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How to get a job at Top Eleven developer Nordeus

How to get a job at Top Eleven developer Nordeus

With offices in Belgade, Skopje, San Francisco, Dublin, and most recently London, Nordeus has come a long way since its 2010 formation.

Now 170 employees strong and looking to diversify from its extremely popular football management game Top Eleven, it's an exciting time for the Belgrade-headquartered firm to prove what else it's capable of.

Currently hiring in Belgrade and London - the latter's focus "definitely not sports related at all" - Nordeus is very much still growing, too.

As such, we reached out to Human Resources Manager Milena Dulanovic for insights into company culture, industry advice, and the kinds of candidates she is interested in hearing from.

And, as usual, the result should be essential reading for anyone interested in applying.

PocketGamer.biz: Could you give us some background on Nordeus?

Milena Dulanovic: The story of Nordeus began in 2010 with three guys and a dream - to create games that people love to play.

Leaving corporate roles abroad to return to their native Belgrade to start Nordeus, the founders worked tirelessly with minimal capital to create Top Eleven.

The first Nordeus office was a windowless room of 16 square metres in the bowels of a shopping centre in Belgrade, with just three laptops and a server.

Five years on and Top Eleven continues to add to its base of 120 million users.
Milena Dulanovic

Working, eating and sleeping in that room, the founders wouldn’t let anything stop them from achieving their goal. In fact, they took just one day off - Christmas Day - although all three have since admitted working on Top Eleven while at home!

The dream was contagious and soon the team of three became 12 - all of whom were passionate about making Nordeus happen. Many refused a salary and brought with them unmatched skills in front-end and backend development, quality assurance, web development, engineering and more.

Nordeus soon had an elite squad of people working together with a singular goal in mind and the results have been astounding.

Profitable soon after launch, Top Eleven spread from its original Facebook home to become the world’s most popular sports game accessible on any platform in real time.

Five years on and Top Eleven continues to add to its base of 120 million users from all over the world, giving Nordeus an incredibly stable platform from which to follow our passions in mobile games.

Top Eleven is a global hit on mobile and tablet

We are one of the rarest of breeds - a company with phenomenal success who maintains a startup atmosphere without a single iota of outside influence. We are incredibly fortunate to have more than 170 supremely talented employees spread across five offices worldwide.

Although we, of course, have a dedicated team keeping Top Eleven fresh and exciting, all of our other teams from London to Belgrade and back are working on new games that have been chosen by the teams themselves, according to their own passions and interests.

What's your role, and what specific areas/disciplines are you currently hiring in?

As Human Resources Manager, I work with the rest of the HR team to firstly scour the globe for prospective new Nordeus family members.

However, the HR department at Nordeus isn’t just about hiring. A large part of my role is to ensure our employees have access to learning and development opportunities, wherever they may be.

We have a saying here that ‘nothing is impossible’, so if there is a conference in Chile that will help our employees develop and level up, they’ll be on the next plane.

Although we may now number over 170 people and are financially secure, we proudly maintain the ethos, energy and outlook of a startup.

My team and I work tirelessly to ensure every employee at Nordeus has an individual career path, as well as promoting a challenging and stimulating environment where knowledge is shared across teams and offices.

We are always on the lookout for people who thrive in small, empowered and diverse teams and have the passion to really contribute to every facet of game development.

My team and I work tirelessly to ensure every employee at Nordeus has an individual career path.
Milena Dulanovic

A new employee might have an idea for a game on the morning of their first day that the company then goes to work on in the afternoon. It’s an incredibly exciting place to work.

Without too much hierarchy and an open and transparent way of working, everyone at Nordeus can contribute and have a huge impact - be they artists, developers or game designers.

As you're overseeing recruitment at Nordeus, what do you look for in candidates?

Talent and personality. Even if the most skilled and experienced person available walked through our doors, we simply wouldn’t hire them if their personality wasn’t the right fit for Nordeus.

Our values are reflected by the people who work at Nordeus; those who cherish a all-for-one and one-for-all mentality in the workplace, where knowledge is shared and the team comes first.

Nordeus has a world class outlook and we are looking for those game changers from all over the world who share our belief in a relentless pursuit of excellence.

Nordeus is a family, albeit one that is growing larger by the day. We’re very proud to count over 20 nationalities among our ranks, many of whom have moved their families from the other side of the world to join us in the exciting city of Belgrade or in our other offices across Europe.

How are you encouraging a strong company culture across all your studios?

No matter if you are in San Francisco, London, Dublin, Skopje or Belgrade, Nordeus offices maintain the same ethos, look and feel. This might seem a difficult trick to pull off, but through astute hiring our job becomes easier.

Keeping studios connected is accomplished through live streaming where ideas, questions and problems can be shared, answered and solved quickly.

At the annual Nordeus retreat, employees and families are invited for a week of summer team-building at the seaside.
Milena Dulanovic

Trips to visit colleagues in other offices are regular occurrences, and intra-office team building days out are scheduled throughout the year on top of generous holiday allowances.

Our favourite time of the year, however, is the annual Nordeus retreat, where employees and their families are invited for a week of summer team-building at the seaside. It’s a fantastic chance for everyone to connect, relax and recharge.

What advice would you have for someone trying to get into the games industry?

Immerse yourself in the games you love. Join communities or forums and offer to help when it’s required.

We love passionate people so it doesn’t hurt to go to game jams or even design and produce your own video or board game.

Another great way to get noticed by us is by participating in the Nordeus Hackathon, held annually at our Belgrade HQ.

Absolutely free of charge to enter, teams or individuals skilled in development, art, game design or sound compete over 24 hours to design an awesome game from scratch. Many current Nordeus family members are former winners.

We are constantly searching for talent in all four corners of the globe but, above all else, don’t be afraid to get in touch!

For a full list vacant position at Nordeus, visit its job page.

Features Editor

Matt is really bad at playing games, but hopefully a little better at writing about them. He's Features Editor for PocketGamer.biz, and has also written for lesser publications such as IGN, VICE, and Paste Magazine.

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