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8Bit GameDev Recruiters: a recruitment agency that is not a recruitment agency

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Welcome to the captivating world of 8Bit GameDev Recruiters! Let’s delve into the remarkable story of our agency and the exciting path we’ve embarked upon in the realm of GameDev recruitment. Join us as we share our experiences, challenges, and successes, offering a glimpse into the passion and dedication that drives our team at 8Bit GameDev Recruiters.

It started with one tired Gamedev Recruiter – 8Bit Recruitment’s origin story.

“Tired” may not be the sexiest word, but it’s “the right” word.

And it was soooo true for most of us.

We all were kinda tired of our previous experiences. What kind? Same things that keep you away from Recruitment Agencies of any kind.

So we felt that things needed to be changed to thrive in this environment.

But you know how it is. If you want to change how Recruitment is handled in the gaming industry, you need to do it yourself. Knowing that we decided to step on this path and we’re

It all started with Monika Michalak – our CEO and Founder. 

She had a vision in her mind: to approach Recruitment differently.

She didn’t want to simply run an Agency. Instead, she wanted to build partnerships with clients and candidates that she took care of.

She was aware strong partnerships could be based only on mutual trust. Monika knew what could be improved in our line of work. She also knew what sins the recruitment industry has on its conscience and how these could be addressed.

So she gave us a solid base with the culture she started. We’re nurturing and growing on that to this day.

And that’s basically our origin story. It wouldn’t be a base for a Marvel movie, fo sho, but I guess it’s still pretty ok. 😉

Anyway, I was so thrilled by how she wanted to handle things. It was something fresh and humane. And that grabbed my heart. But I guess you would like to have something more concrete, right?

So let’s dive into it.

8Bit is not an Agency. So what is 8Bit Recruitment exactly?

A typical Gaming Industry Recruitment Agency operates on satisfying the needs of a Game Studio (Client). A client has a bunch of roles that need to be filled with skilled people. So they come to the Agency.

Agency then looks for qualified candidates. This comes to sourcing and aggressive spamming candidates, trying to hook them up on a 15 min call without context. Sounds familiar, right?

Agency feeds the Client’s pipeline with suitable (more or less – it depends on the Agency’s policy) candidates. Someone gets hired, Agency gets paid. The Recruiter is usually compensated based on their performance.

And we’re not about that at all.

What is the 8Bit’s way? Why are we not identifying as a Recruitment Agency?

8Bit is not a recruitment agency.

8Bit is a Recruitment Services provider.

  • 8Bit’s first priority is the Game Developer’s (Candidate) satisfaction. We stand for being the advocates of Candidates. Game Developers are the actual core of the gaming industry we all work in. Without game developers, there are no gaming companies. That’s a fact.
  • The majority of our communication is directed toward game developers. We try to support and assist them during the recruitment process with our knowledge and give them career advice.
  • Our goal is to make all game developers thrive in their roles. Not just to make a placement for a paycheck. We want to make sure that we can offer the best possible position to the Candidate.
  • Relationships with our Partners (Clients) are equally important. Our Partners value our bond with the Game Development community. They know that they can trust us with our judgment and feedback, which we gladly share. And let’s be honest, the better we do with potential candidates, the better for the studios. As simple as that.

But let me guide you through the exact steps we’re taking to make sure that this ecosystem works for everyone.

Q&A time! We gathered all questions we received from the candidates we already interviewed!

Who is responsible for attracting Clients (Game Companies) at 8Bit?

Our Recruiters don’t look for Clients. Period.

Our dynamic duo handles that: Maja Żmijewska – Lead of Operations and Monika Michalak – CEO. 

(But right now, honestly, we’re in this position where clients recommend our Recruitment Services to each other. So they come to us directly. Also our recruiters provide such great candidate experience that candidates themselves are reaching out to us while setting up their new studios or just recommend us internally)

Recruiters can focus on their professional development. And contribute 20% of their time to growing in other disciplines (like social media, copyrighting, analytics. You can read more about that later in this text).

How is the 8Bit’s Recruitment Team structured?

We work in 2 teams.

  • Technical Recruiters handle all tech gamedev roles like Engine Programmers, Gameplay Programmers, etc.
  • The second team holds non-hard-technical positions like Art, Production, or Game Design.

What if a Technical Recruiter would like to Source for non-technical roles?

If they would like to change an environment for a bit or try something new – we’re open to that. The same goes the other way around.

For example, if someone in the team would like to pursue a Technical Recruiter role, we help that person switch. Or just give it a try with one job opening – it’s fine.

How do we decide who gets which Job Opening to fill?

As I mentioned before – we have a really simple Team structure.

If the role is technical – Recruiters are simply…

talk with each other.

Ofc Technical recruiters are first to pick from the tech roles, and Non-Tech Recruiters need to split non-tech roles. You catch the drill 😉

And then knowing what kind of priorities our Clients have, every week Recruiters pick roles (or change them. Or not) on their own. We’re dividing the roles so that everyone can work on something exciting.

How do we handle the contact with the Client?

You probably work in Recruitment. You know how crucial the proper level of communication is.

We value direct contact with our Clients. We set up dedicated Slack Channels with them, so we’re keeping in touch. And can address any candidate’s questions, issues, or anything that comes to our mind. We’re basically an extension of their team

It’s important for us to establish this steady flow of information to make sure that the Candidate can receive feedback as soon as possible and address all the matters swiftly.

We run this policy that we have a maximum of 2 recruiters contacting the Client. We don’t want to overwhelm our Clients (and our Recruiters), but still, be up to date with their hiring needs.

Talent Sourcing

Searching for passive Candidates (game developers that do not actively apply for or search jobs) is one of the most critical tasks for us.

At 8Bit, we put a lot of effort into targeting the most relevant Candidates.

We don’t send tons of Candidates to our Clients. Instead, we’re sending the most fitting ones.

We value the time of our Candidates, our Clients, and our own as well.

How much information are we sharing with Candidates?

We share as much information as much as our clients provide with a potential Candidate. Anything that can help Candidates decide whether they’re interested in spending their time on a screening call or simply pass. Transparency and mutual respect are everything to us.

Screening and contact with Game Developers (Candidates)

The industry we work in allows us to have a “normal” conversation with the Game Developers. It’s not something that you could hear during the “typical Human Resources convo in the corporation”. Just take a look at our LinkedIn page and you’ll get a sense – casual, funny, straight to the point

We’re here for the Candidates:

  • We give candidates the necessary feedback on what they could improve with their application to land the gaming industry job they want.
  • Sometimes after the call, we see that this job seeker has a really valuable skill set that is not mentioned in the CV or on a Linkedin profile. In that case, we advise accordingly.
  • We are also always keen to listen to the expectations of the Candidates. Suppose the role we initially pitched is not matching those expectations. In that case, we try to present a different role that could be a better fit.
  • We ALWAYS reply to the Candidates we have in the process.

We value efficiency

After the screening call, we usually send notes about the Candidates to our Clients. While others might use fancy software, our experience says that a simple note attached CV is the way to go.

It’s simple. It takes little time to prepare. And works. Win-win-win

Do we use an internal message template that we need to use while contacting Candidates?

Hell no. Each Recruiter has a different communication style. We don’t want to change that.

We offer support and a template review if we see that the process feels bumpy. It’s always helpful to pick your fellow Recruiters’ brains *Zombie flicks fans… it’s not the way you think*

The rest of the team is dedicated to helping out if something happens. We know that sometimes a little tweak might do the trick. Then we AB test different variants to see which one works best.

What happens when the Recruiter at 8Bit struggles to make a job placement?

We know that our line of work is stressful, and often, it’s those little things that are making things difficult. There’s nothing worse than an irritated Recruiter XD

We get that. How do we address this?

  • Each Recruiter has a Manager. We try to check once or twice a week if there are any issues. (it’s a safe space where we can address all the problems before they start piling up and build up the tension)
  • We have weekly 1 on 1 calls with a Manager during which we can discuss all the struggles and pain points
  • When we see an actual issue, we create a Personal Action Plan to help put our colleagues on the right track.

What is a Personal Action Plan?

It really depends on the situation.

We need to assess whether it’s something to do with a Boolean search, a Client’s offer that does not match the market’s expectations, or wording in the message – anything really.

Then we need to work out what kind of steps we can take with the Recruiter to help them grow.

We try to do anything in our power to support our Recruiters. We know that when we grow personally, the whole team grows as well.

How else can Recruiter grow within the role at 8Bit?

We run training sessions.

  • Internal – where our team members run a presentation on an interesting topic. Like (how to improve our Booleans, or how to write to grab someone’s attention)
  • We ask external game development experts to cover the topic that our Recruiters might want to hear about to better understand the needs of the industry

Our training budget is available for every Recruiter

We also can provide a literature

What if a Recruiter would like to grow outside of the Recruitment Field?

We have a rule that every person in the team can spend 20% of their time growing on another field.

Sometimes, it is good and healthy to put your mind on something different and try something new. And at 8Bit we want to make sure that our recruiters have the chance to pursue other fields of interest.

What can be considered a 20% activity?

Copywriting, content creation, social media, analytics, automation, tools integration, employer branding, personal branding. Actually, the list is limitless. You tell us!

What tools are we using?

  • Lever – ATS (applicant tracking system)
  • Linkedin RPS – every Recruiter has an access
  • Notion – It’s our Single Point of Truth. Place where we share all our knowledge. And helps us be always on the right track.
  • Slack – our go-to communication channel
  • Google services – duh ;D

Why working at 8Bit might be more interesting than as an In-house gamedev Recruiter?

Working with multiple international Clients (with all of the gaming projects in the spectrum. PC/Consoles, Mobile, VR/AR, AAA, indie, Metaverse) allows us to diversify our searches and not to get bored with only one type of role we need to fill.

And since 8Bit is not-a-recruitment-agency, and wants to run things differently – you get all the good stuff.

How can 8Bit GameDev Recruiters influence the way GameDev works?

  • At every step, we care about the Candidate’s experience.
  • We support Game Developers and educate them on what the process should look like from their perspective.
  • We’re always there to advise the Clients. Having all the knowledge about the market, we know what Companies can expect from available talent.
  • If we see that the Client has a step in the Recruitment Process that can hurt their efforts on finding a perfect Candidate – we share that information.
  • If the Client’s offer is way under the market’s expectation – we share this information, so the Client can re-evaluate their actions and hiring plans

I hope that this article helped you understand why 8Bit is a perfect place to be and work with.

If that’s not enough – you can also check this article. 😉

If you have any additional questions about our process – our social media channels are all for you. Don’t be a stranger!