What's your take on Creative Circle?

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Comments (25)

jimmy in New York, New York

52 months ago

I applied to a job posting by Creative Circle in New York. They immediately emailed me, said that they wanted to represent me, and had me come in to fill out the necessary paperwork. Everyone was very kind and had great hopes for me. Well... a couple of months have passed in which I have responded to several of their email blasts. Several of the positions, I felt, were perfect matches to my skill set. Unfortunately, though, I have not received one response or callback.

Obviously, this has been very daunting and my initial thoughts were that perhaps my skills or talents were lacking but I find this hard to believe (not to be egotistical) but I have produced many successful campaigns and have glowing references. So I did a google search to see if anyone else had this same sort of experience with Creative Circle. The answer is a resounding yes. (I am going to ignore the overly effervescent 5-star reviews with mentions of specific recruiters - these feel like "plants", especially the ones on Yelp which is known to plant glowing reviews for a fee).

Anyway, I realize that some have had luck with them but many have come upon the same wall as me. My question is this: Are there perhaps other criteria that CC uses to determine whether you get placed or not that they are not telling you about? Is age a factor? Is too much experience a hinderance? Do they check medical records and finding that you smoke, they choose not to place you for insurance reasons? Do they prefer recent grads? Is it a friends and family plan? Do I need to become personal friends with a recruiter to get placed? Do the recruiters get paid by how many freelancers they sign up regardless of how many jobs are available and therefore a situation is created where workers outnumber jobs by many-fold?

I don't know. It seems that there are many stories like mine which leads me to believe that there are other forces at work in their decision making process.

What do you guys think?

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alidarose in westtown, New York

51 months ago

I'm a junior designer that is hoping to use creative circle. I have a hunch that creative circle is a joke. I just responded to a few of their listings. I'll let you know what I find out.

Also, I really enjoyed your third paragraph. It was executed amazingly. And it made my day.

Good luck with your search.

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jimmy in New York, New York

50 months ago

@alidarose
Thanks! Much appreciated. Good luck to you also.

Still nothing has panned out through CC. They are definitely working an angle; I just can not figure it out. Hopefully one of their minions will divulge the CC Manifesto to Wikileaks soon.

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That Guy in Brooklyn, New York

40 months ago

They're terrible! They've had my resume for months now and have never called me even though i've seen and responded to several positions that I was VERY qualified for. Most recently, I went through the trouble of breaking down the job description line for line with a response of why I'm qualified... Answering item for item from their job description to my experience and still can't get a call from them. All I get is the bounce back automated email and the same BS from their snooty receptionist when I try to follow up on something I've replied to.

They have reposted jobs that had a start date TWO WEEKS PRIOR to the date when they reposted rather than call me when it required skills I have 11 years of experience with, to the letter, word for word. But according to the person who answers their phones if I was qualified a recruiter would've contacted me. Yeah right. Either they didn't even see my resume or the job doesn't exist. Why would they continuously repost it rather than giving someone with my experience a call?

I have no doubt that they post fake jobs and spam the job boards to collect information and fatten their applicant pool to make themselves look better to companies they can potentially recruit for. Many agencies do this and Creative Circle reeks of it.

They suck, they're rude and extremely unprofessional.

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HENRY in Norwood, New Jersey

37 months ago

CREATIVE CIRCLE IS THE WORST PLACEMENT AGENCY THERE IS -- AND THEY WILL TRY TO DAMAGE YOUR CAREER LONG TERM IF YOU ARE NOT CAREFUL.

BE WARNED!

They have reposted jobs that had a start date TWO WEEKS PRIOR to the date when they reposted rather than call me when it required skills I have 11 years of experience with, to the letter, word for word. But according to the person who answers their phones if I was qualified a recruiter would've contacted me. Yeah right. Either they didn't even see my resume or the job doesn't exist. Why would they continuously repost it rather than giving someone with my experience a call?

I have no doubt that they post fake jobs and spam the job boards to collect information and fatten their applicant pool to make themselves look better to companies they can potentially recruit for. Many agencies do this and Creative Circle reeks of it.

They suck, they're rude and extremely unprofessional.

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Neil V in Austin, Texas

28 months ago

I have heard the same complaints about Creative Circle. Having responded to well over 30 of their emails, I can say I have never NEVER received so much as a call back or email from them. Not even one. A lot of my friends believe that they tend to respond only to new or junior level employees with a only a few years of experience.

I am a senior level worker (15 years experience) and I certainly wonder why they bother to email me in the first place. Ditto the feeling for many of my contemporary friends.

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Hobie in Columbus, Ohio

14 months ago

Neil V in Austin, Texas said: I have heard the same complaints about Creative Circle. Having responded to well over 30 of their emails, I can say I have never NEVER received so much as a call back or email from them. Not even one. A lot of my friends believe that they tend to respond only to new or junior level employees with a only a few years of experience.

I am a senior level worker (15 years experience) and I certainly wonder why they bother to email me in the first place. Ditto the feeling for many of my contemporary friends.

I am a junior level designer with only 1-2 years of experience. got connected with CC last year and HAVE NOT RECEIVED SQUAT. They are now sending me automated e-mails that state, " due to the overwhelming number of replies we may not be able to reply. If you are qualified for this position a recruiter will contact you"....B U L L S H I T!!! The scary thing is that they have all of my information and a copy one state ID. So, Neil of Austin it is not due your overwhelming years of experience, but instead due to them reaching their quota of responses for the quarter and not caring at all!

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Karinna in Portland, Oregon

14 months ago

WATCH OUT. They are the slimiest of all staffing agencies.

They pay HALF the going rate for work that you could get on your own. So, if the market pays $85 an hour for an Art Director position, they post jobs for $40 an hour.This lowers the rate for everyone. It turns the work we do into assembly line, fast food rate work. I have seen them post jobs for senior designers for less than $20 an hour. The going rate for that is $60 an hour in my market.

I had one experience with them - I signed up for their office, interviewed, and never heard a thing, despite multiple attempts to reach out to them. However, they took it upon themselves to send out my resume WITHOUT TELLING ME. When I finally got a contract (on my own, with no help from them) and they heard, they threatened to sue the agency claiming that they had represented me as a client. However, their threats were shot down by the legal department, as they had just randomly sent in my resume to an intern in the accounting department just to get it in. I was, at the time, an Art Director.

Seriously, if this doesn't scare you away from them, it should. They have no ethics, no quality. They are the epitome of soulless corporate staffing agencies.

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Anonymous in Mount Vernon, New York

12 months ago

Karinna, thank you for sharing that. Seems to jive with my personal experiences with them as well.

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Karinna in Portland, Oregon

12 months ago

It's interesting. I recently saw a job for a CREATIVE DIRECTOR posted at $35 an hour. In the real world of advertising and design, freelance Creative Directors are paid $125 an hour. And up.

I realize that whenever you go through a staffing agency there is a cut; they typically take about 30% - 40%. But it is outrageous to think that a reputable, talented and experienced Creative Director would ever consider that rate.

But! All rate aside, they have a tainted reputation in the industry. I noticed someone just posted a GLOWING review for them on the NYC forum -- it read like a post that was written by someone who works for them.

Be careful out there. I understand why many folks grow weary of finding and billing their own clients when what we really want to do is focus on our creative work. But the staffing industry (like any other) can be fraught with disreputable scoundrels. I think that there are plenty of staffing agents who want to work with creatives and appreciate our talent....do your research.

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jm in Forest Hills, New York

11 months ago

I accidentally wandered into this discussion from elsewhere, and couldn't resist a reply...

The last time I worked with CS (NYC) was about two years ago, so I don't know if they've changed. I get the impression this is a place where training recruiters try to get some experience, not unlike film/tv editors who start out at Atlas Media. :)

If you think of CS primarily as a payroll company that collects information, it makes sense. I've spoken to some on the client end who only know CS a resource for both payroll and talent, and they have no idea otherwise how the place works. After I tell them, they reply, "but they sent you!" After I absorb the love, I confirm that yes there are some very talented people in their database who also didn't know any better.

The email blasts were really irritating, because I too was never contacted about seemingly *perfect* positions that mirrored my experience. I saw repeat posts as well, and came to the conclusion they were simply bait & switch posts to determine who was currently available by the replies received that week. Eventually they called one day for a last-minute gig beginning later in the day, so I shrugged and thought "why not?" Hourly rate was on the low side, but I ended up getting along really well with the people and switched to one of their other branches for a BIG raise after my CS freelance contract was fulfilled. Any success was of my own doing; my personality and skills carried me well beyond the original listed two week duration.

CS is in no way a recruiter if you're looking for someone to represent you. The idea of a payroll with job notices can be OK if you know it's an arbitrary crapshoot, but they take far too much of a cut for the amount of "work" they do, not to mention any possibility of the candidate to check in on a gig's status. And good lord, don't even think of giving them precious professional references!

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Advertising professional in Dover, New Jersey

11 months ago

HENRY in Norwood, New Jersey said: CREATIVE CIRCLE IS THE WORST PLACEMENT AGENCY THERE IS -- AND THEY WILL TRY TO DAMAGE YOUR CAREER LONG TERM IF YOU ARE NOT CAREFUL.

BE WARNED!

They have reposted jobs that had a start date TWO WEEKS PRIOR to the date when they reposted rather than call me when it required skills I have 11 years of experience with, to the letter, word for word. But according to the person who answers their phones if I was qualified a recruiter would've contacted me. Yeah right. Either they didn't even see my resume or the job doesn't exist. Why would they continuously repost it rather than giving someone with my experience a call?

I have no doubt that they post fake jobs and spam the job boards to collect information and fatten their applicant pool to make themselves look better to companies they can potentially recruit for. Many agencies do this and Creative Circle reeks of it.

They suck, they're rude and extremely unprofessional.

I have had the same experience! Answered countless ads with well crafted cover letters to jobs I am so well suited and NEVER get ONE response. Someone needs to get a class action suit going against them for fraud. Not to mention how they now have all our personal info on file.

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lizzyville in New York, New York

8 months ago

I have to share my experiences with Creative Circle, which have only been positive. I was referred via another copywriter whom I met while on a 3-month gig with a digital agency in the city. Despite having only one gig in advertising under my belt (and eight years of editorial experience), CC took me on and immediately started trying to find me PT and FT work at agencies. They were a bit cynical about my rate, which had been very high at the ad gig I'd done, but that's completely understandable because it was very high.

A few weeks later, after sending me on quite a few interviews, they found me a FT position at a very good digital agency and negotiated a very, very good salary. I'm now into the fourth round of interviews for this position. From the beginning both the agency and CC were very clear about the salary I wanted, and CC's fee is completely separate from my salary. It is NOT taken out of my salary. It's just a finder's fee, calculated as a percentage of my salary, that the agency pays if they decide to hire me (fingers crossed). I think maybe CC has improved vastly since some of these comments were posted. I feel that they only have my best interest at heart and they've done a great job of selling me to clients. I have three different ladies working with me and they are all awesome -- transparent and encouraging.

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Julia in Brooklyn, New York

6 months ago

I came across this discussion as a result of years of frustration with CC which culminated in a Google search for "Creative Circle is..." ("Creative Circle is a joke" was the first Google suggestion.) I was very happy to read all the comments and know I'm not the only one. I wasn't even going to comment at first because I felt like it has all been said. However I changed my mind after reading the comment above which claims that CC has improved since all the negative comments were made and that their cut does not affect your rate. How naive! Now I don't know if lizzyville is a plant or not, but I will not let that comment be the last. So here it goes.
I have known CC for years and interviewed with them several times over the years - every time they change staff and forget who I am and what I do. Each of the times I took time out of my day to come to their office and interview - they made it sound like they are very impressed with my skills and ready to represent me. Of course they never contacted me to represent me even though I get calls from other recruiters all the time and have ten years of well rounded robust experience in my field. All these years I have been replying to their email blasts (despite the extremely low rates offered) and managed to get them to submit me once or twice. Needless to say, nothing came of it. After reading these comments, I'm finally ready to get off their email list, and even if they call me I will not work with them. They need to be exposed. I'm going to post this discussion in some forums, because I'm really tired of talent being taken advantage of by recruiting agencies. It's really time to take the power back. It is OUR talent and it is up to us to sell it and get paid what it's worth on the market. From now on I will be focused on finding my own clients. There is also a part of me that wants to send one last reply to their job posting, but instead of my portfolio, link to this forum. But they'll just litter it with plants.

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MonteCarloCarFan in Hallandale, Florida

6 months ago

I don't get these people. I come in for an initial interview with a recruiter last year. At the time I lived about 45 minutes away. She gives me tips about my resume, blah, blah, ask me questions and have to sign numerous forms. That's after filling out some of other forms that they emailed me. Then she tells me of a potential position in which I will be a great fit. A week after the interview I email her to follow-up on that position: "The owner is on vacation...etc"

Two weeks later I email her again, and nothing, she doesn't reply. After a couple of months I get a call from another recruiter for a potential position. Eventually a candidate has been picked.

This whole song and dance continues with another recruiter. Now all of a sudden the first chic who interviewed me is no longer helping me out.

As time goes on I realized that they pass your info from one recruiter to another. I eventually took her off Linkedin as there was no benefit in keeping her on my list. For all I know she is probably snooping on my list for other creatives.

As of today I haven't had not one position from them. I try to ask them more info on a particular position and they gave me vague answers! What a waste of time with these people.

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BillLee in Lombard, Illinois

5 months ago

Not Good - I have applied to like a50 jobs and have received no reply except come in for an interview. Now I can say this after being employed/ placed by other agencies in pretty good jobs.

I would avoid, or at the least, do not count on some sort of sustainable employment. The "recruiters" are usually young woman maybe a year or two out of college and they know nothing. Especially when it concerns the politics of hiring.

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JS in Houston, Texas

4 months ago

So having similar experiences, and reading this post, I called my lady and asked how in 7 months, I have not received a single call from them, while other agencies are placing me, and they have 5+ listings online that list my skill-set. I was told that they have submitted me 6-7 times, and just have not had any bites, and that also my goal hrly was just too high (despite me sending emails saying that i was willing to go down because some money is better than no money). Again i was assured that 1: they submit me (and evidently don't email you to tell you that they did submit you) and 2: When they send out the generic emails to EVERYONE listing jobs they have, that it is my responsibility to respond to the jobs so they know that i am available for them.

To me, if you have 5 Sr Graphic designers that are already signed up with you, and you get a job posting for another sr graphic designer, you should email the 5 people you have before sending out generic emails to everyone. Before they get listed o career builder and monster etc saying you have a position, call/email the people you already have and ask them if they are available.

I don't get it.

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MonteCarloCarFan in Broward County, Florida

4 months ago

Yep, JS, it's pretty dumb. I'm about to cancel the alerts. It makes no sense, on top of Monster and Careerbuilder they post on Craigslist. Smh...

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dailygrindr in Paterson, New Jersey

3 months ago

I think they just try and sign up as many people as possible to look good to their clients. In most cases im sure they have more people signed up then jobs available.

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skyecreative in Bronx, New York

2 months ago

They are a horrible agency that does not back up It's freelancers. They refuse to be fair and see both sides of an issue. If a client decides after the fact that they don't like your work (even though they were happy with it when it got approved and submitted) CC will take the clients word refuse to even look at the work that was submitted on your behalf and will not notify you of a negative review. Especially if you work remote. Their team consists of a bunch of young women who have poor communication skills and they will decide as a team to not use you. You can apply all day long... they will shut you out with no warning. And will not follow up with you about anything. Anna Berk flat out refused to look at the work and emails submitted to the client where they clearly approved the final version...how can we report them for that?

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NikonCameraChicFan in Broward County, Florida

2 months ago

A friend of mine hasn't had any success with this company. Of a couple of gigs, one in particular was ridiculous! It was a freelance to FT lasted a couple of days. Smh, the computer was down and they wanted her to fix it. They axed before she can even blink! Mind you she was hired to design. She know how to fix Apple computers. But she was nervous about touching their machine. What happens of she messes with it and still doesn't work? They will probably let her go. Don't where this company get this clients.

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Skyecreative in Bronx, New York

29 days ago

Wow..they need to be shut down. THESE PEOPLE FALSIFY DOCUMENTS AND INFORMATION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR. They claim you work for them when you dont. I keep unemployment open every year as a backup in between jobs. The last time I worked for them was the end of April and I had to hound them with emails to get an answer as to when I would be paid, what the client issues were..they simply do not answer you. Or you email them for a paper trail and they don't answer the email and call you and act nasty on the phone. Department of Labor gets information from them that I worked for them in June and they discharged me. So they are claiming false information to get out of paying your unemployment. I never worked for them in June at all.

They did the same thing back in 97...they have to actually provide proof of a pay stub from June that I worked for them which they do not have. So now I have to wait for my unemployment money because these dishonest jerks are lying and basically doing it to be personal. Once they DOL finds there is no pay stub for June they can get fined. If they falsify a paystub for June thats a federal offense.

Spread the word..do not waste time with this agency. The original owner of the company had to sell it because of his illegal business practices. Any agency willing to provide false information to a government agency needs to be shut down ASAP.

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Saffi in Encinitas, California

26 days ago

I stumbled by this forum on accident while trying to find out information on the finder's fee that Creative Circle charges to a company who wants to hire their freelance talent. I am SO SURPRISED at the comments because I have had a good experience with CC thus far. Maybe that is because I am in CA and the Reps here treat their talent differently? I must say though that I signed up with CC back in May of this year, and by July they found me a great gig that may just turn to FT. My CC rep did an excellent job of selling my talent to my current employer because at the time I had virtually NO PORTFOLIO (my external drive crashed, losing all my years of work) so I was slowly building my portfolio in order to get work.

I was having NO LUCK finding work on my own. CC took a chance on me and sold me like I was the hottest thing on the block. Between May and July although I responded to MANY positions, I only got 1 interview (mainly because I didn't have much of a portfolio) in that time span. After I got hired here, my employer told me that at first they were going to pass on interviewing me because I didn't have much work to show for myself, but CC talked so highly of me that they decided to give me a chance anyway and they were so glad that they did.

That is my experience with CC. I'm saddened that so much talent here hasn't had similar success with CC. I think they are a great company and they sure have made a difference in my life. I went from having nothing to working with a very well respected company, which totally upgraded my resume and is putting me back on course to my ultimate goal of becoming a Creative Director. If it wasn't for CC I might still be struggling out there :-\

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skyecreative in Bronx, New York

26 days ago

they do not do things by the book. If they choose not to use you, you should be notified in writing, especially when it comes to unemployment. They did the same thing in 97..told dept of labor info they could not back up. Instead you Email to keep a paper trail and they call you and get nasty on the phone but never answer the email. If there was an issue with a client about work that was done and you send them the files and emails to show what was done and they flat out refuse to look at the work? You need to be paid for your time but the young lady refuses to contact the client so you have to wait another week to be paid. The website tells you to contact payroll directly if you have direct deposit or address changes and the young lady decides to not only get directly involved in that process like it's her job to contact them for me then apologize to the payroll person that I'm "bothering " her when I email her with my info when a) payroll is totally on top of it and b) the site tells you to contact payroll. I had to email this girl my personal bank info?? Really? Maybe it was just this group...but they are rally shady when it comes to handling business. I've worked for most agencies in NYC since the early 90s..they are the worst. Maybe them finding you a permanent gig is OK because you don't have to deal with them but once. But to deal with them weekly is always always some dumb issue. Always difficult to get things done.

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Anonymous in Mount Vernon, New York

19 days ago

skyecreative in Bronx, New York said: they do not do things by the book. If they choose not to use you, you should be notified in writing, especially when it comes to unemployment. They did the same thing in 97..told dept of labor info they could not back up. Instead you Email to keep a paper trail and they call you and get nasty on the phone but never answer the email. If there was an issue with a client about work that was done and you send them the files and emails to show what was done and they flat out refuse to look at the work? You need to be paid for your time but the young lady refuses to contact the client so you have to wait another week to be paid. The website tells you to contact payroll directly if you have direct deposit or address changes and the young lady decides to not only get directly involved in that process like it's her job to contact them for me then apologize to the payroll person that I'm "bothering " her when I email her with my info when a) payroll is totally on top of it and b) the site tells you to contact payroll. I had to email this girl my personal bank info?? Really? Maybe it was just this group...but they are rally shady when it comes to handling business . I've worked for most agencies in NYC since the early 90s..they are the worst. Maybe them finding you a permanent gig is OK because you don't have to deal with them but once. But to deal with them weekly is always always some dumb issue. Always difficult to get things done.

I've heard of them doing this too, I think on Glassdoor. It's the first time I've ever heard of any staffing agency falsifying information so that people can't collect unemployment benefits. It's completely disgusting and I hope they get shut down for it.

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