2016 has been an important year for Karlsruhe, Germany-based publisher Flaregames.
And, still in the relatively early days of its existence as a publisher, Flaregames is keen to kick on and keep growing with multiple vacancies at its Karlsruhe HQ.
As such, PocketGamer.biz reached out to HR Manager Melanie Ebelle to discuss what she looks for in candidates, the company culture at Flaregames, and what sets the firm apart from its competitors.
PocketGamer.biz: Could you give us some background on Flaregames and what you do?
Melanie Ebelle: It’s a line often said by our founder Klaas Kersting, but we see ourselves as a global games publisher based in Germany, and not a German games publisher.
At present, we have around 100 employees in Karlsruhe and almost 50% are non-German.
We feel that building a truly international team is vital to the success of the company and it’s a major reason for the recent successful game launches of Olympus Rising and Nonstop Knight.
However, while our goal since 2011 (when Flaregames was founded) has been to make awesome mobile games, we place a huge focus on company culture and talent development.
We work on the principle that it should be fun to come to work every day and everyone - no matter their position - should have a say in the future direction of the company.
We’re hiring in almost every department - junior, senior and even heads of department.Melanie Ebelle
Such an attitude trickles down from the top (Klaas), making it an open and friendly atmosphere in the office.
What specific areas/disciplines are you currently hiring in?
Where do I start? We’re hiring in almost every department at the moment - in junior, senior and even head of department positions in disciplines such as game design, production, brand management and CRM.
The bigger our publishing portfolio grows, the more passionate people we need to join our teams.
We also look to develop people into more holistic roles such as our Game Leads, who are responsible for the wider game teams overseeing each product.
It takes a lot of passion to fill the role and anyone can be considered, whether a producer, a brand manager, or other.
One thing we pride ourselves on is guiding people’s interest and skills and not limiting them to one defined role in the company.
As you’re overseeing recruitment at Flaregames, what do you look for in candidates?
We actively look for people who are authentic and who push for what they believe in.
Unless we are recruiting an artist or designer, the visual appearance of someone’s CV is unimportant and we don’t require applicants to provide letters of reference from past employers.
What we want is for people to show their passion, experience, personality and entrepreneurial mindset and be honest about their strengths and weaknesses.
For all applicants, we have a somewhat unconventional 2-day interview process that includes a presentation to all team members.
We want people to show their passion, experience, personality and entrepreneurial mindset.Melanie Ebelle
Not only does this allow us to see if the person is a cultural fit, it allows the person him/herself a chance to likewise make this same call.
After all, how can an individual decide if they like a company if they only see the white walls of a meeting room!
Why do you think Flaregames/Karlsruhe is a good place to work?
We have a work culture built on trusting team members to do the right thing, which includes both workplace and working hours flexibility.
But the key for us is transparency and giving everyone full awareness of current company performance and future direction.
We hold regular Q&A sessions with the management team where everyone can ask questions on topics ranging from the company revenue forecast to the quality of the coffee machines!
Being approachable and open to self-reflection are attributes we look out for during the interview process to ensure a close-knit team of people, not individuals.
In fact, we’d rather keep vacancies open than hiring the wrong people, which explains why our fluctuation rate (people leaving) is very low.
In terms of extracurricular fun, we have regular movie nights, BBQs, karaoke sessions, go-kart races as well as the classic after-work beers. The fact we held our last company strategy day in a cinema shows we pride ourselves on doing things a bit differently.
We pride ourselves on doing things a bit differently.Melanie Ebelle
As for Karlsruhe itself, it’s a fine city within one hour of the biggest airport in Germany, it has the Black Forest at its back door and a world-renowned university at its centre.
In short, it’s an ideal location for the international talent we want to attract.
What advice would you have for someone trying to get into the games industry?
It’s a word I used before, but be authentic.
Don’t spend so much time worrying about the areas in which you lack experience, be bold and take all the opportunities to learn that are given.
And drop us an email - we are not robots and love to give feedback to people wanting to get into the industry.
To repeat an earlier point, it’s not the font type or number of pages in your CV that’s going to impress; it all comes down to showing your experience, passion, and personality.
You can see all current vacancies by heading to the flaregames jobs page.