As part of the launch of the course "How to become a recruiter in the gaming industry" on the WN Academy platform, we talked about the specifics of the profession with its author, Marina Lopatina from WN Media Group.

But first, a little bit about the speaker.

Marina Lopatina

Marina has been in HR for more than 15 years. The last five of them are in the gaming industry. As part of the WN Media Group, it launched the Talents In Games job search platform and the recruitment agency of the same name (now named WN Talents).

Alexander Semenov, App2Top: Marina, hello! We're going to talk about a topic that many people think is pretty simple. However, I am sure that there are many pitfalls in it. And let's start, as usual, from the base. Tell me, please, who is a recruiter?

Marina Lopatina, WN Talents: Sasha, hello!

Great, let's start with the definitions!

A recruiter is a professional in the field of recruitment.

The main responsibilities of a recruiter include:

  • making a clear text of the vacancy;
  • search, analysis and evaluation of candidates;
  • conducting interviews;
  • coordination of the selection process and communication with applicants and hiring managers.

In general, the main task of recruiters is to promptly and efficiently close vacancies.

Recruiters can work directly within the company (internal recruiters) or be part of a recruiting agency (external recruiters or headhunters).

What does a recruiter need to know in order to perform his duties well?

Marina: If we are talking about knowledge, and not about skills, then he or she needs:

  • know the market (which companies exist, which projects they are responsible for, which technology stacks they work on, and so on);
  • know where and how to search (be aware of all possible sources of candidates);
  • understand the theory of hiring (how to conduct interviews, how candidates can behave);
  • it is necessary to understand what is specifically necessary for the company in which the specialist will work (including the approach to work and communication of already working employees, especially managers, in order to select those who can work with the team).

In terms of skills, the list of requirements is usually as follows:

  • be able to conduct interviews;
  • be able to process large amounts of information, as well as evaluate and analyze it;
  • preferably a managerial educational base;
  • among the required soft skills is high communication skills.

I want to emphasize that it is important for a recruitment specialist to have empathy, as well as to be tactful, polite, non-judgmental, able to control himself, a positive person and a good negotiator. In my opinion, these are some of the most important qualities.

What is the pool of responsibilities for recruiters, what should they do and what should they be responsible for?

Marina: For example, in our agency, recruiters do all the recruiting work from and to. They are responsible for:

  • formulation of an interesting vacancy with data that is important for applicants (the vacancy should not be a template);
  • reviewing the summary from the responses;
  • searching and contacting candidates from our database (over the years, of course, it has grown a lot);
  • search for candidates in additional sources (professional networks, portfolio sites, specialized channels, and so on).

On the day, the recruiter contacts dozens of people in writing and on calls, during the call he records the answers, on the basis of which he makes a prescript (a document that we provide to a potential employer along with a resume, since the specifics are often not very clear in the resume, especially the points that interest the employer).

At the same time, the recruiter oversees his candidates — monitors that calls with hiring managers take place on time, issues a test, reminds them of its implementation, and so on.

Where do they usually come from in recruitment?

Marina: In a number of higher educational institutions there is a specialty — "HR manager". I myself went to get a second higher education in this profession, because, already working in this specialty, I realized that I did not have enough knowledge.

By the way, almost everyone in my course already worked in the profession, were current HR managers, so I got the most useful knowledge and cases not from textbooks, but from my classmates, with whom I solved real work situations.

But I'm talking about the profession of an HR specialist right now. As for recruitment, the entry threshold is lower. If a person is interested in this job and is determined to study endlessly, then it will be enough for him:

  • getting to know the theoretical base;
  • taking online courses;
  • passing a real practice in companies.

After that, in theory, he will be able to get a junior position in a particular company, where he will continue to study both from experienced colleagues and independently, analyzing each vacancy, reading about technologies.

It is very important for a young recruiter to analyze the cases of successful candidates, find out why they were chosen, as well as communicate a lot with colleagues, watch videos on the topic and constantly ask questions to the mentor.

What is necessary for growth in this area, if we are talking about recruitment in general?

Marina: As in all others — to study, to download expertise (to read more about the field in which you recruit people in order to better understand the processes and speak the same language with candidates), to study foreign languages in order to be able to work with companies and candidates from different countries.

Plus, try to help less experienced colleagues. This is how they eventually become senior recruiters and leaders.

We have now figured out how to grow, but we have not touched on the equally important question: where, in fact, to grow? Who do recruiters become over time?

Marina: You can stay in recruitment, eventually becoming a super-strong and in-demand specialist with a narrow specificity in the gaming market. At the same time, the specifics can be both in the field of activity and in the profession or, for example, in the location.

You can become the head of the recruitment department or go to study other HR areas (for example, motivation or adaptation).

Speaking of development prospects. Are there additional competencies and knowledge without which it is impossible for a recruiter to grow in the gaming industry?

Marina: In any profession, you need to grow, demand changes — you change.

For example, if you need to work a lot on developer vacancies now, then you plunge into this world, if artists become necessary, then you look at their portfolio from morning to evening. Do you need sales? You already communicate a lot with them, at the same time adopting their communication and presentation skills.

A recruiter in the gaming industry is a very interesting profession associated with constant communication, interesting and talented people from whom you yourself are constantly learning something.

Unfortunately, the position of a recruiter is associated with a lot of prejudice and, sometimes, even neglect. What do you think is the reason for this?

Marina: It's about psychology. As a rule, when a person is out of work, he is quite vulnerable, he worries a lot: financial difficulties arise, it happens that plans collapse. Therefore, people experience strong emotions after being rejected. Often the negativity is poured out on those who refused, brought bad news.

It's like going to university. There are 20 people per place, but there is only one place, and, of course, there is always excitement, resentment, anger if you did not pass. And since recruiters are just conducting an interview, people often blame them for what did not work out, as well as admissions committees at Universities blame them for "failing".

I've always wanted to ask the following question. I know that recruiters don't like being called HR people. Why?

Marina: The fact is that the concept of "personnel officer" is associated with Soviet times and those people who conducted personnel records management at that time. This is the formation of orders for personnel: admission, vacation, bonuses, disciplinary penalties, dismissal, and so on.

This is not a creative job at all, it is associated with routine.

But something else is important here. This is a different line of work. It is incorrect to call a recruiter a HR officer. They have different job responsibilities.

What are the red flags when hiring in the gaming industry? Are there markers that you can close your eyes to in other areas, but not in game development?

Marina: Inquisitiveness, unwillingness to develop — I have not seen stagnating people in the industry, everyone is always passionate about a new project, a new idea.

Of course, you need to love games and play them. Our employers have a mandatory interview question: "How many hours have you played in such a game, in such a genre."

And the last question: what would you recommend to read about recruitment for those who would like to understand the topic a little more deeply?

Marina: I think if I was just starting my career in recruitment now, I would have talked first with the GPT chat, and then I came to the course with specialists so that I could ask them live. Plus, the courses would allow you to access materials, do homework, and get feedback on them already.