Unless you’re a two-person development team, happy to work at a distance of two metres, and only in your local park (power supply permitting), then it’s likely you’re still working remotely with the rest of us. But while continuing with an existing role is one thing, trying to take on new staff under such circumstances is an entirely separate challenge.
Most recruitment begins remotely of course, via the usual channels. But as the process moves along, physical meetings are the norm, even for those roles where the candidate might be relocating from overseas.
“In an ideal world, you would always want to meet a potential team member face-to-face as often as required during the recruitment process, but this isn’t an ideal world that we’re currently living in so we’ve had to adapt to ensure that we continue to bring the best people in to the studio,” said Sports Interactive studio director Miles Jacobson.
“This isn’t an ideal world that we’re currently living in so we’ve had to adapt to ensure that we continue to bring the best people in to the studio.“
“This is currently a very exciting time for SI, with a number of new projects underway, so we couldn’t afford to let the global situation knock us off our stride. To keep our recruitment momentum, we’ve had to make some changes to how we do things; conducting interviews and technical tests online and ‘onboarding’ successful candidates through virtual meetings and group hangouts. It’s not perfect, but the results so far have been more than encouraging.”
Using such a system, SI has brought on board sixteen new hires since lockdown commenced. But of course finding the right candidate is only the first step, with remote onboarding of the candidate and all the HR support that you’d expect at the office, instead having to be deployed remotely.
Beyond that, the actual process of remote working begins, though that’s something SI feels it already had a good handle on.
“At Sports Interactive we’ve long held the opinion that people work best where they feel the most comfortable. Obviously, we love having a vibrant office as a working environment, but sometimes to recruit the best candidates you need to be flexible. That means being set up to allow individuals to contribute to the development process remotely, without it having an impact on the quality of the product. We’ve refined this process over many years and have it down to a tee so if you’re a developer looking for a new role, please have a look at what we have available, wherever you are in the world.”
Over in (virtual) Horsham at Sega’s Creative Assembly, the studio continues to hire and grow, with both existing and new IP to consider – 49 roles at present are available. As the largest studio in the UK, the transition to getting everyone working remotely was “a pretty monumental undertaking,” the studio tells us. but with that achieved and considering the various projects on the go, the need for talent is higher than ever.
“From the outside looking in, video games may look like a very safe place right now, with sales across the industry performing extremely well while people look for new and engaging forms of entertainment. Behind the scenes though, a lot of work has been put in on the business continuity and recruitment side to safeguard our future.” Said Tim Heaton, chief studios officer at SEGA Europe.
“Behind the scenes though, a lot of work has been put in on the business continuity and recruitment side to safeguard our future.“
“This is essentially a call to development talent internationally to say, ‘we’re taking applications and we want to hear from you, it doesn’t matter where you are’, as we recruit for roles at Creative Assembly, Sports Interactive, Relic Entertainment, Amplitude Studios, Two Point Studios and Hardlight.”
As to the plans of the studio for all these new staff, we remain uncertain. Creative Assembly is working on a new shooter IP, which is yet to be named and seen outside of a few fancy gun renders. While SI’s hiring spree is more mysterious still, the studio is generally very stable in terms of staff coming-and-going, and in its annual output, so could a new side project in the offing, or are we simply seeing the studio staff up in preparation for ever greater things from Football Manager.
To view the full range of opportunities currently open at Sega Europe and its studios; Sports Interactive, Creative Assembly, Hardlight, Amplitude Studios, Two Point Studios, Relic Entertainment and Hardlight, visit careers.sega.co.uk.