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Navigating New Realities: Recruitment Solutions Amidst Industry Disruption

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The games industry has undergone a significant upheaval in recent months, characterised by widespread redundancies and in some cases studio closures. This wave of layoffs not only destabilised the career paths of many skilled professionals but also led to a saturated job market flooded with candidates seeking new opportunities, dramatically reshaping the recruitment landscape, and leaving internal recruiters grappling with the challenges posed by a saturated market.

Under circumstances such as these, a third-party recruitment partner like Aardvark Swift provides a hiring studio with a vital solution as they look to navigate these complex waters efficiently.

Challenges Faced by Internal Recruiters in a Saturated Market

Overwhelming Volume of Applicants: As studios make redundancies or close entirely, the number of job-seeking candidates has surged, overwhelming internal recruitment teams with applications. Sorting through these to find quality candidates becomes a Herculean task, often leading to processing delays and the potential to overlook suitable candidates.

Skills & Experience Mismatch: Despite the high volume of candidates, the specific skills or project experience required for the roles a hiring studio is recruiting for may not align with the experience of available candidates. This mismatch complicates the recruitment process further, requiring more time and resources to identify the right candidates.

High Competition for Top Talent: While there are many applicants, the best talent is still highly sought after and are often quickly snapped up by competitors. This creates a competitive pressure that requires a swift and effective recruitment strategy to secure high-calibre candidates before they are off the market.

Increased Hiring Costs: Managing a higher volume of candidates requires additional resources, which can escalate the costs of the recruitment process. In the current market hiring studios are often operating with smaller internal recruitment teams, with their own internal recruitment function affected by redundancy. Hiring costs are not just financial; they also include the time and effort spent by HR teams in screening, interviewing, and assessing candidates.

Candidate Experience: In a candidate-saturated market, maintaining a positive candidate experience becomes challenging, but essential. A poor recruitment experience can harm a company’s reputation, making it less attractive to potential candidates and negatively impacting future hiring efforts.

How Aardvark Swift Helps You Cut Through a Crowded Market?

Managing Volume: Simply put, we’re equipped to manage a high volume of applications effectively. By taking on the initial stages of the recruitment process—including screening and shortlisting candidates - we help internal recruitment teams focus on the most promising candidates. This not only streamlines the recruitment process but also ensures that internal resources are utilised more effectively and focused on engaging with candidates who are a good fit for the role and studio.

Access to Wider Networks: One of the key advantages of working with us is our access to extensive networks of potential candidates. These networks include developers who are not actively searching, deemed passive job seekers, broadening the pool from which we source talent. Passive job seekers typically account for 60% of an industries workforce.

For the games industry, where specific technical skills and creative ability are key, having access to a diverse candidate pool significantly enhances the quality of hires. The ability to tap into passive seekers is even more valuable in a saturated market where distinguishing top-tier talent from a sea of applicants is challenging.

At the time of writing (May 2024) only 10% of the hires we’ve made on behalf of studios since September 2023 were developers who were affected by redundancy or studio closure, the remaining 90% were in a role that wasn’t at risk. Access to this passive element of developers is key to studios looking to grow their teams during a candidate saturated market.

Specialised Recruitment Knowledge & Tools: Recruitment agencies such as us specialise in understanding market dynamics, including trends in compensation packages, candidate expectations, and the specific demands of various roles within the industry. This specialised knowledge and the recruitment tools and data available to us allows us to tailor the search and selection process to the specific needs of the hiring studio, enhancing our effectiveness. By aligning the recruitment strategy with studio-specific requirements, we can more effectively target and attract candidates who not only have the right skills and project experience but are also a good cultural fit for the hiring studio.

Reducing Time-to-Hire: In the competitive environment of the games industry, where projects are time-sensitive and require highly specialised skills, the ability to quickly fill open positions is a significant advantage. We can expedite the hiring process by leveraging our resources and specialised skills. This is crucial for companies looking to quickly pick up top talent in a competitive job market, ensuring that projects are not delayed and that teams remain productive.

Cost Efficiency: While there is a cost associated with engaging a recruitment agency, the benefits justify the investment. Agencies can reduce the likelihood of costly hiring mistakes and decrease the time that high-value internal staff spend on recruitment tasks. In the long run, this can lead to significant cost savings by ensuring that hires are well-suited to their roles and less likely to turnover, reducing the costs associated with repeated hiring, onboarding, and training new employees. We closely measure the retention rate of hires we make, and rather than focus on hires passing their probationary period, the metric we use is whether a hire is at the studio 12 months after joining. We’re proud to say our average retention rate is 92%.

Focus on Core Functions: Using a recruitment partner allows internal HR teams to devote more time to strategic planning and improving the candidate experience, factors that are vital in maintaining a company’s reputation as a preferred employer. In the face of industry instability, maintaining a strong employer brand is essential for attracting and retaining top talent. By handling the logistical aspects of recruitment, we enable internal teams to focus on creating a more engaging and fulfilling candidate journey, which improves onboarding, overall job satisfaction and employee retention.

Key Takeaway

Working with Aardvark Swift as a recruitment partner provides a strategic advantage for hiring studios faced with a saturated candidate market. By effectively managing high volumes of applicants, accessing broader talent networks, leveraging specialised industry knowledge, recruitment tools and data, reducing hiring times, and allowing internal teams to focus on core functions, we can play a crucial role in helping games studios navigate the challenges of a turbulent market.

Contact us and let's see how we can help your studio cut through a crowded candidate market.