Q&A: Kathryn Spetch, consultant at Odgers Berndtson, Global Gaming Practice on recruitment – Business News

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the last few years, it’s that we should never take many things for granted. Covid-19 may or may not be what we continue to see in our rearview mirrors, but the legacy of remote and hybrid work presents opportunities while raising questions about productivity. continue.

Given the ever-present problems of a persistent skills shortage and cost of living crisis that were nowhere to be seen 12 months ago, it’s clear that this is a unique and challenging time for recruitment in the games industry. Consisting of in-house and agency recruiting experts to get a clear picture of how things have been, where they are now, and how they might evolve in the year ahead We asked the crack team for their take on the current situation. Recruitment in the games industry is aimed at both those looking to fill positions and those eager to take on their next challenge. Next up is Kathryn Spetch, her Odgers Berndtson consultant for the Global Gaming Practice.

What are the main challenges recruiters faced in 2022, and how have you worked to overcome them?

Some organizations believe that by enabling international remote work, they can maximize the available talent pool and attract prominent leaders with the necessary specialized skill sets. While there is some truth to this, the reality is that many leaders are only interested in seeking roles that provide opportunities for significant change, whether growth or transformation, and to do so, they must We want to be closer to the center. So the promise of remote work is neither attractive nor problem-solving. // As an executive search partner, we advise our gaming clients from the beginning to every stage of their search. It is important that organizations consider the cost implications if new leaders are required to travel regularly or advise on what to expect in terms of relocation packages.

How is the deepening cost of living crisis manifesting itself in terms of recruitment and job assistance?

We recently held a closed-door discussion for industry chief people officers. The cost of living crisis is high on the agendas of most UK-based organizations and studios, with a number of initiatives ranging from lump sum salary increases to monthly fuel payments. Unfortunately, for smaller indies, such initiatives may not be possible due to financial constraints. From an executive perspective, I had the opportunity to rewind 10 months and join an exciting VC-backed scale-up studio. The studio offered substantial equity, albeit on a low salary, and was very attractive to many leaders looking to leave their mark in the scale-up story. But the cost of living crisis means many are unwilling to take advantage of high-risk, high-reward opportunities.

Will remote/hybrid continue to work here?

As far as the foreseeable, absolutely. This allowed many studios to benefit from a wider talent pool. While this has had a significant impact on the creativity and success of many projects, it has also introduced new challenges around international employment, tax implications, mandates for Anchor Days, etc. You are on a journey of learning and navigating the benefits, complexities and potential pitfalls.

Do you think the industry has made strides in terms of diversity and inclusion this year? Why? Can you give an example?

This is an important question on a very important topic, but it’s also a complex one. There is an ongoing industry-wide movement to hold organizations accountable for discriminatory and offensive behavior, and we feel a more open dialogue about his EDI in-game is desired and encouraged. This dialogue transcends conversations of all kinds, rather than remaining siled topics. Sophie Vo’s Rise and Play podcast features conversations with the likes of Emily Yim and Betty Lapeyre about designing studios for leaders as mothers, and her latest with Chris Bruzzo on the impact of inclusivity. A great example of this through our Plugged In video interview. Both employee and endgame experience.

What industry initiatives or programs have recently been implemented (by your organization or others)?

Gender balance in the industry, especially at the leadership level, is problematically poor. The Ukie 2022 Census reveals that the share of women in board-level roles in UK industry has not increased, remaining at just 20%. Dealing with this balance is a complex task, but in her gaming practice here at Odgers, it’s important to provide allies and support wherever possible. And she will be hosting an event dedicated to women in the industry in November with her amazing guests Claire Hungate (independent director of Avalanche Studios Group) and her Kate Marsh (her NED at Devolver). I am glad that I did. Claire and Kate shared insights and advice on how to navigate the world of non-executive directors for those interested in pursuing such a path.

What are your predictions about the challenges and opportunities recruiters may face in 2023?

Unfortunately for smaller indies, the cost of living crisis can put a strain on burn rates and must be managed carefully. You may face management challenges. The executive recruitment market is highly competitive across interactive entertainment, so organizations that have established themselves as employers of choice will win. Purpose, values, a diverse workforce and competitive compensation. , organizations that present attractive career choices will be successful in retaining the best talent. Our role is to support the organizations we partner with to understand and communicate their position to compete for the best talent in 2023 and beyond.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking for, or wanting to fill, a role that they wouldn’t have thought of a year ago, what would it be?

Candidates looking for new roles: There are fewer organizations than you might think that employ remote work, especially for leadership roles. We need executives in the real workplace because we need to guide and create a culture that leverages it. This is essential for success, especially in creative industries where proximity to peers increases energy and ideas. At the leadership level, it is important to articulate strategy and demonstrate the ability to lead different groups on journeys of change or growth.

Clients looking for new talent: For large organizations – don’t get complacent. Our track record of commercial success creating enviable IPs loved by players around the world can only go so far. New studios are popping up at a fair rate, backed by large sums of money with very clear objectives and the ability to truly prove their worth. // For smaller and scaling organizations – Lowering your burn rate is important, but don’t lose sight of the value you can create through investing in experienced and innovative leaders to ensure that talent continues to be a priority. Please give me.

Be proactive, act fast, and do what is best for your company, regardless of size, scale, or ownership structure. Sell ​​as much as the candidate wants you to sell, and remember the value someone with a less obvious background brings.

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