The very right team can make all the heck of a difference to a company’s business success. Game dev studios invest vast resources year by year on hiring top top talent, and this is with a very good reason. So when it comes to hiring, you’ve most likely come across the terms “recruiter” and “headhunter” and “in-house” various times. In many cases, especially referring to the first two terms, all are used almost interchangeably. However, these are actually very different.


What’s the difference?

Due to the niche nature of the gaming industry, the majority of the game dev studios will hire a game recruitment agency or game dev recruitment headhunters and tell them what positions they need to fill. The game industry recruiters will then post the new job and advertise on various boards and sites, after which candidates will apply and then be screened. A headhunter for a video game development from an agency, most probably a boutique one. On the other hand, they’ll proactively reach out to the best possible inactive/active/passive candidate for each position. They don’t wait for the candidates to apply. The headhunter will actively search and qualify candidates before presenting them to the company to explore their fit and interview them. Or they may have already someone in mind for the position before hearing the full insights of the role. To put it simply they’re the hunters of the talent, seeking relevant candidates that are not really seeking a new position. While the majority of video game recruitment agencies and their recruiters go over resumes of candidates that have applied for the position. Moreover, bigger video game industry recruiters are tasked with filling multiple roles at various game dev studios, something that is equivalent to mass production from time to time. And so in many cases, they’ll get a CV for one position and find that it’s better suited for another when there is an overlap of skills. Game dev headhunters are more engaged in their approach. They actively hunt highly on-target candidates, they’ll focus on one of three positions at a time to find the right people for that specific opportunity. And they’re usually the go-to choice when a studio needs to fill a difficult, important, or executive position. They are also often chosen when the role is confidential.

Games recruitment agencies - should You go big or boutique?

There are a mixed number of rationales why some of the game dev studios may decide to outsource their hiring process. And the main benefits that a game development recruitment agency or game dev headhunting one provides to businesses are - recruitment experience, market knowledge, wider candidate reach, reduction in the time of hire, and thus a lower risk of a bad hire.

Due to the amount of work, game dev studios very often lack the time, resources, and expertise to recruit satisfyingly. So turning to a gaming recruitment agency or a game dev headhunter is rather an attractive proposition. Thus, money is normally a deciding factor for both sides.

And the next question is are recruitment agencies / headhunters cheaper than in-house recruitment?

The first reason why studios may carry out their own candidate search is that, on paper, it seems cheaper than outsourcing to an external company. But they are also untold hidden costs that normally pile-up.

Overall, the biggest advantage of using a gaming recruitment agency or a headhunting one. Rather than an in-house team, is the time and money saved by cutting out the vetting and the interviewing of candidates, and advertising of new/existing openings. With a pool of qualified candidates, and resources to attract more, a game recruitment agency or a headhunting one is simply faster.

Candidate and client - why do I need a game industry recruitment agency?

A game industry recruitment agency or a boutique one, can be vastly advantageous to job seekers. Developing an effective relationship with a recruitment agency recruiter or headhunter is ultimately the most pivotal factor for any candidate (or client). So working closely with the very right recruitment partner is fundamental whether you are a client or candidate. Choosing a video game industry recruiter that take the time to evaluate your skills, experiences, characteristics, and circumstances, in order to fittingly match both company and candidate together, adds huge worth to any process.

And so in this fiercely competitive game dev job market, where many qualified applicants apply for one position, and so many fail to reach the interview stage. Shop around to find a competent professional who will take the time to get to know more about you and your qualifications. Regardless of your needs though, whether you're searching for the staff or that next step on the career ladder, agencies offer a valuable resource that can help you reach your short and long-term goals.

Our team at 8Bit believes that the combination of praises of a game dev recruitment boutique agency with the mindset of a headhunter is the perfect storm in this niche game dev business.

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