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Hiring developers: Where to start - MCV

Hiring developers: Where to start

New Year, New Job 2015: Amiqus' Meg Daintith and Stig Strand offer advice on finding the best candidates for your vacancy
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Where is the best place to start when looking to fill a position at your studio?
Meg Daintith, manager of social and mobile team: The first place to look is the people that you or your team already know. Who was the best coder/producer/artist they’ve worked with or who would they love to work with again? They might need a nudge to remember but it won’t cost you a penny and you’ve already got endorsement of their skills.

When filling senior positions, what are the advantages/disadvantages of promoting someone already employed at the studio?
Stig Strand, head of recruitment team: Home-grown people already get the style and vision of the studio and, as they are known, they are likely to have credibility. This means someone can get up and running with the role faster than a newbie. You’re also showing investment in your people which deepens their commitment to you and encourages others to develop theircareers with you, rewarding great performance. Who doesn’t love that?

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If your new promotee doesn’t get to grips with the role the way you had hoped, there’s no going back. It’s a big decision and you need to be 100% sure.

Any change can be tricky to manage with your existing team and there might be a change curve while everyone gets used to the new picture. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s something to consider. However, if your new promotee doesn’t get to grips with the role the way you had hoped, there’s no going back. It’s a big decision and you need to be 100% sure.

Similarly, what are the advantages/disadvantages of hiring from outside?
Daintith: Simply put, you can bring in new skills. Hiring new talent is a good way to keep in touch with the industry and stay agile as the market evolves. If you never go in to the marketplace, how do you know what’s there? If you are looking for change you might want fresh innovation from outside. New faces give the message of growth which brings a feel-good factor that you’re a winning team. Recruitment is good for your brand,too – as long as it’s done right.

External hiring requires investment in several ways. Recruitment is time-consuming and your hiring managers need to be really engaged with the decision-making process, whether that’s using an agency or an internal team. They will need to take time out of their day to review CVs, Skype, interview and make timely decisions all under the pressure of needing that hire. It’s not easy, but it should always be productive.

What should studio recruiters be aware of when promoting vacancies via social media, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn?
Strand: The main thing to remember is that anyone who is in contact with you or applies through any channel should have a great experience of your studio, whether they get the job or not. You can’t ignore responses. Before you opt in to social media, someone needs to be right on it with handling the response.

Is it important to establish a good relationship with universities? Why/why not?
Daintith: Sure, why wouldn’t you? Students are the talent of tomorrow and are hugely important to the industry. Even if you can’t invest in the training to actually hire a grad now, one day this might be just what you’re looking for. Grads need something that you have – experience. We all started out once and any investment you can give is positive for them, your brand and your product. If you can spare any time each year to give advice or invite Q&A this can only be a good thing. 

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Recruitment is time-consuming and your hiring managers need to be really engaged with the decision-making process. They will need time to review CVs, Skype, interview and make timely decisions all under the pressure of needing that hire.

What trends do you expect to see in the games development job market in 2015?
Strand: Alongside the expected growth in mobile the jobs market in console is looking really healthy too. There is also the emergence of VR technology and with Project Morpheus and virtual realisation technology like oculus rift around the corner the demand for developers who want to work on new technology is only going to increase.

It’s certainly going to be an exciting year for the industry as a whole with the leading consoles selling millions of units alongside continued growth in mobile. The games market is growing from strength to strength. 

This article is part of our New Year, New Job special. You can find more articles at www.develop-online.net/jobs2015

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