Tanja Schmidt on why the Hamburg outfit is hiring hundreds of new staff, and what it offers them

Recruiter Hot Seat: Goodgame Studios

Name: Tanja Schmidt
Title: Lead Recruiter
Developer: Goodgame Studios
Country: Germany

What differentiates Goodgame from other developers?
We’re working together with a passion to build one of the most successful gaming companies and we’re planning for the long-term future. By 2020, we want to be one of the top 20 highest-grossing gaming companies in the world, and we’re offering a workplace where you can be part of this project.

In addition, we make the strategic decisions – not investors. We will remain a private company, meaning we can enjoy the luxury of implementing our own ideas. Together we’re creating something big, developing games in-house, and growing sustainably.

How many staff are you currently looking to take on?
We’re always looking for talented professionals as we keep growing. Even though we currently have more than 100 job postings, we really focus on getting people that are experienced and fit within our plan and within the team. Above all, we’re looking for new employees in IT and online marketing, but we have positions to be filled in almost every department. It’s definitely worth taking a look at our website.

At the moment we’re at 800 employees, and we’re aiming to recruit another 400 by the end of the year. Our growth in 2013 shows that these targets aren’t unrealistic: we more than doubled our workforce from just under 300 to over 650.

What perks are available to those working at the studio?
Thanks to our flat hierarchies, every employee has the opportunity to take on responsibility and determine their own career path. Key requirements include a keen desire to learn and to achieve something as a team. We offer internal workshops, reference books and journals, and online workshops for our employees as well as opportunities for further training.

There are many opportunities open to our employees who show initiative and commitment – for example, your job can also be used to complete co-op courses. Every kind of further education is, of course, sponsored by Goodgame Studios.

What should aspiring developers do with their CV?
We’re not just looking for highly qualified people with impressive CVs. As well as hard skills, soft skills are often decisive, because teamwork is the only way at Goodgame Studios, and the chemistry has to be there.
We can only achieve our ambitious target together, and with over 5,000 applications per month, only the
best make it onto the team. All the components have to be just right.

Who is the best interviewee you have ever had?
We had an illustrator who was a big fan of Goodgame Empire – not only did she know the game inside out, but she also had really got to grips with the artistic style of the game. Both myself and our lead vector artist – who originally developed the style – were impressed by her knowledge. She was also already well-informed about what kind of visa she would need to work in Germany as a Serbian. It was just fantastic how well prepared she was. We were amazed by her.

What advice would you give jobseekers for getting an interview?
It’s very disappointing when an applicant has great technical skills and very good social skills, but lacks basic knowledge of the company they’re applying to. It’s a simple task but undeniably important.

We’ve had candidates who couldn’t name a single one of our games. That’s really disappointing and definitely a deal-breaker.

Research the company thoroughly. This will allow you to shine during an interview. Asking questions – to show enthusiasm – a firm handshake, and eye contact with the recruiter are obvious gestures, which are often neglected but too important to be swept under the rug.

Also, make sure to have a simple and well-structured portfolio. This will make it easier for recruiters to quickly see the most important work. Remember that a portfolio reflects you and will help to sell yourself. A professional portfolio is your golden ticket to job interviews.

If Goodgame has recruited talent internationally, what was the process like?
We recruit talent from all over the world, making us one of the most international game studios. Goodgame Studios provides an ‘onboarding’ service for international employees which makes sure that
our international colleagues have a smooth transition into the new culture and environment.

The support ranges from finding accommodation to getting to grips with bureaucratic documents, i.e. opening a bank account, filling out government forms. Non-EU nationals who apply for jobs should request a so-called Blue Card – an approved EU-wide work permit – ahead of time. It can take between two to three months for a Blue Card to be issued. Without the EU blue card applicants are not able to legally stay and work in the European Union.

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