February 20, 2024

4 min


Juan Jimenez

Marketing Manager

5 Tips to Hire a Great Team

Every founder, entrepreneur, or human resources team building a company or studio from scratch faces countless challenges. Raising the necessary capital, positioning oneself correctly in the market, and knowing how to read your audience's current needs are just the tip of the iceberg behind creating a successful business.


This process is no less challenging in the video game industry. As discussed in previous posts, creating a video game is a precise blend of passion and technique, planning and improvisation; many development steps can seem more akin to witchcraft or cosmic creation than an exact science.


That's why, when founding a video game start-up or small studio, it's vital to know how to create the team that will take the company's projects forward and what kind of people, talents, and attitudes are required to make them happen. While the task may seem daunting, we've never shied away from a challenge here at Haptic.


And because we don't want you shying from a challenge either, this week we decided to bring you a list of five tips to help you assemble your dream developer team.

Tip #1: Have crystal-clear goals


In the XXI century, stating that proper business planning leads to concrete achievements and a stable, healthy team is almost cliché. While it is common and even tempting for some to approach the act of assembling your team's workforce as if it were a grocery list, filling out checklists without strategic reasoning can lead to early redundancies or overstaffing.


Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that the development goals, the kind of game your team is making, and the timeframe for creation are defined long before the first employee is onboard. Having a precise development plan with established steps, processes, and timelines will make it easier for your recruiters to know what kind of talent suits your project best.

Tip #2: Laser-focused hiring


When you're first putting together your team, it's easy to fall prey to desperation, especially when time is tight. However, having lax controls and selection criteria when choosing the right people for your project can cause countless delays and project restarts, leaving your team feeling insecure and without clear guidance.


Establishing a solid screening and selection process can prevent such situations. The assessment of each potential candidate should be as thorough as possible, covering not only the technical and academic aspects of their CV but also their soft skills, past projects, and relevance to your company and its future.


Also, your recruiters or HR team should constantly ask themselves what added value a candidate will bring to your company or how much their peripheral skills can contribute to strengthening and solidifying the next steps of your project. Assess how proactive, adaptable to change, or self-driven the candidate is, and present them with particular or hypothetical scenarios in which you can get a sense of their actions or work philosophy.

Tip #3: Establish a healthy, honest culture


There is a more or less clear maxim in any recruitment process: people usually come for the money and the possibilities, but they stay for the culture and the work environment. This is no less true in a video game company or studio, even more so considering the high level of effort and stress that many developments can require to come to fruition.


Therefore, creating a unique, welcoming, and strong corporate culture is critical to attracting the best people. Game development is often tedious and time-consuming work, with days when rest is often a luxury. Therefore, creating spaces where your employees can feel safe, understood, respected, and with the company's full muscle behind them is paramount.


Establish periods of cooperation and relaxation where your candidates know they can disconnect from the irresponsibilities and behave in a human and approachable way. Your employees are not robots by any means; they are people with dreams, goals, and needs, who need to be watered and tended with care so that the garden of your project grows green and healthy.

Tip #4: Communication and planning are crucial


While keeping your team motivated and healthy is crucial, one thing should be clear right from the recruitment process: development goals will only be achieved with exemplary organization and foolproof communication. Share your work philosophy and processes with your candidates, ask for their feedback, and set a standard of openness against which to build future interviews.


Make feedback a fundamental tool, both from you to your employees and from your employees to you. Give your future employees the assurance that their words will be taken into account and create sketches or pilot plans for how their recommendations could sculpt the company's growth.


In any other kind of company, this would be desirable, but in video game development, with so many variables and steps to take into account, it is crucial to stay well-communicated and to report any potential setbacks or complications on time. Even more so if accurate feed back can is the difference between optimizing a process or a game cycle on time and spending three extra months in development.

Tip #5: Diversity is the key to success


Of all the current discussions around human resources and talent, the word diversity is perhaps the one you have heard most. However, restricting it only to a political or social concept is not the most appropriate decision when building a successful team.


A toolbox is most useful when it contains more and better tools to enable you to do several tasks. The same is true for avideo game development team. While maintaining clear responsibilities and respecting agreements is fundamental to defining the profiles of potential hires,a certain degree of flexibility and complementarity is necessary to ensure success.


Unique characteristics and diverse backgrounds are the best assets you can have when your game studio is just starting.Creating small but highly competent teams with intertwined talents can be more advantageous than hiring a bigger staff of highly specialized employees withlittle collaborative experience.






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