Creative Circle Reviews

Updated April 13, 2015
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  1. Helpful (4)

    "I wouldn't rely on it"

    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Minneapolis, MN

    I have been working at Creative Circle as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    When you first meet with them, they are of-course very encouraging about your prospects. They are professional and courteous. Everyone is very pleasant and helpful. They have a lot of contacts and creative job opportunities.

    Cons

    Seems really difficult to get traction, and I wonder about the strength of their relationships to the companies they place with. They seem at their mercy. I also don't get a strong sense of how much they are advocating for me with a potential client. I had a much better sense of this with other placement agencies.

    Advice to Management

    Over-communicate and value transparency.

  2. Helpful (1)

    Worked in the accounting dept

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Creative Circle

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The owner of the company is nice

    Cons

    Management was horrible. Once they didn't like someone who challenged them they fired them. Workers were over worked and not compensated. Accounting dept and accounting management were not organized.

    Advice to Management

    You need to care about the people working for you.

  3. Helpful (10)

    Freelancer Review - New York City office: Little consideration for their freelancers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Freelance Graphic Designer in New York, NY
    Current Contractor - Freelance Graphic Designer in New York, NY

    I have been working at Creative Circle as a contractor

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    A chance to work at a diverse roster of companies that do all kinds of business in creative fields. No company is too big or too small for them to send you to.

    Cons

    • They low-ball their freelancers hourly rates, often taking about 40% of what a freelancer should get paid.

    All the agents care about is sending people out as quickly as possible with no regard for the welfare of their freelancers, making them shoddy "hustlers".

    In general, the company has no regard for their freelancers and the pay a low hourly rate. The agents are so busy trying to fill positions as fast as they can, that the way the do business is slip-shod.

    For example:

    • Some of the agents have bad attitudes, don't know where they propose to send you (one suggested a place for me to work that was 5 hours away because she didn't know where the city was located that she wanted to send me to) and are unprofessional in general.

    • One agent sent a freelancer to several different locations in 1 morning because the client changed it, then got angry and arrogant with him because he was in the subway not realizing that the location was changed. The agent "dismissed" him when he told her he did not get her call about the location change, saying she "didn't want to hear it" when he explained why he didn't receive her call. He was even questioned as to whether he really wanted to work or not (VERY disrespectful), and of course, ended up late to the job, which was all she was concerned with to begin with.

    • They may send you someplace not realizing that it's a holiday and the workplace is closed. No compensation for your time wasted and agent didn't know that their freelancers were to get paid a minimum for their error. After "negotiating" for 2 hours pay for time wasted, I did not get reimbursement for cost of transportation to get to the non-existent job.

    • They may send you someplace and not tell you that you have to bring your own laptop, where you end up going home with no compensation for time wasted due to their error.

    • If a client doesn't pay them on time, they may make you wait to get paid until they get paid first.

    • There are often jobs available where the freelancer is expected to have the talent and responsibilities of a Creative Director, Sr. Art Director, Web designer, coder, graphic artist and production person, all for $30/hour.

    • If you are expert/proficient in many areas, they will often decide to pigeon-hole you into one category that may be generally low-paying, not giving the freelancer an opportunity to make a higher hourly rate in another area of their expertise that might be available and pay more. The agents will place you according to what THEY can make fast money off of, with no consideration to the benefit of the freelancer.

    Advice to Management

    Raise the hourly rate for your freelancers to coincide with the cost of living and the freelancer's experience.
    The NY office needs to get their act together. Train your agents to do their job, to be respectful and professional.
    Treat your freelancers as professionals, not dispensable cattle.
    Do not make freelancers wait to get paid according to when your client (company) decides to pays you.

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  5. Helpful (5)

    Absolutely the worst in the business

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Freelancer
    Former Employee - Freelancer

    I worked at Creative Circle

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    If there were any positives to working with Creative Circle it would be that they are a big player in the market and get a lot of opportunities.

    Cons

    Lowest pay around.
    Egocentric and arrogant headhunters.
    Favoritism to preferred talent.
    Staff lacks true knowledge about the industry job responsibilities.
    Company only cares about there profits and not your well being.
    Very poor communications.
    Lack a personal touch.

    Advice to Management

    Get over yourselves...

  6. Helpful (3)

    Great way to get started

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Graphic Designer in Seattle, WA
    Current Contractor - Graphic Designer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Creative Circle as a contractor (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Working with Creative Circle is a great way for designers who are just starting their careers to get experience and meet people. Huge opportunity to grow and develop as a professional! Lots of different little jobs means lots of diverse experiences. It's a great way to learn new skills and practice old ones.

    Cons

    Eventually, you might want to settle down. Creative Circle offers almost all temporary jobs - very few full time, permanent jobs. This means you have to be flexible and willing to pick up where another designer left off, or leave a project for another designer to pick up. If you decide you'd like to work somewhere permanently, you can't work with any company that found you through Creative Circle, unless that company pays CC a fee. This can leave you in an awkward, in-between spot.

  7. Helpful (3)

    Creative Circle has undermined freelancers since 911.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Freelance Production in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Freelance Production in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Creative Circle

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    if getting one quarter of what you should be making is okay with you then you will be happy to enslave yourself to this company.

    Cons

    Freelancers should get up off your duffs and make your own cold calls!!! This company thrived after 911.

    Advice to Management

    Making money since 2002 off 911 in disgusting.

  8. Helpful (5)

    The worst of the worst of temp agencies. Please avoid!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Art Director in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Contractor - Art Director in Minneapolis, MN

    I worked at Creative Circle as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    If you need work, you need work, and sometimes it doesn't matter who you work for. Creative Circle is a nasty bunch, but if you are desperate you might just need to get something to pay rent.

    Cons

    They pay half the going rate -- or less -- for creative talent. I have personally had the experience of them sending out my resume to companies without my knowledge in order to claim me and block me from working at those agencies either independently or through other staffing agencies. Additionally, they are very low regarded in the creative world, and they treat their talent POORLY.

  9. Helpful (2)

    Decent Company for Freelance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Junior Graphic Designer in Dallas, TX
    Former Contractor - Junior Graphic Designer in Dallas, TX

    I worked at Creative Circle as a contractor (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    If you're good at what you do, and the clients are happy with you, Creative Circle will keep you busy.

    Cons

    Some of the contract work required using your own equipment.

  10. Helpful (5)

    Great source for supplemental work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Contract Design Professional in Dallas, TX
    Current Contractor - Contract Design Professional in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at Creative Circle as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    • Good ability to match opportunity to skills/designer.
    • Steady source of variety of possible opportunities, along with spot projects to add to fill up a schedule.
    • Highly communicative and supportive office staff.

    If you're looking for a variety of short-term design opportunities to fill in around other more steady gigs, or if you're a new designer looking for assignments to build a portfolio, you'll do well with CC. I suspect those that grumble about their relationship with Creative Circle are the types that are most comfortable in a more structured work environment. CC expects you'll be able to do certain things like handle your own schedule, and conduct dealings with the client in a professional manner. To that point, my experience has been you get back what you put in. Share updates regularly, do high-caliber work, enhance your reputation with the CC recruiters and in a relatively short period of time, they'll be supplying you with a steady array of gigs aligned to your skills, or even putting you up for full time roles that are a comfortable fit. SImply stated, employ good work ethics, and be selective about the assignments you take on.

    Cons

    Pay level per hour or salary-based are low, but assume that's also often by client insistence.
    Hard to add many more cons - I've gotten pretty much I was looking for as far as ancillary contract projects.

  11. Helpful (2)

    In good Hands

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Freelance Graphic Designer in Dallas, TX
    Current Contractor - Freelance Graphic Designer in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at Creative Circle as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I have been a freelance graphic designer for Creative Circle since back in 2010. I started in California then moved to Texas. They made the transition very easy and no paperwork fuss. They have always been able to set me up with assignments that are relevant to my area of expertise as well as get me a competitive rate pay. Friendly staff and well informed.

    Cons

    It takes a while sometimes depending on the area you live in, to hear anything back from them. It's not that there aren't jobs available its just they have such a large network you really have to work hard to make sure you rise so that you can be discovered for my opportunities.

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