|Opening Portfolio's Portfolio|
|Written by Samantha Enslen|
|Tuesday, 08 November 2011 11:58|
Porfolio Creative and Freelance Dayton hosted a happy hour for DCS members.
For those of you who don’t know, Portfolio is a creative staffing agency based in Columbus. They match employers with talent for either freelance or full-time assignments. They handle design, writing, interactive, and project management.
We caught up with Portfolio co-owner Kristen Harris to ask how things are going and what they have in store moving forward.
Sam: Kristen, I know Portfolio expanded into Dayton about a couple years ago. How’s that going?
Kristen: Dayton is good, it’s a really creative and welcoming community. We’ve built nice client relationships in the area, and we’re are always meeting fantastic creative talent here.
It’s interesting to work on new and different projects or searches, and to see how the needs of our Dayton clients vary from what we see in Columbus. That learning process and building relationships is a lot fun for me and our team!
Sam: Has the expansion been worthwhile for your business?
Kristen: It has been worthwhile, in many ways. Of course working with new clients and talent is wonderful, but this move also allowed us to explore and learn about expanding into cities beyond Columbus. We plan on doing more of that, and Dayton was an excellent first venture out beyond our home base.
We’ve learned some really valuable things, like how to connect with the right people in a new city and weighing whether we really need a physical office (for us, that answer was not really).
Kristen: Yes, we have grown. There are a lot of factors, but I think the biggest one is that we understand and truly care about our clients and talent.
Catherine [Portfolio co-owner] and I started this business because we needed help finding the right creative people to work with us when we were designers and art directors. I would have loved to utilize a company like ours, but it simply didn’t exist. Having that industry experience and ability to figure out what someone really needs (which may be different than what they ask for) has proven to be extremely important.
As is connecting with our creative talent to really understand what they need and are looking for in their career. When we add someone to our internal team, we’re always looking for industry experience—we can teach the recruiting and staffing piece, but we can’t teach a passion for working with creative people.
Kristen: It really depends on what you do and what your goals are.
If you’re looking to build up a business, have solid experience and connections, have a steady stream of work well into the future, and are comfortable marketing yourself, you’re probably doing great on your own. These tend to be people who are established freelancers, have a solid client base, are well-known in the market, and truly want to work independently and run their own business.
If you’re missing any of those key pieces, a company like ours can be a good resource to fill that gap, whether it’s finding more work, building up experience, or making connections in the local creative community.
Kristen: Both. There are a lot of factors that go into making the perfect match with one of our clients—skill set and experience level matter, but so do soft skills, personality, availability (our clients generally need people onsite at their location), and whether the rate fits their budget.
Most clients are looking for some professional experience, but it really depends on the position they need to fill and what other support they already have on their team. We have clients who are looking for the whole range, from recent grads to experienced executive-level creatives, and everything in between.
Of course, what we’re looking for is always based on what our clients are looking for. So right now interactive design and/or development and writing specifically for marketing or advertising are really top on their lists. But recently we’ve placed graphic designers, creative project managers, account managers, writers, developers, visual merchandising specialists, photo retouchers, illustrators … it’s a wide variety. And we never know what a client will ask for next!
Sam: Dayton is a small community. If you had a full-time job but wanted to look around, could you turn to Portfolio? Is there a truly confidential way to work with you guys?
Kristen: We are a vault. Confidentiality is extremely important to us, as it is to our clients and talent. The nature of our business is that we know a lot of things about a lot of people and companies, and we keep it all to ourselves.
If you’re working somewhere and just want to explore around for other options, that’s a great time to talk to us. We may not have the perfect opportunity for you right now, but if we know who you are and what you’re looking for, we’ll know it when we see it. The best time to look for a job is when you already have a job.
Sam: Anything else a creative should know about Portfolio?
Kristen: The more we know about you and what you’re looking for, the better opportunity we have to make a good match with one of our clients.
We work with a lot of creative companies and departments both in Columbus and Dayton, and we know what they’re looking for. Not just what they say or put in their online job description, but what they’re really looking for.
When we work together, it’s a partnership with the end goal of finding the right fit for our client, and getting you into the right place for the next step in your career. I think we’re pretty fun and friendly. People should feel free to reach out to us any time through the site at portfolioiscreative.com or call us at 614.839.4897.
Sam: Thanks, Kristen!
Samantha Enslen runs Dragonfly Editorial.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 November 2011 12:27|