Rounding Out Your Development Team - Game Developing

So my philosophy is to get development rolling as quickly as possible and then follow up with the rest of your infrastructure. I am not suggesting you do anything illegal like not pay people or run without workman’s compensation or liability insurance. Just move through these items as quickly as you can while keeping your mind focused on production. Who are your key employees? Do you have everyone it will take to get the job done? Hopefully the truly key employees such as your lead programmer, lead artist, and lead designer are already filled and now you simply need more developers. The best way to find new employees is through word of mouth. Perhaps you already know some developers or your employees do. As odd as it might sound at first, ask other game companies if they know of quality recruits they have passed on for some reason. This will generally provide you with excellent candidates as other developers would be loathe to recommend a poor candidate for fear it would reflect badly on them. After exhausting your personal contacts.

The key benefit of using these sites is that they attract generally more proactive, more sincere candidates who are staying up to date with their skills by interacting with others in the industry.

If you still have openings after that, then it is time to cast your net wider by perhaps using Gamasutra a strong site dedicated to game development in general, which has robust resume and job posting facilities.

In general I would not use a site like Monster.com, but not because I feel it is not good; in fact I would consider using Monster.com for noncreative positions such as administration. However, I feel the above community sites that are dedicated to a creative discipline will find you much stronger recruits.

Another resource for finding new developers is straight out of one of the new game development schools such as DigiPen and The Art Institute of California. At Taldren we have hired folks from both places and have been pleased with the energy these newly minted game developers bring to the company. Of course you should only hire these folks if you have entry-level art and programming positions. You will also sometimes have to put in extra work as their first professional employer to shape their work ethics and manage their expectations for the game industry. Most of the time these folks turn out to be good developers earning loyalty back and forth between the company and the employee.

The final suggestion on recruiting new developers is to use one of a number of professional recruiting firms such as Interact . Recruiters are generally tapped into better information than you and act as a giant amplifier on your personal contacts network. In return for identifying and placing a candidate with your company, they will receive a commission of 20 percent of the candidate’s salary within 60 or 90 days of placement. While this is expensive, nothing can beat filling a position in your company with the right person on time. Like most things in game development there exists a triangle between cost, timeliness, and quality. The recruiter will usually find you quality candidates quickly and therefore must charge a premium for this service. You may or may not need a recruiter. If you have a bunch of time to fill your position, you will probably be able to find your own quality candidates. However, if you are short on time, a recruiter can help you fill that critical hole before your project is endangered. Keep in mind that slipping just one month on a team project far outweighs the 20 percent recruiter fee, let alone the cost of not getting your game to market on time and tying up your team for another month. Fill your positions!


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