Creative Circle


Creativity is an eclectic trait and identifying talented, creative people is a daunting task. Furthermore, recruiters have their own yardsticks to measure creativity through equally eclectic, prejudice-ridden and mystical approaches to assessment. One of the major challenges to identify creativity is objectivity—the removal of the self from the assessment process.

Creative Circle—which delivers talent solutions across North America with offices in 20 major US cities—decided to take the guess work out of the recruitment process and chose ExpertRating to develop a series of design and creative ability tests for job seekers on both Windows and Mac environments. One of the main requirements was to deliver a complete selection of the latest graphics design tests for all leading technologies, updated to the latest versions within 1 month of new release. At the time of signing up with ExpertRating, Creative Circle was operating from six different locations across the US and they envisioned having many other offices in a short period of time.

The Challenge

Creative Circle performs a highly creative task, and its requirements were equally challenging: it required a scalable solution that could be introduced in new facilities as soon as they went online. Moreover, the new office accounts needed to be simple enough to manage through a customizable admin interface handled from their head-office in New York.

The solution needed to introduce objectivity by providing an empirical proof of creativity and the required design skills being measured. Additionally, the tests were required to include all the latest design technologies updated to within a month of new releases for both Windows and Mac operating systems.

The Solution

ExpertRating designed and developed a scalable, custom testing interface that allowed for testing services within hours of each new Creative Circle office coming up. Administrators could themselves set up and customize new office interfaces and allocate tests to them. ExpertRating was selected owing to its years of experience in assessing freelance graphics talent on platforms such as Elance, oDesk and, for which it was the sole testing provider.

ExpertRating leveraged its exclusive linkages with the marketplaces for services to develop a comprehensive list of all the leading skills in graphics design and creative skills. Subject matter experts were chosen from hundreds of respondents and empanelled on long term contracts to create and update tests based on the latest versions of each technology. A separate Mac lab was set up at the office premises to test content on the Mac for all screen resolutions used by design professionals.

Design tests were created through ExpertRating’s 8 step ISO 2001:2008 test creation process and sampled on large populations of design professionals sourced from the world’s best marketplaces for services. The final outcome led to scientifically validated and normed tests that were highly correlated to employable skills.


  • The solution reduced the operational cost of conducting screening campaigns all across North America. The traditional method of hiring involved considerable traveling leading to high turnaround time and lost opportunities.
  • The new system brought in savings and immediate availability of testing services to new office locations, allowing for immediate hiring. The solution solved the company’s problem of being able to hire talent for the most current technologies for which there were very few professionals available.
  • The test results were based on empirical evidence, validated through statistical techniques resulting in better hiring decisions and leading to higher customer satisfaction. The testing system was greatly beneficial in allowing Creative Circle to hire rapidly starting from 6 office locations, and expanded to 19 locations within 3 years.