The global games industry – or, more accurately, almost every global industry – is struggling with a universal skills shortage, as the escalation in M&A and consolidation has created both a demand and exodus of talent. Bernard Kim, formerly Zynga president and now Match Group CEO, was bullish about the opportunities in the mobile games industry – more "a glut of opportunity"– but professional demands have changed in recent years.
Liz Prince, business manager at Amiqus, winners of Best Recruitment Agency at the 2022 Mobile Games Awards, spoke with PocketGamer.biz on the growing demand for flexible working and diversifying the voices that can enter the games industry.
PocketGamer.biz: The pandemic has caused a seismic shift in the industry, including a more pronounced demand for flexible working and studios accepting applications from further afield. What, to your estimation, has been the greatest impact of the pandemic?
Liz Prince: We carried out an extensive survey of games industry professionals late last year, and the results revealed what we had been hearing from candidates – that flexible working is now a requirement, rather than a ‘nice to have’.
Just over 82 per cent of respondents said that their productivity levels remained the same – or increased – while working from homeLiz Prince
During the pandemic lockdowns, we were all required to work from home, and our survey results revealed that just over 82 per cent of respondents said that their productivity levels remained the same – or increased – while working from home.
At the same time, our respondents highlighted the benefits of working remotely, such as a better home/life balance, spending more time with family and friends, alleviating childcare issues, avoiding commuting time and cost – and much more. These individuals do not want to lose these benefits, and – while many are happy to adopt a hybrid working option – they do not want to return to working full time in the studio or office.
Studios and the industry at large are recognising this, and many forward-thinking companies are enjoying the results of a happier and more productive team.
How have the requests from your clientele adjusted over the last two years? What has been the most frequent request as a result of the pandemic?
Client requests haven’t changed in terms of the skills they look for to add to their team, but as we’ve described above, the candidate requests for flexible working really have changed significantly.
What accomplishments are you most proud of over the last year?
It’s certainly been another interesting year! So much has changed for everyone during the pandemic but we’re a resilient team who have worked together for a long time, so we’ve been able to support one another through the ups and downs. It was a very busy year for us thanks to consumers enjoying games more than ever, leading to further increase in demand for more studio staff.
Client requests haven’t changed in terms of the skills they look for to add to their teamLiz Prince
We’re passionate about diversifying the industry, so in the past year we’ve continued to develop our services to help attract talent from lots of different channels. We’ve continued to support our partner charity Special Effect and have stepped up our support for students and career changers looking to find their way into the industry for the first time. All things that are really close to our hearts.
What changes can we expect from Amiqus in the future?
Amiqus continues to grow and our support for the industry through a few new initiatives such as our dedicated consultant focussed on C Level hiring in the sector and another few services in the pipeline.
Additionally, we have a pro-bono Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) initiative – G Into Gaming, which is dedicated to supporting women and other under-represented groups in their careers in the games industry. We are working with more studios, organisations and are taking part in an increasing number of events to further our goals and ambitions. But we have much more coming this year, and we look forward to sharing this very soon…