Creative Services Manager

Creative, Toronto


As Creative Services Manager, you will primarily manage the resource planning, allocation and high-level scheduling across our 40-person Creative + Design department, including art directors, designers, copywriters and creative technologists. The Creative Services Manager is our department hub, a talent finder and a forward-thinking leader that ensures projects and teams are properly staffed and run efficiently to meet deliverables. We are looking for someone that has an excellent understanding of each creative’s professional aptitudes and a keen knowledge of timing involved to accomplish assigned tasks. This role will plan for incoming projects and implement resource changes against evolving priorities. You’ll work closely with our account service teams and producers to ensure that creative resources are properly allocated and utilized. You will also serve as the “General Manager” for the Creative + Design department, partnering with the Executive Director, Design (EDD) and Executive Creative Directors (ECDs) to manage all aspects of department administration as outlined below. You will also be supported by and supervise a Creative Services Coordinator, providing direction and oversight of their work and fostering their continued growth and development.


1. Resourcing + Forecasting

  • Manage all resourcing and forecasting for Creative + Design department based on inputs from Account Service and Production teams, maintaining constant knowledge of current and upcoming projects and business development activities as they relate to resourcing.
  • Evaluate and recommend best team makeup for incoming projects.
  • Work to resolve any issues regarding under or over allocations of current staff members and manage communication around shifting priorities/resources with key stakeholders.
  • Manage and resolves resource booking conflicts
  • Monitor and enforce project constraints as it relates to resourcing (schedule / scope / resources)
  • Run weekly resource meetings and facilitate resourcing issues / conflict resolution with ECDs, Production and Account Teams
  • Manage for absences including review/approve vacation requests, department vacation calendar, and coverage for creative resources.
  • Forecasts and identifies needs for freelance resources, forecasting impact to freelance budget
  • Support the EDD and ECDs in recommending and optimizing staffing structure for department based on needs

2. Freelance Recruiting + Management

  • Works with ECDs and account leads to assess talent needs, acts as point of contact to book and confirm creative resources (leading the process); ensure resources are available when needed
  • Manage and maintain freelance budget, working with Finance to manage for changes
  • Recruit, track and manage a talent database; proactively builds on a pre-existing network of contacts, managing freelance and contract worker relationships.
  • Prepare documentation (NDA’s, vendor setup, etc) and paperwork for all freelance hires. Manage freelance invoicing and time tracking.

3. Department Administration + General Management

  • On behalf of EDD + ECDs, is responsible for managing all creative department initiatives and administration, including but not limited to:
    • Training + development strategy and skill improvement mandate, managing all activities.
    • Overseeing/managing people managers through the performance review process, including: timing, inputs, delivery, HR filing, etc. Provides input into performance reviews as necessary.
    • Guiding people managers through the recruiting and hiring process, ensuring compliance with john st. processes.
    • Leading the onboarding process and activities for all new Creative + Design hires
  • Provide high-level guidance in implementing john st.’s award show strategy, supervising the Creative Services Coordinator’s execution (submissions), as needed.
  • Manage the overall operational, budgetary, and financial responsibilities and activities of the department.
  • Assists ECD’s in recruiting and vetting all full-time creative talent for the agency, as required.
  • Ensures all john st. policies and processes are followed by the creative department (educating and reinforcing when required) including: WPP/compliance training, proper form and template use, file server organization, etc.
  • Identifies opportunities and leads process creation/definition/reinforcement as it relates to creative and design workflows, and trains internal agency teams (creative, account service, production) as required (ie. via meetings with all new agency hires).
  • Represents the department as a key stakeholder within john st. as it relates to resourcing and administration.

Skills and Experience

  • Minimum 5 years experience in a resource and/or project management role in an agency or similar creative environment
  • Experience in recruiting and talent management an asset
  • Experience managing both annual and daily operations for a department or team
  • Ability to interact, communicate and build relationships with all levels of leadership
  • Strong critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills
  • Strong conflict resolution skills and the ability to negotiate and influence others in stressful and sensitive situations
  • Excellent time management skills and the ability to prioritize tasks under pressure
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively with large teams in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Excellent skills in Excel, Word, Outlook and PowerPoint

To apply, send your resume to and include ‘Creative Services Manager’ in the subject line.

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