The following article discussing gaming recruitment was originally published in February 2019. All copy and relevant statistics have been updated as of May 2022.
Unsurprisingly, the gaming industry has been on the up and up, especially over the last few years. Between a global pandemic encouraging all of us to stay at home, a bustling eSports industry, and streamers taking over major platforms — it’s hard to imagine another industry eclipsing the current success of gaming. In fact, the gaming industry has become one of the most profitable and fastest-growing entertainment industries in the world.
In a landscape saturated with more roles than there is available qualified talent, it can be hard for recruiters in the gaming industry. But, some might say this challenge is simply your opportunity to make it to the next level.
In gaming, things can get a little hyperspecific. Like any industry, the big players and lifelong employees adopt exclusive lingo, industry-specific jargon, and other elements an outsider might not be familiar with.
On top of that, it’s common for studios to know each other very well and find themselves competing for the same talent. Think of it as a small town — everyone knows each other, and word travels fast. Let’s discuss some highly recommended tips to help you secure the gaming talent your clients need.
1. Seek Out Candidates’ Portfolios
When sourcing for Game Artists, take the extra time and effort to find their portfolio and compliment a specific piece of work. It’s easy to hand out platitudes, but an authentic, thoughtful response to a work of their art can speak volumes.
Keep in mind that these artists are likely being inundated with compliments, requests, and commissions. Make sure yours stands out and reads as genuine. This simple gesture shows you are interested in viewing their work and have positive things to say about something they put a lot of effort into.
2. Personalize Your Outreach.
You wouldn’t approach two candidates with vastly different backgrounds and career goals with the same outreach messaging. So, it makes sense that not every gaming candidate is going to respond the same way. This is your opportunity to tailor your approach to the individual rather than the industry as a whole.
For example, we’ve found that artists tend to respond more when focusing on the artistic style and the aesthetic qualities, while designers respond when talking about specific game design features. Meanwhile, engineers want to hear about the tech stack the game would be using. There’s no one-size-fits-all outreach message for gaming candidates.
3. Get Your Head In The Game.
A game can be very specific when it comes to genre and art style. The more information you know about the type of game the team is building, the more you understand what you’re looking for and what skills an ideal candidate has. This will take some research into the industry, but it’s worth the effort to speak the gaming language to your candidate.
Bonus Tip: On-demand recruiters like IQTalent Partners can shoulder the burden when it comes to finding high-quality talent for your gaming roles. Check out how our flexible model can help companies of any size grow!
4. Get Your Hands On The Game!
Similar to #3, immersing yourself in gaming and learning to speak the language will help you gain an understanding of exactly the type of game your client is building. Spend some time actually playing the game to understand its mechanics and what the genre is like.
Shortly after you start playing, you'll see similarities between your client’s project and games released by other studios that you’ve played. You can then look up the credits for these other games and find names of artists, designers, and engineers that you know will already be a great match for your team.
5. Learn More About Game Design Degrees.
Find out which schools offer the best programs. These concentrated programs have already done the hard work of attracting motivated talent seeking to upskill their craft. Consider partnering with these departments or even hosting a career event night with them! This is a great way to find junior or entry-level candidates while engaging the greater community and expanding awareness of your employer brand.
6. Utilize Internal Referrals.
Like we said before, people in the gaming industry know each other. Current employees likely already know a candidate or two who would probably be a great fit. Securing these internal referrals helps you find slightly vetted candidates familiar with the space.
Additionally, connecting on LinkedIn with the current employees of your client, if you are an outsourced recruiter and combing through their 1st-degree connections is a great place to start.
7. Use Different Platforms For Different Positions.
Sure, you may find a selection of great art candidates on LinkedIn, but almost every artist will have their work posted on websites such as:
Don’t assume LinkedIn is the end-all-be-all for your search, especially for creative roles!
8. Leverage Your Social Media Presence.
Candidates in the gaming industry do plenty of their own research into the studios they are considering, and they are positioned in the market to be picky about which roles they take. Before they make a change, they want to know everything about a studio, from culture to benefits.
Social media is a window into your workplace culture, so having a strong social media presence that showcases how amazing it is to work at your studio is helpful. Social media is especially important if your studio is a startup and doesn’t have any previously released games that can attract a candidate’s attention. Create a healthy posting cadence on social media to ensure engagement and visibility on your platforms.
The talent you source can only be as strong as the strategy that you bring to the table. Like so many industries, the gaming industry has specific ins and outs that are important for any recruiter to get familiar with. But armed with a strong strategy and a personalized approach, recruiters can feel sure that they’re ready to get in the game.
From game animators and art directors to graphic designers, we know how to find artists’ portfolios and craft messaging that talks directly to them. Our unique sourcing methods leverage this built-in community, and our database of gamers is nothing short of extensive.
Together, we can work to build out a gaming talent pipeline for your organization that’s filled with top-quality candidates able to help you to drive growth and foster innovation. Need to find a highly-specified and qualified talent? Reach out to us and see how IQTP can help tailor your recruiting strategies to your needs.