The entertainment industry has experienced a significant shift toward online gaming and live-streaming platforms in recent years.
Yet, this growth goes hand in hand with challenges. Despite the series of layoffs that recently hit the tech industry, gamedev and live-streaming companies are still seeking tech experts and so the competition for talent remains high. Success in this race largely depends on adopting new HR strategies to attract and retain tech talent.
In this article, we’ll explore talent acquisition and retention strategies that companies can use to hire tech professionals. But first, let’s consider what’s happening in the entertainment job market.
The current state of the job market in the entertainment industry
Inflation and the threat of a recession have pushed many companies, including giants like Riot Games, Twitch, Playtika, Electronic Arts, and Unity, to lay off thousands of their employees. But despite these job cuts, the GameDev market is still growing steadily. For instance, more Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) companies are expected to expand their portfolios into gaming, either through IP deals or acquisitions.
This growth suggests many companies are actively seeking tech experts to keep up with the competition. But it’s not quite that easy. In the new CodinGame survey, more than half of the respondents (56.44%) indicated that finding qualified candidates was one of the top hiring challenges in 2022. For the gaming and live-streaming industries, this talent shortage has many implications, including difficulty competing and innovating, higher costs, and losing revenue.
With skilled tech experts in high demand, around 50% of developers are considering job hopping, and a competitive salary is their top motivator. At the same time, many companies have a lower hiring budget than they did in 2022, which makes finding qualified developers even more difficult. But that’s not the only challenge companies face today.
Let’s dive deep and explore the challenges companies meet when looking for live-streaming and gamedev talents.
Hiring challenges for gamedev and live-streaming companies
To survive the competition, gamedev and live-streaming companies need to evolve their products and, logically, attract an experienced workforce to support their plans. Let’s look at the recruiting roadblocks these industries face in 2023.
Finding the right talent
Gamedev and live-streaming companies need highly skilled and specialized talent, including gameplay designers, developers, DevOps engineers, and architects. For instance, many companies in the UK game industry are now looking for experts with multiple shipped games under their belt, which largely corresponds to middle or senior roles. The necessity to combine technical expertise, industry experience, and creativity makes it challenging to find candidates with the right balance of skills.
Plus, the intense competition in the gamedev and live-streaming markets forces companies to constantly upgrade their products and services to compete for attention, watching time, and revenue. This means they need to adopt emerging technologies. Finding tech professionals with expertise in these technologies isn’t an easy task because there aren’t many of them in the market in general, and even fewer are open to new job opportunities.
Competition for tech experts
The competition for tech talent in the gamedev and live-streaming sectors is extreme since many companies are looking in the same pool. For instance, cloud gaming is on the rise, and so the need for vetted cloud experts is growing. Meanwhile, a recent study shows there are more tech leaders who want to launch cloud development projects (75%) than developers with extensive cloud experience (8%).
In addition to cloud experts, there is also a shortage of skilled professionals in other areas, such as machine learning, data analytics, and cybersecurity. These skills are essential for gamedev and live-streaming companies since they heavily rely on emerging technologies and data protection to create a decent user experience and, thus, grow their user bases.
But gamedev and live-streaming industries aren’t the only entertainment sectors that need an experienced tech workforce. With the social media market growing by 19.4% in just a year, the demand for tech talents there is also growing, making the competition inside the industry even more intense.
Lack of diversity
The game industry has faced criticism for its lack of diversity in gender and ethnicity. The latest report on industry demographics by The International Game Developers Association has shown that the sector is dominated by white (67%) and male (61%) people.
This situation is just slightly better when it comes to live-streaming platforms. For instance, video-streaming giant Twitch has a workforce that is 25.9% female and 39.5% ethnic minorities.
Why does a lack of diversity and inclusion present a hiring challenge? Companies that don’t acknowledge the need to employ people across genders, ages, and backgrounds limit their choices which makes it even more difficult to find qualified candidates.
Limited experience in hiring from new markets
With cost control being one of the biggest challenges for streaming companies, turning to remote markets where the cost of living is much lower than in the US, UK, Canada, or Switzerland is a great option to fill in tech gaps.
Yet, the lack of experience in recruiting foreign specialists may become a roadblock to building successful partnerships. Varying taxation laws, certifications, work visas, and cultural differences are among the top hurdles companies may face when they have limited or no experience in international hiring.
Now that you understand the challenges that may stand in your way, let’s find out how to attract experts with matching values and the right tech expertise.
Tips for attracting and retaining top tech experts
As we’ve shown, the competition for tech talent remains high, and, to compete, your company needs to have the right talent acquisition and retention strategies in place. Here are several tips that can help you build better hiring processes.
Offering remote working options
Today, 86% of software developers are working entirely remotely and many of them don’t plan to go back to office-based work. Offering remote working options has already become a new norm for the gamedev or live-streaming industry.
For instance, a gamedev studio, Unknown Worlds, has successfully transitioned to being fully remote and distributed. Another example is Twitch, a popular streaming platform. It offers a flexible work schedule and allows its employees to work from home or the office as they see fit.
Offering the remote work option increases your chances of finding a tech expert with the right skill set since it helps to attract experienced individuals who don’t like office routines or aren’t able to relocate.
Reaching overseas markets with proven tech expertise
Economic recession influences companies’ budgets, and talent acquisition budget falls under this. Recruiting developers in the global talent market, for example, from Eastern Europe, Latin America, Transcaucasia, or the MENA region, can help you fill that tech gap at a reasonable price. For instance, an average game developer's salary in the US ranges from $80K to $127K per year, not to mention a considerable benefits package, while a game expert from Poland usually earns from $40K to $49K per annum.
Plus, looking for tech experts in other regions gives you access to a wider pool of talent, which means you’ll be able to find a suitable candidate even if there are few experts with the required skills in your location.
Building a strong employer branding
Nowadays, employees want to work at companies that share meaningful and purpose-driven missions which connect with their personal values. Showcasing a company’s culture and values can help organizations build strong employer branding and attract talents who share their values and feel motivated by their goals.
Recruiting is one of the essential parts of this brand building because it’s the first thing your candidates encounter. So make sure there are no flaws in this process that can undermine your company’s reputation. The best way to achieve this is to hire professional recruiters who know how to ensure a delightful candidate experience.
The PwC Global Workforce survey shows that transparency can help companies build trust within their workforce. Plus, when companies are transparent about their goals and strategies, employees understand their contribution to achieving those goals and feel a sense of pride in what they do.
So if you want to improve employee retention, make sure there is an atmosphere of openness at your gamedev or live-streaming organization. A prominent example of radical transparency is Netflix. The company employs a tactic known as "sunshining," where all decision-making processes are public, and employees can openly express their ideas. As a result, Netflix gained an A+ rating for retention, meaning it has better retention than 95% of similar companies.
Fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
Gamedev and live-streaming companies should promote an inclusive and welcoming environment to attract candidates from underrepresented groups. To prioritize DEI in hiring, companies should consider implementing various practices such as:
- Establishing diverse hiring teams by bringing in individuals with different viewpoints and life experiences
- Using blind hiring methods by removing identifying information — such as a candidate's name, gender, age, ethnicity, or educational background — from a job application and resume to reduce biases in the hiring process
- Attracting candidates from diverse locations and backgrounds by creating a hiring process that is inclusive and welcoming to a broad range of candidates
For example, in just a few years, the predominantly male company Riot Games has adjusted to having women in 21.5% of its leadership roles and 25.8% of its overall team. According to Riot’s report, fostering a diversity and inclusion environment helps them deliver innovative experiences and to achieve their aim of being the most player-focused game company globally.
Providing growth opportunities
A recent study shows that 47% of tech experts are considering quitting their job to enhance their skills. To keep their tech talents aboard, gamedev and live-streaming companies can offer the following career development initiatives:
- Training programs and workshops to help employees develop new skills and enhance their existing ones
- Mentoring initiatives by pairing employees with more experienced colleagues who can offer guidance and support
- Cross-functional collaboration by creating opportunities for employees to work on projects outside of their immediate team or department
- Growth opportunities to help employees plan and achieve their career goals within the organization
In addition to providing resources for career development, companies should work on building a supportive culture to help your tech talents feel valued.
While all these HR strategies can help you attract and retain top tech experts, sometimes it’s not easy to manage all these processes on your own. Hiring organizations specializing in sourcing and vetting developers, like Indigo Tech Recruiters, can help expand options and find gamedev and live-streaming talents who share your values and possess the right skills.
How we help gamedev and live-streaming companies find a perfect tech talent fit
We, at Indigo Tech Recruiters, have 15 years of experience in global hiring and have a talent database of over 300,000 middle- to C-level specialists. We can provide personalized assistance in identifying, attracting, and recruiting gamedev and live-streaming talents who meet all your requirements.
Here are a few examples of how we helped gamedev and live-streaming companies find the right tech talent fit.
- We hired 13 people for Livestream, which was soon acquired by Vimeo. Vimeo was impressed with our work, so our recruiters hired eight more people and were also in charge of hiring the Lead Product Manager in New York.
- Jam City, a game development company, needed to quickly expand its team by ten designers, yet their salary budget was limited. Our recruiters found Jam City the right experts on the agreed terms, which made it possible to release their game on time.
- We helped US gaming company Tilting Point to find five senior Scala developers and data engineers to develop their game. We discussed all the requirements and found the right candidates who easily fit into the team.
You can learn more about how Indigo Tech Experts work and check more testimonials on our website.
Gamedev and live-streaming platforms have seen a significant surge in popularity. This creates a constant demand for talented tech professionals despite the massive layoffs which hit the tech industry at the beginning of 2023. Yet, a global talent shortage, competition from other entertainment sectors, and rising candidate expectations present challenges to gaming and streaming companies trying to attract and retain top tech talent.
An experienced hiring agency, Indigo Tech Recruiters can help you find and recruit suitable live-streaming and gamedev talents who share your values and can lead your company to success. Our recruiters specialize in international hiring and can help you overcome any hiring challenges and find qualified candidates for your team. Contact us, and we’ll discuss your request!