HERE ARE THE BUZZWORDS FROM MOBILE GAMING’S TOP RECRUITER: CUSTOMIZE DON’T STANDARDIZE
By MobileWirelessJobs / MobileContentJobs
As part of our HR Q&A interview series, MobileWirelessJobs recently caught up with Marc Mencher, founder of GameRecruiter.com, to learn more about his company’s online talent acquisition practices in the mobile gaming vertical. The HR Q&A series is a featured column in MobileContent Careers. MWJ= MobileWirelessJobs.com; MM= Marc Mencher.
MWJ: Are resumes submitted on-line and off-line handled differently? Is it better for a candidate to submit his/her resume on-line?
MM: Resumes are always handled differently; whether they are submitted electronically or they are on the traditional fancy paper stock. Game companies tend to be more high-tech since they are technology companies, and their preferences learn more towards virtual submission (i.e. via online). Game companies use the latest and greatest software and database tools to keep their resume submissions organized so it does not clutter up their internal distribution. Once your resume is submitted, it is now in the hands of the Human Resources Department.
HR Departments usually receive many submissions for any number of jobs that it takes, on average, 2 months to sift through the results. That is why it is extremely important that you buzzword the impressive portions of your skill set out on your resume. The HR people who are screening the resumes usually know little to nothing about the game industry; they are not programmers, artists, producers, or designers. At the very most, the HR people conceptually understand the game development process but they probably don’t play games themselves.
MWJ: What percentage of local talent do you recruit versus relocated applicants?
MM: Mobile game companies’ first priority is to always find and hire the best talent for their team. That is why they tend to not be adverse to the relocation applicants. 70% of the candidates we place with our clients at GameRecruiter.com are usually relocated from different states. Obviously, if the game company can save money and not have to pay for relocation they will do so. Game companies are always looking for local talent to add to their teams. But the prime determinate for a company is the talent of the candidate, not the location.
MWJ: How quick is the turn around between sourcing the candidate, interviewing the candidate, offering the candidate a position, and hiring the candidate? Is this process any faster when the resume is submitted on-line vs. offline, or is there no difference?
MM: The cycle of finding the perfect candidate for our clients is not a fast one. The initial sourcing for candidates can take about 2–3 weeks. Coordinating a proper interview with the candidate/client can take up to 1-3 weeks. The offer can take 1-2 weeks. And don’t forget, then the candidate has the process of resigning from their current job if they are employed, thus adding more time to the process which is minimally 2 weeks. If relocation is a factor then it can also add an additional 2-3 weeks. So overall, the whole process takes about 2-3 months from start to finish. This is not unusual, even without using a recruiting service, when searching for a new job. One can expect the process to take several months.
MWJ: What can a candidate do to get noticed by HR when applying for a job?
MM: Customization is the key to getting your resume noticed by the HR Department. You should NEVER mass email out a generic resume to different prospecting game companies. By customizing your resume to the job advertisement of the game company, you can specify the buzzwords to be picked up by HR. HR has no idea when they review your resume that, because you reverse-engineered a GNU compiler, that skill could be useful for the open “PlayStation tools” position. If you didn’t use the word “PlayStation” in your resume, you’d be disqualified even though it would be obvious to any engineer reviewing your resume that you more than qualified for the job advertised. That is why you need to include in your resume the buzz words and action statements that you need to “sell yourself.” This helps guarantee there is never a disconnect on what you do as opposed to what you can do.
MWJ: What skills are in high demand right now?
MM: Java, Brew, J2MEE, are primary skills that an engineer will need. As cell phones move towards 3D technology, Artists with retro console experience (i.e. n64, ps1, GBA) are in high demand. We still see the need for 2D pixel artists, but the industry seems to be moving towards lowpoly 3D artists and animators in terms of art.
MWJ: What trends are you seeing in the Mobile games space?
MM: The mobile game space is moving to incorporating 3D graphics for simple games. There are more and more community driven games being made. Games are being sponsored by larger conglomerates and you can accumulate prize points for cash and merchandise. The casual game space and the wireless game space seem to be converging. And there is a new demand for original IP, pulling away from the typical model of pumping out ports of licensed IPs.
MWJ: What are the typical salary ranges for these positions?
MM: • Artist/Animator $25-75k base, depending on experience levels.
• Programmer $35-100k base, someone who has experience limited only to mobile will be on the lower end than someone who has console, casual and mobile, will demand a higher salary.
• Producer $45-100k, again depending on experience.
• Game Designer/Level Designer $45-100k base.
• Head of Studio/VP $120-200k base.
• Marketing and Sales $60-90k base with a sales targeted bonus program.
MWJ: Where geographically are most of the jobs located?
MM: The West Coast. Although you will find a number of mobile companies all over the United States, the most concentrated areas are the SF bay area and Los Angeles with Montreal, Canada for our friends in the north.
MobileContent Careers is the monthly eNewsletter of MobileWirelessJobs. Each issue contains one or more HR interviews of the top employers in the mobile content and wireless industries. These interviews help our candidates learn more about the companies listed on MobileWirelessJobs beyond what can be found in a job posting. Our research has shown that employers who participate in our HR interview receive a much greater resume response for their time and effort.