waited for them to call me with the job, because it was perfect for me, because it WAS me...nothing. In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, "What a bunch of maroons!"

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dlichtdotcom in Los Angeles, California

81 months ago

I have a better story. I interviewed with Creative Circle Los Angeles in November 16th, 2006. I knew at the time I would not be staying in Los Angeles and openly asked if all their offices were interconnected and if it would be a problem to relocate. Sure no problem they said. I even spoke with their San Francisco office to confirm this.

Fast forward 2007. After a trip to Chicago in October 2007, I fell in love with the city and decided I wanted to move there. Fast forward again to December, 07th 2007. I call Creative Circle Chicago only for them to tell me that I have to come in for an interview before they will consider me. This ensued into a calmly heated debate between me and their "top recruiter" who is very very talented at politely dismissing people.

So I am told that my 1yr+ with Creative Circle Los Angeles, their personal recommendations, my 11yrs of experience and 11 high profile references mean absolutely nothing. They cannot help me with a smooth transition to Chicago in getting some interviews lined up or any type of work freelance or full time. Useless isn't a strong enough word to use with this agency.

I mean I've seen them offer some shady situations like knowing I would be moving in 2mths and trying to offer me a freelance job with a duration of 3mths, when I remind them I'm leaving "Oh the client doesn't have to know that". WTF? Uhm...hello dumbasses? When I remind them that it's their reputation thats on the line they suddenly realize maybe it's not a good idea. 2 weeks ago I schooled one of their recruiters on the difference between a "flash developer" and a "flash animator"....again wtf? Are these the people I really have representing me? Is this the reason why I have not seen as much "flash work" or the level to the quality that I would have liked?

My last gig with them started yesterday. When it's done I'm writing them off and will openly tell them so and ask to have my name removed from their list. Useless recruiters.

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Rich in Tacoma, Washington

77 months ago

Try smartdept. inc. (thesmartdept.com) - they rock!!!

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RPeach in Chicago, Illinois

76 months ago

The Creative Circle is gross. Check out BuzzCo they are good and reliable.

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wickerkat in Mundelein, Illinois

76 months ago

Thank god I see all these posts about CC. I've been a freelancer for 13+ years and I cannot get booked with them. I must have responded to hundreds of email jobs, to no avail. I actually went to a gig, got booked by another agency, only to sit next to the CC hack they sent. I'm quitting these guys.

Aquent in Chicago is OK, they get me some work.

Digital people is fairly worthless, mostly admin.

Artisan used to get me a lot of work.

The Creative Group has been very good to me.

The Smart Dept is fantastic, and often gets me $5-10/hr more.

Creative Talent Source also does good work, and has gotten me some excellent FL work and FT interviews.

Buzz Co. was the bomb about 5 years ago. They're still good, but don't get me much work, sporadic.

If you know of any other good freelance agencies or headhunters, drop me a line at wickerkat at aol.com

Peace,
Richard

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FlashAnimator in Chicago, Illinois

74 months ago

I was getting so discouraged looking for new freelance projects out here. I do fairly decent web/graphic design and Flash animation. If you'd like to see my work let me know.

I was surprised to see the comments about Creative Circle myself. I get all of the emails as well. I have replied to tons. I got the polite phone calls as someone mentioned in this blog. I thought it was because the client chose a better candidate. After reading this I am very confused. I am glad I found it. I will continue to look elsewhere.

If anyone knows of ANY freelance staffing agencies that aare worthwhile, please let me know. In the meantime if there are other designers on here that are in Chicago and you'd like to share links, please contact me. I like to meet other designers.

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wickerkat in Mundelein, Illinois

74 months ago

Hey FA,

Drop me a line at wickerkat@aol.com and I'll send some contacts your way. Just shoot me your info. I know of some people that could use your services.

Peace,
Richard

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TM22 in Chicago, Illinois

74 months ago

I was extremely surprised to find all of these posts and have to strongly disagree with what I have read.

As a Creative Circle candidate myself about 2 years ago, I had an EXCELLENT experience and speak very highly of the company. I was moving to Chicago from St. Louis and Creative Circle connected me with about 4-5 interviews, one of which turned into my current fulltime position that I LOVE!

I think it is important to remember that Creative Circle is a free resource to use for your job search and perhaps some are better than others at utilizing their services.

I found my experience with Creative Circle to be highly professional and beneficial and would absolutely recommend the company to anyone looking for additional resources in Chicago!

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TM22 in Chicago, Illinois

74 months ago

I was extremely surprised to find all of these posts and have to strongly disagree with what I have read.

As a Creative Circle candidate myself about 2 years ago, I had an EXCELLENT experience and speak very highly of the company. I was moving to Chicago from St. Louis and Creative Circle connected me with about 4-5 interviews, one of which turned into my current fulltime position that I LOVE!

I think it is important to remember that Creative Circle is a free resource to use for your job search and perhaps some are better than others at utilizing their services.

I found my experience with Creative Circle to be highly professional and beneficial and would absolutely recommend the company to anyone looking for additional resources in Chicago!

JZ in Atlanta, Georgia said: Don't waste your time working with Creative Circle or any of the other freelance/creative temp agencies in Chicago, if you're a real freelancer. Creative Circle doesn't hire true HR people to do their recruitment, just hacks off the street and people who can't get a job in marketing. It's not worth the time, and their reps are unprofessional.

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PC in Katonah, New York

62 months ago

I get great postings from Creative Circle everyday, but have never received a response.
For the past 10 years, I have a successful freelance business that is more of a supplimental income and but am looking for a steady gig. I get the feeling that there really is no one at Creative Circle and it's just a black hole for my responses to fall into! Has anyone but JZ of Atlanta actually worked with them?!

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emnencfrnt in California

61 months ago

Here's my experience with Creative Circle.

They call you in for an extensive interview, then once you're registered, you're required repeatedly to remind them who you are, because they send out mass emails for jobs and sift through the responses.

Also, another thing about temp agencies. They're not always a resource, they're mostly your competition if you're a freelancer. They work to convince your prospective clients to use only them to search for help, to avoid advertising their need for help, and the only way to get on board is through an agency. And the agency takes half the fee they charge to the client for finding you. That full rate is your real value. So in a sense you're giving them half your money for finding you work then forgetting about you for the duration of your work.

And if you're signed with an agency and they simply mention a company's name to you, you've agreed with your signature to not contact that company yourself. And for all you I know, they're naming names, in effort to keep me out of the competition.

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A. Writer in Grayslake, Illinois

51 months ago

A Tale of Two Placement Agencies

I went in for an extensive interview with Creative Circle more than a year ago... and have yet to be called in for a job interview or a temporary assignment.

My inbox receives numerous postings per week and I've replied to dozens of them. And I'm careful to only respond to postings that are a good match to my skills and experience. Some of the job descriptions were such good fits for me that they almost matched the language in my cover letter.

The recruiters seldom respond to e-mail messages or return phone calls. I've had a few nibbles (two), but no follow-ups or results.

About two weeks ago, I responded to a posting on Digital People's site. Not long after that, I had an interview with a very enthusiastic recruiter and FOUR DAYS LATER, I had an interview with a prospective employer.

These are the facts. If some people have had a good experience with Creative Circle, I'd like to know what you did to promote your success in working with this company.

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Mr. Yes in Chicago, Illinois

40 months ago

Most recruiters suck. Especially Creative Circle. Chances are, if you need
to use CC you're probably not very good and not able to find your own work. I've
used 2 recruiters over the years when I had to move into a new market. Both came from reputable agency people. Lois Armstrong in LA, is she's still around and Danielle Madole at www.thewantclub.com Both will turn you down if your work isn't good enough. They keep their pool of talent thinner and better.

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uneployed in Chicago, Illinois

34 months ago

I just sent them this:

Does Creative Circle actually do anything more than send out job notices that I could find myself on other sites?

I guess I'm used to recruiters in New York that provide a person to talk to and you know they are out trying to sell you and your skills to make their commission.

It sure would be nice if Creative Circle had human beings assigned to help their candidates. There is enough automation in the world.

[signed my name]
(And the fact you have to look me up on your computer now to find out who I am is the problem)

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reality check in Atlanta, Georgia

32 months ago

I'm not sure if the people on this forum realize that recruiters get paid by the agencies and companies who hire them and not by the candidates. They aren't assigned candidates. they are assigned jobs to fill. they don't look for a job for you to fit into. they start with the job and look for a candidate to fill the position. if you haven't heard back, it's bc you don't work for any of those jobs. it's not rocket science. their job is not to be your buddy and help you out. it's to earn a commission paid for by the hiring company. duh.

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Patty in Chicago, Illinois

23 months ago

I also am tired of trying to get a response from these people. I get emails blasted to me daily, but when I apply I never get anything but their auto-responder message. I signed up with their website, but they never pulled me in for an interview, and when I checked out the address, there were lot of businesses listed there, but not them. I thought I'd go downtown to visit and see why I'm not getting response. The person on the phone said they don't allow that and was very short and rushed with her responses to my questions.

If they work for the companies who hire them, you would think they would try to keep some good creative help on their list, or the companies will look elsewhere and Creative Circle will be out of business. From all the bad comments I've seen here and on Yelp I know I'm not wasting my time with them anymore. They haven't done anything for me all year, except waste my time and load up my email..

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Michele in Mundelein, Illinois

22 months ago

AJ Scott said: This is SOOOOO true in Chicago. Matter of fact, you can reply to Creative Circle's dozen or so "we have a job" e-mails a day for months on end and never get a response. Creative placement agencies like Aquent and Digital People -- or any other placement agency, for that matter -- are equally worthless.

AJS

I have been placed twice with Digital People. Both experiences were very positive and I hope to get placed through them again soon!

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wickerkat in Mundelein, Illinois

22 months ago

The best agencies in town are probably The Creative Group, Artisan, Aquent and Smart Dept. I've gotten a lot of work from them over the years. They are professional, and return your email in a timely manner.

I do have a bit of insight on CC. I did used to think they were nothing but a scam, but something changed. I somehow broke through the walls and got booked for work, only a week or two, but I did get booked. And I have 17 years experience. So once I got THROUGH, they have seemed to be much different. I now have the personal emails of those contacts, and I reach out to them, and even get emails from them now and then. You still have to wade through the tons of emails they send out, often with no response, but hey, at least they are sending out something. So, maybe avoid them if you don't need the work, or lower your expectations, but they DO sometimes book people. Good luck all, I know it's tough out there.

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Animagus231 in Mechanicsville, Virginia

16 months ago

Thanks for the leads. I want to relocate to the Chicago area soon and this information should prove a good introduction to the area.

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cameron douraghy in burlingame, California

12 months ago

FlashAnimator in Chicago, Illinois said: I was getting so discouraged looking for new freelance projects out here. I do fairly decent web/ graphic design and Flash animation. If you'd like to see my work let me know.

I was surprised to see the comments about Creative Circle myself. I get all of the emails as well. I have replied to tons. I got the polite phone calls as someone mentioned in this blog. I thought it was because the client chose a better candidate. After reading this I am very confused. I am glad I found it. I will continue to look elsewhere.

If anyone knows of ANY freelance staffing agencies that aare worthwhile, please let me know. In the meantime if there are other designers on here that are in Chicago and you'd like to share links, please contact me. I like to meet other designers.

Try Artisan Talent

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Happily Placed in Chicago, Illinois

6 months ago

It took a few responses to the job postings CC puts out, but I also got the "Polite call" and went into interview. Everyone was warm, friendly, and I was in and out within an hour. I had my first interviews within 3 days and was placed within a month. I'm now full-time at that initial placement.

I hate to point fingers but I was inexperienced at freelancing and CC guided me through. I showed up for interviews, was polite, and had several experessions of interest. CC worked quickly and efficiently for me, always checked in after interviews, and I still keep in touch with a few of the recruiters now that I'm hiring freelancers myself.

Make sure that you're polite and interested in your initial interview with ANY recruiter and it will get you far. CC has been great to me.

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