How is games executive search different to normal recruitment?
Games is very much a vertical with little crossover even with esports or gaming and thus games executives are normally appointed from within the category where their track record is visible
Executive Search Games – Does uk games recruitment need a new approach
In the old days you published your little baby in a fire and forget manner and that’s the era most CEO’s of major publishers were born into and career’s developed within but now we are in the new era of rapid technological advancement, big data, mobile everywhere and blockchainification and the modern studio CEO has been split in two.
What does this mean for games recruiters?
In this style the category style has always been a restricted beast. Many a big firm has eyed up the phenomenal revenues generated and entered the category only to beat a hasty and silent retreat when they realise how niche, interconnected and inward looking the category is in terms of recruitment at senior level.
One one side the traditional CEO runs a steady ship and there main challenge is transforming of their company, studios, brand IP and culture to the new world order while the new studio CEO is significantly younger and was born into the current culture but yet battles with the innate competition of the category and developing the inter-personality management skills the previous generation may have been more naturally equipped with whilst scaling.
Does this mean that executive search games firms in London and elsewhere can’t exist? It will be hard even with the new and massively connected categories of mobile, virtual reality, augmented reality and esports as outwardly there are common themes but in practise each is there only niche with very little cross over with the possible exception of VR/AR and games.
1. Gamification for recruiters
Using a gamification process to attract talent into the games industry and enhance the hiring process using the very same interfaces and experiences that the games developer candidates will be working with would be a great addition to the games recruitment process of any studio. It also would be highly appealing for the games recruitment agency that they share the same values as their client which could form an key part of their client acquisition success rate.
2. Games recruiters should engage with esports industry talent
It’s not what esports can learn from games, it’s the other way round. games should engage with esports recruitment providers for the very reason that these industries have significant layers of talent with deep salient experience and understanding of how to engage with player communities prior to launch, how to manage live league tables and stimulate player engagement and how to deliver on the spectacle of the actual competition or game launch. These skills are highly transferable as certain strands of the industry and in particular Downloadable Content categories like steam and mobile gaming do not have them baked into the launch process and as a result they can be over looked during the all important launch process in favour of in-life acquisition, monetization and iteration which the format naturally favours.
3. Combine recruitment with coaching
Possibly one solution for executive search and connected industries is a form of a executive search games service combined with industry and technical coaching deeply through the on-boarding period and crucial first six month period.
This would mean executive search firms proving recruitment services to the category could source qualified candidates from much wider, lower and in parallel industries and bring them in with a soft and supportive landing due to intense and highly experienced coaching to support them adjust, understand and excel during their early period.