At smartdept. inc., we stay in our lane!

Yup! A staffing resource that stays in its own lane (that’s us)! Let me ask, would you get your tall, dirty soy chai from your local florist? So why rely on a staffing resource to search for a role they don’t have expert knowledge of? smartdept’s “lane” is creative, digital, and marketing. And that’s it!! Here are a few reasons that we think staying in our lane is critical to our success.

1. Just Say No – Sorry Nancy, I stole your line! In this case, we aren’t promoting the 1980’s campaign that aimed to discourage kids from engaging in illegal recreational drug use. It means we won’t work on an opportunity outside of our niche. Why is this important? “Just saying no” will save you time and money. Searching outside of our niche takes longer because the candidates are not what we typically focus our efforts on. And we’ll have less knowledge of the job responsibilities and fewer (if any) qualified candidates already in our pool. Of course, if we have history and you really want us to, we might try a “casual” search. Most likely, we give you a referral.

2. Creatives Placing Creatives – Yes! We’ve been at this for 20 years, blah, blah, blah! We know stuff about staffing. But as a matter of equal importance, our team of smarties is chock-full of creatives. That means we understand the industry on a deeper and more personal level. This not only helps us connect with our candidates but our clients too. We catch those minute details that can make or break a successful placement. We can’t make your morning latte, but…

3. Ahead Of The Curve – For me, it’s like when the new version of Photoshop used to drop, and I’d have to get up to speed on the most efficient way to attach one thousand arms to a baby. Just trust me! We’re brushing up on the key commands, so you don’t have to. Creative, digital, and marketing are what we do, and we are laser-focused on changes in our industry. Our staff likes to read, and we talk to creative professionals about their experiences every day. This way, we’ll know what to do when the machines take over.

4. Grab Your Suit – Our pool is huge (and heated)! Staying focused on our niche allows us to more easily build the pipelines you need. More focus recruiting makes it easier for us to meet and qualify the top candidates in our niche. This, in turn, can lead to more options concerning soft skills, years of experience, and salary expectations. Additionally, our searches are nationwide, and if you can accommodate remote working, you can have the best candidate available from anywhere you like. So, jump in, the water is nice!

5. Diversity Focused In Our Niche – If your organization has diversity goals in place, we have something in common. All kidding aside, smartdept. inc. is passionate about diversity, equality, and inclusion. We recognize diversity, embracing a wide range of qualities and perspectives that each candidate brings, fighting against recruitment biases, and ensuring fair hiring practices. We’d love to help you reach your DEI goals.

If you’d like to talk more about the benefits of teaming up with a staffing resource that stays in its lane, drop us a line at or if you see our truck passing you on the right, give us a honk! But make sure it’s one of those quick, friendly double taps and not a single long honk. You wouldn’t want us to get the wrong idea.


A Career, Transitioned

I graduated from Indiana University with a degree in television production. But even though my background exposed me to the creative process, I would never have claimed to be an expert on the subject — prior to becoming a Creative Consultant at smartdept. inc., that is! I began my role as a Smartie almost 4 months ago. On my first day, I could hardly fill out an I-9 form, let alone confidently identify the difference between a UX and UI designer. I discovered that my television experience — combined with a minor in graphic design and some terrific mentoring from my fellow consultants — has allowed me to very quickly become comfortable in my new role.

Prior to joining smartdept. inc., I had the good fortune to work as a web producer at WGN. I worked in the newsroom, where each day was different and exciting in its own way. In the newsroom the deadlines for story coverage seemed to creep in earlier by the day — and even though the stakes were high, I really enjoyed the work. When I made the transition to creative recruiting, I found that this new environment was very similar to a newsroom. Just as stories would break at WGN, new positions are constantly coming across our desks. In this environment you have to work with urgency — there’s so much creative talent in Chicago that the window to fill these roles can slam shut quickly. It makes for a high-energy and team-oriented environment.

While at WGN I met Grumpy Cat®,  the sourpuss kitty/Internet sensation (whose real name is actually Tardar Sauce). I thought that was the coolest thing in the world! But as a creative recruiter, I’ve already had the opportunity to work with some super-talented individuals. I’ve connected with designers who are behind national ad campaigns and journalists who have had one-on-one interviews with mega celebs… now that’s cool. As a creative recruiter, not only do I get to meet really awesome people every day, I get to help them enhance their careers. Or, better yet, get them started on a new one. Sort of like me!

In the end, I’m happy that I had the courage to make a career transition. I love being able to learn about my candidates and the creative talents they possess. Having the chance to find them their next opportunity — it’s a pretty rewarding job to have!

From the desk of smartdept. inc. Creative Consultant: Nina Strolia


Meet With a smartdept. Seattle Recruiter and Experience Pioneer Square Culture

We’d like to think of ourselves as trendsetters at the smartdept. inc., or even mildly psychic. So when The Seattle Times stated over the weekend that Pioneer Square is in the middle of a “not-so-quiet renaissance” we weren’t surprised!

Our Seattle office is located right smack dab in the middle of what’s becoming a bustling foodie’s haven and artist’s dream (galleries galore). Our building houses Bar Sajor on the main level, The Pharmacy (speakeasy) in the basement, Temple Billiards, and of course, your very own creative and marketing talent resource.

After a visit to meet with one of our recruiters, you can explore our happening neighborhood and get inspired! #smartdeptinspires

Click here to read The Seattle Times article.


Patrick Osborne Wins an Oscar

There was a time (for me) when the Academy Awards meant something more. You know, the anticipation of its start, who is watching with me, what’s on the snack menu and how many winners will I guess correctly. Ah, the memories. Now, I have 4 wonderful daughters who (strangely) don’t want to watch overdressed adults give speeches as an entertainment. Instead, this year our family watched a kids show which, like a river, flowed, one into the next, into the next, into the next (infinity). Which, truthfully, on most nights is entertainment enough for me.

While I was wading through I did manage, occasionally, to tune into the Oscars. On this particular awards night I saw something that caught my attention. The winner for Best Animated Short was a movie called Feast. It’s about a man who befriends a dog by feeding it (okay, it’s about a touch more than that). You may have seen it at the front of the movie Big Hero 6, which won for Animated Feature Film. Patrick Osborne who directed the film and accepted the Oscar is a graduate of my alma mater, the Ringling College of Art and Design. When I attended Ringling, I was one of 600 students (total). Two decades later it has grown into one of the most respected colleges of its kind and is a straight up powerhouse for animation related careers.

This was pretty cool to see! And, even though I had nothing to do with any of it, I am proud of my old school and “I too, would like to thank the academy.”

– Eric

What Inspires Eric Pairitz? Warmer Days Ahead



If you follow the comings and goings of smartdept via the web and social media, it won’t surprise you to know that baseball is something that inspires me. On a day like today, when the car dashboard reads a temperature of -9 degrees, it is literally heart warming to know that pitchers and catchers report to spring training today. While this obviously means that baseball (the game I am most passionate about) will be coming soon to a ballpark near you, it also means that warmer days, spring flowers and even your most comfortable pair of shorts are soon to follow. Good to know (in my opinion), especially on a day like today.

Check us out on Instagram, @smartdeptinc, and share with us what inspires you using #smartdeptinspires.

Happy Spring Training everybody!

Warmest (haha) Regards,

Volunteer Kick Off!

Mardi Gras kicked off for smartdept. inc. in a chilly warehouse in SoDo. “Produce to the people,” we chanted, as we sorted cherry tomatoes and bananas. We were there because we’d committed to join the Food Lifeline team in their daily routine of receiving food donations from manufacturers, farmers, grocery stores and restaurants, and then repacking them so they could be distributed to Food Lifeline’s network of food banks, food pantries, hot meal programs, shelters and after-school programs.

Our team of three repacked 1,342 pounds of produce and worked with another volunteer team from Seattle Academy on Capitol Hill to repack another 2,340 pounds of dry products. We provided 2,318 meals to western Washington families, and had a blast doing it!

We discovered some interesting things about ourselves today – our recruiters sort tomatoes faster than our business developer, and you can’t get Mardi Gras beads for packing dry goods on Fat Tuesday!
This year, Seattle’s smartdept. inc. is partnering with Food Lifeline to donate our time and help fundraise in July. We welcome any of our awesome candidates and clients to drop us a line if you’re interested in joining us on one of our volunteer adventures.

Food Lifeline March 2
Who knows, you might discover something interesting, too!
-This was an update from Meghann Kern, a Managing Consultant in our Seattle office!

Surviving a Conference Call

How to Stop the Rambling, Multitasking and Zoning Out

The conference call is one of the most familiar rituals of office life—and one of the most hated.
Abuses are rife. People on the line interrupt others, zone out or multitask, forgetting to hit “mute” while talking to kids or slurping drinks.

Sales executive Erica Pearce has seen teleconferences interrupted by home FedEx deliveries, crying children and the sound of a co-worker vacuuming his house. “Nobody could hear,” she says of the cleaning. As leader of the meeting, she said into the phone, “If you’re vacuuming, I appreciate that, and you’re welcome to come to my house afterward. But you need to be on mute.”

Read the rest on!

10 Creative Social Media Resumes To Learn From

Like flowers in early spring, new social media job openings are sprouting across industries as companies of all sizes look to create or expand their social squads.

The undeniable success and innovation of high-profile social media campaigns — from such brands as Old Spice, Google Chrome and Starbucks — have inspired this ongoing push for companies to hire people with social media skills.

If you’re seeking a gig as a community manager, public relations representative, marketing person or any other social media position, check out these resumes for inspiration on how to stand out from the crowd. Also, let us know in the comments about any creative tactics you use to promote yourself and your skills.

Check out the rest on!