Our month-long Jobs In Games special, in association with OPM, has looked at how to make a good first impression, but it's just as important to make a lasting one.
Recruitment firm MPG Universal offers advice on how to maintain your reputation as a professional, whether you are a large company or an individual candidate applying for a job.
REPUTATION IS EVERYTHING
by Katrina Mosson and Hayley Evans, MPG Universal
The video games industry, albeit a billion dollar sector; is a relatively small industry. Never has it been more important to ensure you have a clean reputation.
MPG Universal's head of development management Katrina Mosson (pictured right), senior commercial consultant Hayley Evans (pictured left) and head of recruitment Emma Krohn explains why reputation is everything; from the perspectives of clients / companies, candidates and recruiters in the games industry.
The majority of developers/publishers and service providers in the games industry will at some point; if not consistently need to grow, which means employment of staff.
Reputations of studios and publishers alike are important to the majority of candidates who are seeking new opportunities or the next step up in their career.
Failed Projects, ‘old school’ management styles, badly treated staff, low morale, ridiculous crunch periods, lack of development with low pay and unachievable targets all contribute for bad press/reputation from staff, be they current or ex.
With the likes of Glassdoor, it is now more important than ever to ensure your company has, and importantly maintains, a good reputation. Glassdoor receives 13 million unique visitors each month with 74 million page views each month. Such statistics will only increase as people become more aware of this online community.
MPG Universal took the time to speak with Scott Dobroski, a community expert from Glassdoor who informed us of the following statistic: 90 per cent of candidates are very, or somewhat likely to, read reviews on a company before accepting a job offer, whilst 95 per cent say other people’s opinions of a company through company reviews and satisfaction ratings are influential.
You should therefore try to ensure that you eliminate the bad by making good with the following:
• Where possible – career development – encourage and support staff to develop their careers internally.
• Pay staff fairly and accordingly. Offer incentives, benefits – check out what your competitors are offering
• Listen to your staff, take on board opinions and action what you can
• Reward hard work, money is tight at the moment - even if it is a pizza and beer after work!
• Offer flexible and reasonable working hours
• Ensure a good HR process is in place, this includes recruiting the right HR team.
• Have a smooth and efficient recruitment process; provide feedback to applicants wanting to work for you.
Encourage your employees to write about their good experiences before they leave rather than just have those from ex-employees with potential grudges.
People are very quick to pass on information regarding bad experiences they have encountered – but are far less likely to spread news of a positive encounter.
Whether you are a graduate starting out or the head of a studio, you must recognise that we work in a small, connected industry. Everyone knows someone, the classic six degrees of separation is more like two within the games industry.
Always act professional within your position, do a good job, build relationships and do not job hop (redundancies and reasons beyond your control excused).
When seeking a new opportunity, ensure you choose your recruiter wisely and track any/all applications made on your behalf as spamming and duplications of CV’s can be very detrimental.
Build a relationship with the recruiter(s) you choose to represent you, ensure they thoroughly understand your needs and requirements, whilst being as open as possible and realistic with your search.
Only send your CV to companies you are genuinely interested in to avoid wasting your's, the recruiter's and company's time further along the process.
Don’t be greedy. Understand your value in the market place and do not overprice yourself, a good recruiter will advise accordingly or you can do a self-report at Payscale.
Whilst the likes of Glassdoor and other review sites are there for you to research companies, be mindful of the booming social media industry and how easily your social profile could be accessed by potential employers.
Your social media profile could quite literally make or break your next career move.
The 2012 annual technology market survey conducted by Eurocom Worldwide stated that “almost one in five technology industry executives say that a candidate’s social media profile has caused them not to hire that person.”
Having said that - we work in a truly creative industry - so we are by no means suggesting you should cleanse all your social media profiles - some companies are specifically looking for that creative genius and outgoing personality in their next hire.
In the digital age we all live in - we simply can not avoid leaving a digital footprint somewhere. Lisa Quast from Forbes suggests you should “make sure your online social profile depicts the type of employee a company would want to hire”.
MPG Universal has spent the past four years building a reputation that makes us stand out from the crowd. We have done this through trust & discretion.
Our professional and discreet conduct has ensured that we are entrusted with key and highly confidential information from studios and candidates alike.
Our contacts ultimately perceive MPG Universal as a close confidente – people they can talk to in the utmost of secrecy about their needs/requirements/future projects/companies they are setting up etcetera.
Sadly MPG Universal has noticed a worrying increase over the past few months from our clients and candidates respectively that they have received the same CV application from several representatives at once. Upon further investigation it has become clear that the candidate had not given permission for their CV to be sent.
Candidates need to be aware that simply by registering online with some agencies or applying for role(s) through various online job sites that some will perceive this action as granting your permission to use your CV.
Although there are advantages to this by saving time, it does not allow the candidate to research the company and tailor a CV to that specific role. Be aware of this if you do not want your CV sent out without your knowledge.
Studios do not view favourably receiving your application on several occasions via several sources – and can often be perceived as desperation or that there is something wrong with your canditure.
Trust – when we spoke to our clients and candidates, the main reason MPG Universal are top of their list is trust.
They trust us to get it right first time. Not only are we passionate about what we do, we run a discreet service which means we will never give your details out without prior consent.
So, if you are looking for a new position, rest assured we will not mention your name until you have given us permission – no-one will ever know you are seeking a new job!