PGC Helsinki Digital: How to hire competitively and proactively in the games industry

"Candidates don't trust us anymore, they don't trust the company, they don't trust corporations"

PGC Helsinki Digital: How to hire competitively and proactively in the games industry

In the vast landscape that is the games industry, it is important to hire both competitively and proactively, and of course, effectively. The right person for the role must be found.

As part of Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital, Rovio senior studio recruiter Alexei Ryan took to the stage to discuss hiring competitively and proactively in an international talent market, with a particular focus on managers and studio heads.

In the games industry, it has become rarer and rarer for an employee to stay in one place for an extended period. On average, an employee will stay with one company for two and a half years.

No trust

"Candidates don't trust us anymore, they don't trust the company, they don't trust corporations," said Ryan.

Companies tend to lose trust through mass layoffs. There is a huge amount found within the games industry; it is one of the biggest industries for it. In the last 15 years, there have been 33 in Europe and 174 in the US. Next, crunch can cost staff trust. Crunch can be toxic and is known for ruining the mental health of employees within the industry.

"One of the things that Finland does really well is that we protect people from this sort of crunch," said Ryan.

A lack of diversity and "talent upcycling" are also costing trust. "Talent upcycling" meaning a select few that continuously get the jobs with a pay rise to match each occasion. Moreover, bosses tend to be hired externally, rather than offering hard workers a chance at a promotion.

When it comes to motivating a candidate, money is not everything. Potential employees may seek career growth, a good personal life balance and compensation.

Hiring considerations

It is too reactionary; a lot of companies that I see do not have designated talent acquisition. Recruitment is a permanent thing, it never ends, networking is done by everyone, and as such, it can open up opportunities for your staff to jump ship.

Currently, there is a 76 per cent chance that an employee will stay past one year; however, this number is dropping each year.

When it comes to "talent upcycling" from a corporate perspective, there are multiple things that a company could consider, such as promoting its people, rewarding hard work, growth is important to staff.

However, more importantly, it is essential not to have a "culture fit" ideology. Through this, great candidates are turned down purely because they may not be who the bosses choose to spend time with. As useful as referrals can be, they can lead to "culture fit" and a lack of diversity.

Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital is the best of our Pocket Gamer Connects conference in an online form, with an entire week of talks, meetings, and pitch events taking place from September 14th to the 18th. You can read up on all the tracks taking place throughout the week here.

Staff Writer

Kayleigh is the Staff Writer for Besides PGbiz and PCGI she has written as a list writer for Game Rant, rambling about any and all things games related. You can also find her on Twitter talking utter nonsense.