Recruiter Hotseat – Liz Dollin, senior HR manager at Hangar 13

Liz Dollin, senior HR manager at Hangar 13, tells us about the diverse studio and how it encourages people to be authentic and comfortable.

What differentiates your studio from other developers?

We are fortunate enough to have the benefit of a close, supporting relationship with 2K, whilst maintaining autonomy and our identity as a medium-sized games studio.

With Hangar 13 split across multiple locations, it means we have almost 30 different nationalities forming our team, allowing for great diversity at the studio. Our support teams work hard to ensure we have a culture of belonging and goodwill, where everyone feels welcome and knows they can be a part of something great.

How many staff are you currently looking to take on?

We have many open roles currently advertised on our website, ranging across all disciplines and we are looking to fill these as quickly as possible.

What perks are available to those working at the studio?

In addition to offering flexible-working hours and locations, we also have some fantastic resources and engaging activities at each of our studio locations as we know the importance of making our spaces collaborative, welcoming, and engaging.

Things such as on-site gym spaces with weekly fitness classes, and chair massages. Games rooms, cinema-style screening rooms and large communal kitchen spaces which host an array of monthly social and team building events; from Karaoke to board game nights. There are also plenty of free healthy drinks and snacks offered – not to mention an abundance of freshly ground coffee!

Another advantage of being part of 2K, is we have access to incredible benefits packages which includes full medical/dental cover, financial savings and protection packages, generous leave cover, wellbeing/fitness reimbursements, enhanced family-friendly policies, and some new additions focused on supporting neurodiversity, and menopause support.

What should aspiring devs do with their CV to get an interview?

Make sure you specifically refer to your achievements to date and what type of exposure and level of skill you have with different types of software. Tell us a bit about yourself in your opening/summary paragraph.

What advice would you give for a successful interview at your studio?

Always research the studio and our games, as well as the interviewers as it shows you have set time aside and really want the job. Have a list of questions ready to ask and be prepared to answer competency-based questions drawing on your previous experience. If you don’t have that experience, be honest and give examples of what you might do instead. Bring your authentic self.

Who is the best interviewee you have ever had and how did they impress you?

I am always impressed with candidates who are prepared, have researched the studio and the role, and bring their authentic selves to the interview. Candidates who are genuinely interested in the role and the studio, and who are passionate about what they do or what opportunities could be ahead.

… and who was the worst?

Candidates who attend interviews who don’t demonstrate a real interest in the studio and/or the role. Also, those who are unprofessional about their current/previous employers.

If you have recruited internationally, what is the process like?

We are able to offer advice on living and working at our locations and have relocation packages to help those acclimatise both financially but also practically, as we recognise that moving to another country can be daunting as well as exciting. Onboarding is really smooth and regular contact is kept via email and zoom throughout the process.

What processes do you have for onboarding staff remotely?

The same onboarding processes apply no matter where our new colleagues start from. They are given full HR, H&S, and IT inductions as well as a more detailed induction from their line manager. During probation HR remains in contact on a regular basis to ensure that new colleagues are settling in ok and have all their queries and requirements met.

How has the pandemic affected recruitment at your studio?

During and after the pandemic, we focused on virtual interviews, but where possible, we also offer safe studio tours so that candidates can see the creative spaces we have available for them when choosing to work onsite. One of our challenges is the market being more competitive with most companies offering the same flexible working opportunities as us, such as remote or hybrid working; and whilst it means we can hire more easily from outside of the UK, it also means that we are competing for talent on a larger, global scale than before.

What is the culture like at your studio?

We’re inclusive, friendly, collaborative, supportive and exciting.

About Vince Pavey

Vince is a writer from the North-East of England who has worked on comics for The Beano and Doctor Who. He likes to play video games and eat good food. Sometimes he does both at the same time, but he probably shouldn’t.

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