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  • Working with a Recruiter

    [09.18.07]
    - Marc Mencher
  •  Professionals in the video game industry are recognizing the tangible value that recruiting agencies can provide. Just like the school guidance counselor, real estate agent, investment advisor, or talent manager that you might have turned to for direction and advice throughout your life, professional recruiters consistently prove themselves to be enormous assets to career-minded individuals.

    As you'll learn, a quality recruiter is part manager, part confidant, and your biggest fan, all rolled in to one well-connected energetic person. An experienced, ethical, and competent recruiter can help you find the right job in the right place, and most importantly, at the right compensation level!

    A strong word of caution to readers just graduating from college and looking to break into the video game industry: using a recruiter before you have worked for at least one game company and have had one professional title published would be a disaster akin to Britney Spears' recent performance on MTV's Video Music Awards. Job-hunting is really difficult, believe me I know, but there are no free lunches and no shortcuts. Think of how hard you worked to get your degree, or remember that time you stayed up for two days trying to shave a half second off your race time on Need for Speed -- that's the dedication your job hunt requires. And just like that tricky hairpin turn, you can rely on only yourself to pull through.

    What is a recruiter?
    Because recruiters' reputations have been somewhat maligned (we'll get to the reason why a little later) it's good to offer a bias-free definition. Basically speaking, a recruiter matches job candidates with open positions. If Real Hot Games, Inc. is looking for a producer, the recruiter helps the company find a suitable candidate. Red Hot Games then pays the recruiter a fee. When talking to recruiter, if that person asks you to pay the fee instead of the company, back away slowly. This is not someone you want to be dealing with.

    Why would someone need a recruiter?
    You're resourceful, you're personable, perhaps you've got a skill set that lines you up for a high demand, low supply niche -- why would you need a recruiter? If you go to Red Hot Games' web site there's a link to Employment Opportunities, and you can send your resume right to the company. Where's the need for a recruiter?

    The answer to that question has several parts. Using a recruiter can be like using the warp flute in Super Mario Bros. 3 -- namely, it can save you a lot of time and lets you bypass some of the more mundane levels in the job-hunting game. You won't waste your time looking for job postings, company contact information, or application requirements.

    Good recruiters have knowledge of hundreds of job openings and already know exactly how Red Hot Games wants your resume to look. Using a recruiter also allows you to leapfrog (or warp flute, if you will) past the pile of resumes in the human resources office. Recruiters have already made relationships with hiring managers and can put you in touch with the right person immediately. Otherwise, you might find yourself calling hiring managers just to find them perpetually away from their desk. To be honest, you can't blame them. They're surveying a pile of resumes as if it were Mt. Anguish, and there's only so much time in the day to respond to the myriad inquires the HR office gets. In short, a recruiter helps hiring managers cut to the chase.

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