Effective recruitment is critical for any organization that wants to attract and hire top talent. A robust recruitment strategy can help businesses build a strong workforce that drives growth and achieves organizational goals. However, finding the right candidates can be challenging and time-consuming, particularly for businesses that lack the resources or expertise to execute a successful recruitment campaign.
Our Studio has extensive experience in talent acquisition and understands the importance of effective recruitment. In this blog post, we will share valuable insights into the key components of successful recruitment and explain our comprehensive recruitment plan, stage by stage.
About N-iX Game & VR Studio
First, a quick intro about who we are. For the last 11 years, our Studio has been providing game development services for indie and triple-A projects alike. N-iX Game & VR Studio’s team consists of versatile specialists and this allowed us to build a rich portfolio in art production, Unreal\Unity development, VR solutions, etc.
Being a part of N-iX, one of the biggest software development providers in Ukraine and Europe with over 2000 employees, we share our knowledge and methodologies with the parent company. We were recognized as Top 50 Employers 2022 by Forbes, the Best Place to Work 2021 by DOU, and Top 50 EMEA Inspiring Workplaces 2022.
We understand that talent is our most valuable resource, and that’s why our company is highly invested in building effective recruitment. Our Talent Acquisition team at N-iX rocks this booming market and finds dozens of great people to join us every month. Despite the COVID crisis and the war, our Studio team grew by 130% since 2020. Our growth wouldn’t be possible without a thorough strategy and polished processes that help us quickly find new talents.
(* the depicted hiring period is approximate and will vary depending on a number of factors,
such as specialization, employee’s proficiency level, test task deadline, etc.)
If you want to get a glimpse of our recruitment process, then the above picture might give you some insight. This is a short depiction of our recruitment strategy that has proven to be effective based on our collective experience of more than 20 years in software development. However, while this image provides a snapshot, our approach is much more intricate and comprehensive. So let’s dive into this topic and see each recruitment step more in-depth.
Identifying Job Requirements
During this stage, Hiring Managers collaborate closely with Business Development Managers to identify the project’s primary goals and main requirements for the customer (whether it’ll be a short-term project, long-term cooperation, etc). They conduct a job analysis to determine the key responsibilities and tasks associated with the position, as well as the necessary skills, experience, and qualifications required for successful job performance. This information is used to craft a high-quality job description that attracts only the candidates who fit the role well.
A well-written, engaging job description is a crucial tool for attracting and evaluating candidates throughout the recruitment process. It should accurately highlight the unique aspects of the role, project, company culture, and employee benefits. We have a comprehensive job description template and often engage Copywriters to create eye-catching text.
The recruitment and sourcing teams work together to select the most suitable strategy. We analyze the sourcing capacity of the market and assess the talent pool in the four countries where we are actively hiring: Ukraine, Poland, Colombia, and Bulgaria. Client needs are also considered, and we choose a location with an optimal time zone for efficient communication between teams. Based on our findings, we develop a marketing and job promotion plan.
- With an extensive database of resumes at our disposal, we often have several candidates in mind when a specialist is needed. We create a poll of candidates and send personalized messages to each one, often with a creative touch.
- We post job listings on various gamedev-related platforms, job marketplaces, and social media channels, such as DOU, Djinni, Indeed, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
- We also actively offer referral bonuses to incentivize our employees and external specialists to recommend their professional contacts. We at N-iX have dozens of open positions with referral bonuses of up to $3,000 in Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, Colombia, and other countries.
Within the first week or two, we compile a list of potential candidates and begin the screening process.
Raising New Talents
We recently implemented a new talent acquisition practice that has proven to be highly effective: cultivating new talent. As humanity eventually shifted from gathering to farming having seen its benefits, our Studio too decided to not only source specialists but also grow them from scratch. In September 2022, our Studio received $100,000 Epic MegaGrant and decided to establish an Unreal Engine training center for aspiring developers in Ukraine.
As of February 2023, more than 40 students have successfully graduated, with some being offered positions as Unreal Engine developers on our team. Each month, we skill up new specialists, helping them make their way into the game development industry. This approach benefits both the local gamedev pool and our own sourcing capabilities.
Our clients have already recognized the benefits of our trainees and junior specialists that we offer them:
“To skill up an unskilled workforce and make them efficient and productive. To give people an opportunity to earn a fair wage and make their lives better while also satisfying what your customers need. So that to me, is an optimal situation. We’re more than happy to participate in any way. […] We’re very supportive of those innovative solutions that you came up with when it came to finding and developing talent that didn’t exist.” – Jean Kaptur, Chief Operating Officer at PIXO VR.
The purpose of screening is to narrow down the list of candidates to those who are the most suitable for the position and meet the minimum qualifications and requirements. Initially, recruiters review the resumes of candidates, analyzing education, work experience, skills, and other relevant qualifications to shortlist the most fitting candidates for a particular job opening. The shortlist is then approved by the Hiring Manager.
Next, we conduct a 30-minute video call with the candidates during which a recruitment specialist shares more about our company and the project to validate the candidate’s expectations and our requirements. If both parties are satisfied, we move forward to the next step.
Test Task & Technical Interview
The sequence of this stage depends on the job position we are talking about:
The purpose of the test task is to evaluate the candidate’s technical skills, ability to work independently, and adherence to project requirements and timelines. When provided with clear instructions and guidelines, a test task is an incredibly valuable approach for identifying the most qualified candidates.
Our Studio provides candidates with a personalized test task for each specialization and project. It is important to note that a test task is a sizable chunk of work that may take considerable time to complete. Regardless of the interview outcome, we always provide feedback and point out areas for improvement. In most cases, we also allow candidates to showcase their completed test work online as it can greatly enhance their portfolio and aid in future job searches. We consider it a healthy practice in employer-candidate relationships, which also adds to the employer brand of the company.
Upon successful completion of the test task and positive feedback from our Lead specialist, the candidate progresses to the next stage.
A technical interview is a detailed review of the candidate’s skills, knowledge, previous experience, and technical accomplishments to check if they match the job profile. The interview takes about 90 minutes of quality conversation with the candidate and is conducted by a Lead specialist. During the interview, we check skills for technologies and practices required for the specified level.
It is essential to prepare thoroughly for technical interviews, to ensure that we ask the right questions and evaluate the candidate’s abilities accurately. We have a knowledge base that we have scrupulously worked on over the years in the industry. Our questions are divided by competence models for each proficiency level, including Junior, Middle, Senior, and Technical Leader.
We take specific care to constantly keep our competence models up-to-date. Our most experienced specialists make sure that:
- Questions and levels of proficiency align well with modern industry standards.
- Questions are constantly updated to catch up with an ever-changing market and technologies.
After the technical interview, we review the feedback from our Lead specialist and decide whether to move the candidate to the next stage of the hiring process.
Live Coding Check (Optional)
In some cases, we implement this stage to make an additional assessment of the candidate’s hard skills. From our experience, this has proven to be an extremely effective approach to evaluate candidates’ ability to work under pressure, troubleshoot technical issues, and implement code efficiently.
During the live coding check, candidates are asked to write code or solve programming challenges in real-time, typically using a collaborative code editor or a whiteboard. The interviewer may offer guidance or ask questions during the process to evaluate the candidate’s problem-solving skills, technical expertise, and ability to communicate and work collaboratively.
After identifying the best fit for the position, the Hiring Manager often arranges a meeting with the client. We believe that establishing personal communication between the client and employee is vital. The final meeting offers the candidate an opportunity to meet the people in charge, get a sense of the company’s culture and values, and feel like an integral part of the project. Building trust at this stage guarantees minimal staff turnover during development.
Most of our long-term clients have stable teams with specialists working for 3+ years on their projects. At this stage of experience and involvement, there is a well-established, seamless cooperation between the teams, allowing us to contribute to decision-making, find areas for improvement, and create better products together with our clients.
And here we are, at the end of the journey. Once the candidate has successfully passed all previous assessments, they work with the recruiter to finalize a job agreement. We then move quickly to onboard the new specialist, ensuring they are up-to-date with the project and ready to contribute to its success.
In conclusion, effective recruitment is a crucial aspect of building a successful and competitive workforce. It requires a thorough recruitment plan, a strong employer branding strategy, and innovative sourcing and screening techniques to attract and retain top talent. By implementing the described above strategy, N-iX Game & VR Studio has achieved significant growth over the last years, which allowed us to quickly scale up together with our customers.