Recruiter Hotseat – Max Hurd, senior recruiter at People Can Fly

Max Hurd explains how you can get a job at People Can Fly, an independent game developer that has been entertaining audiences around the world with action games for 20 years and counting.

What differentiates your studio from other developers?

We have a pretty unique history. This year we are celebrating our 20th anniversary in the industry and during this period we experienced many changes – from a pioneer developer on the Polish market, through a period under a large global company (Epic Games), to a global independent studio with tremendous Unreal Engine expertise.

I think this whole vast experience informs the way we approach the game development process, with this kind of old school feel. Not too corporate, very open to individual devs and their creativity, their input and ability to truly influence the project they’re working on. Combining this with our global growth in the last few years and a diverse portfolio of upcoming projects, I’d say it’s a pretty unique studio.

How many staff are you currently looking to take on?

We haven’t stated any predefined recruitment goal, in part because some of our projects are in the stage of pre-production, when needs may evolve rather quickly. The environment is generally very dynamic, as is our growth. But to give some idea, it’s more often than not that we bring in several people per week. Also, the sheer number of job offers we publish is kind of showing the scale.

What should aspiring devs do with their CV to get an interview?

If you are a graduate, highlight the projects you were involved in. If it was a group project, make it clear what your role was and what exactly you’ve contributed. If you have been an intern or employed in a junior role, bullet point your main tasks and responsibilities, so recruiters and hiring managers can assess your experience clearly.

When it comes to employment history, always put it most recent to oldest. Your recent experience is likely to be most relevant when being reviewed as a potential candidate. And if you are going to add links to your website, portfolio, demos, and so on, make sure the links work.

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

It may sound cliché, but be yourself. It is important to stay relaxed as much as you’re able. Personality and team fit is equally as important as ability and experience. Remember, the people who will interview you were all in your seat at one point. Our interviewers are very friendly anyway. We do not grill people, we approach them based on their individual qualities to see if they can fly with us here at People Can Fly.

If you have recruited internationally, what is the process like?

I can answer this from my own viewpoint, as I was recruited internationally as a UK based person by our Warsaw HQ. It was a process that impressed me immensely and I often speak of my experience in this area with the candidates that I interview, as I feel it’s a reassuring example.

The way that I was assimilated into the recruitment team and into the company overall was smooth and friendly. I met with different people and departments on video calls to cover everything from HR, Payroll, IT, and more. I also received any relevant training and support that I needed to get up and running. In my book, it was flawless.

How has the pandemic affected recruitment at your studio?

More positively than you’d think for such a hard situation, which made a mark on our day to day work. I often say that the only positive thing to come from the pandemic was the change in the industry’s attitude towards remote working. It was a bit forced at first, sure, but the companies which saw the potential to expand your talent pool and benefits from giving your devs a certain flexibility, were able to leverage this change in approach and make it their strength.

That way, both candidates and employers have benefited. People can now consider roles with companies they couldn’t previously, as it was geographically impossible for them. While companies have a literal global candidate-base, which they can use freely to help them fill key positions and build the exact teams they need. We are able to benefit from this model and we offer a variety of remote and hybrid options.

About Vince Pavey

Vince is a writer from the North-East of England who has worked on comics for The Beano and Doctor Who. He likes to play video games and eat good food. Sometimes he does both at the same time, but he probably shouldn’t.

Check Also

When We Made… Returnal

Harry Krueger and his team at Housemarque sent gamers on a trip to time-bending cosmic horror planet Atropos last year. Vince Pavey met with the game’s director and tried not to lose his mind while learning about what it was like developing that nightmare fuel