“Let’s move away from the concept that a CV is the be all and end all.” – Jagex in the Recruiter Hotseat

Jagex is hiring! We find out more about life at the Runescape studio with Peter Lovell, director of talent acquisition at Jagex

Peter Lovell, director of talent acquisition at Jagex

What differentiates your studio?

Jagex is more than 20 years old, with a rich history of stability, growth and doing things the right way – this combination creates an excellent employee value proposition. This stability and consistency is embodied in the recruitment team, creating the kind of muscle memory and efficiency in our processes and practises that few can match. A result of this has been our decision to use a direct-recruitment model. This approach has proved to be hugely successful for us, and while we still use agencies for a small number of specialised roles, they are external partners offering an extension to our capabilities rather than replacing them. In addition, the talent acquisition team at Jagex are gamers through and through so can converse with ease to candidates about development, are very smart, and empowered to think creatively.

How many staff are you looking to hire?

In 2020, during exceptionally difficult times, we hired 123 permanent staff as well as a significant number of contractors. We will be looking to hire a similar number this year.

What perks are available?

Jagex is above the line in terms of salary and benefits. We are a studio that cares – and that’s where the intangible benefits come in. One thing our unbelievable response to Covid shows is how incredible we are in supporting our staff. We go to great lengths to foster the same sense of community at work as we do in games such as RuneScape. Our focus on wellbeing is a key focus of our wonderful HR team and extends beyond just industry-leading benefits packages and to our charitable giving and our focus on diversity and inclusion.

What should applicants do with their CV?

Let’s move away from the concept that a CV is the be all and end all. We use LinkedIn and other relevant portfolio sites for example to really find out if a candidate can demonstrate who they are as a person beyond just their CV. Recommendations are hugely important, showing endorsement for their skills from peers we often know and trust very well. Once we’re in contact, the key is to communicate well, be polite and have a positive attitude.

What advice would you give for a successful interview at your studio?

The basic ones: be on time, be polite, present yourself in your best light. What’s become even more important is to research the company, show that they believe in themselves and demonstrate a good match against the role. Always come armed with questions and create a deeper engagement; the best feedback we get from hiring managers is from those who were asked a question by a candidate that got them thinking.

If you have recruited internationally what is the process like?

Jagex recruits extensively internationally, and around 40% of our hires in 2020 were based in countries outside the UK. The process has been difficult in the last few years with uncertainty over Brexit and difficulties regarding visa applications through the Home Office. Covid has been massively disruptive but we’ve navigated through it – it’s really shown the benefit of having an in-house specialist TA team because we have the ability to spot issues and respond quickly. The actual process itself is no different to any hire, it’s just the practicality of arranging visas, permits and potential relocation that come into play in the final stages when we’ve already decided we want someone.

What processes do you have for onboarding staff remotely?

Our onboarding process is comprehensive to say the least, led by a team of dedicated experts. We look at the need for a world-class onboarding process as a key factor as keeping people engaged for the long term and we’re proud to have an exceptional recruitment, onboarding and inter-staff journey. This starts from the moment we message a candidate for the first time, making sure that every interaction they have with us is positive and that we look after people from start of their journey with Jagex to the finish, whether that’s before they get to interview stage or if they’ve been at the company for a decade.

How has the pandemic affected recruitment at your studio?

It’s been a very challenging and unpredictable time, with many ups and downs. Thanks to bold leadership and the deep knowledge held at Jagex, and a variety of specialists responding very quickly to our change in circumstances at having to work remotely, and shifts in the needs of the company, we’ve not just overcome this challenge but exceeded our hiring targets.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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