For those of you that are unfamiliar with Design Recruitment Agency freelance, In this article I am going to discuss how it works.


Today as a freelance designer there are a variety of ways you can work. 

1 – You can be a solo freelancer and manage your own clients

Or 

2 – You can be freelance through design recruitment agencies and work on location

Now these are 2 very different ways of working as a freelance designer. However being a freelancer you have the freedom and flexibility to undertake either of these options, or even both.

So If you’re interested in becoming freelance, want to know more about design recruitment agency freelance, then check out this article!

For the past 6 years, I have been a freelance designer working specifically with design recruitment agencies. In my experience I have undertaken over 30 contracts and worked at over 30 design studios. In my opinion Design recruitment agency freelance is a good alternative to working solo and managing your own clients. 

Now there are pros and cons, which I will get into in a future post, but before we get into that I am going to discuss how recruitment agency freelance works in the context of design.

So how does Design Recruitment Agency Freelance work?

Let’s start with the Design Recruitment Agency. Well these work much like any other recruitment agencies. These are companies that seek to connect with as many potential clients as possible looking for services the DRA’s specialise in. For Design Recruitment Agencies, these will typically be design studios, advertising agencies, marketing agencies or businesses looking for creative talent.

Now, the Design Recruitment Agencies will also seek to connect with freelance designers, and they will seek to get as many experienced designers on their books as they can, for once they have designers on their books, they can then offer them up to fulfil any creative contract their clients may request.

Now there is a process of onboarding with the freelance designer. Before a Design Recruitment Agency can place a designer on their books they will typically need the designer to go in for an interview, where the designer will get the chance to present their work. This is where the Design Recruitment Agency will assess the designer and create a profile of their skills, experience, expertise, personality and job preferences.  

This profile is essential to the Design Recruitment Agency as it will help fit them to prospective jobs more appropriately. Now the Design Recruitment Agency will also require the freelancer to be set up ready to issue invoices to receive payment legitimately, so before a freelancer can work for a Design Recruitment Agency they will need to be set up as a sole trader, a Ltd company or with an Umbrella company.

Once a Design Recruitment Agency has a prospective contract from one of their clients, they will then need a freelancer to put on the contract. Now the Design Recruitment Agencies will have a number of ‘agents’ or ‘creative recruiters’ that manage both their clients and their freelancers. With a contract ready to fill, next the creative recruiter will check their roster for appropriate designers and call them up to check their availability. 

The creative recruiter will proposition the freelancer to see if they are interested in the contract. At this point, the freelance designer can ask more about the contract, the project, the duration and negotiate the price. If all goes well and the freelancer accepts the contract they will then be put over to the client, where they may look at several candidates’ portfolios. 

Once a client has shortlisted a designer they will then report back to the creative recruiter, who will confirm with the designer who has been selected. Next the freelance designer will be required to travel to the location, between the timeframe specified and work in the studio. From then on, it’s up to the freelancer to work with the client, within the parameters of the company, the team and the brief to carry out the creative task until it’s complete and the contract is over. 

Now a good creative recruiter will check in with the freelancer after a few days to see how they are getting on. Tho otherwise the freelancer will only need to report back to the creative recruiter at the end of the contract, to extend the contract or chat about any issues regarding the contract. 

Now typically during the contract, the freelancer will be expected to fill out a timesheet with their Design Recruitment Agency at the end of each week, and at the end of each week or month send an invoice to the DRA. So ‘in this instance’ the designer has no formal contract or anything with the client, they will not have to invoice the client, only the Design Recruitment Agency. However, there may be occasions where the designer will have to sign an NDA with the client before starting a project. 

Depending on the terms and conditions of the Design Recruitment Agency, the invoice can be paid as soon as within a week or otherwise fortnightly or monthly. Once the contract is fulfilled, the freelancer is then free and available to take on a new contract, where the whole process will repeat. 


So that’s how design recruitment agency freelance works and this is how I have been working for the past 6 years. In my experience, I have undertaken over 30 contracts and worked at over 30 design studios. 

So If you have any questions regarding Design Agency freelance be sure to pop them in the comment section below, and I’ll be sure to get back to you. 

This brings me to the next topic. In the next post, I am going to be discussing the experience of being a design recruitment agency freelancer in a bit more depth and discuss the main differences between DRA freelance and solo freelance managing your own clients. 

Find out more about Design Recruitment Agency freelance here