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Think like interactive entertainment companies to win the war for talent

One day we might all be working for game companies. Or at least companies that use or make games to engage customers, potential employees, or both. Interactive entertainment is booming, and it’s likely that you have a favorite game on your phone, laptop, or tablet to play once you’re finished reading this.

Games are popular, but more importantly, they are big business. As companies compete for IT talent, interactive entertainment companies, or gaming companies, already have a leg up. Here are some of the things that interactive entertainment companies have going for them that help recruit new talent.

Sex appeal. A former coworker of mine is a big fan of professional wrestling. He left the company where we both worked when an opportunity to work for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) arose. A dream come true. That’s pretty hard to compete with. Gaming is the same way. Generations of young workers dream of playing and working on games all day. Why work for a boring business when you can work for companies like Big Fish, Rockstar Games, or Bungie?

Technology merge. Gaming technology previously revolved around a set number of consoles and a few platforms. Now most interactive entertainment companies aim to spread their intellectual property far and wide and touch as many platforms as possible. With many gaming companies moving toward online play, this opens (or expands) a whole new area for cloud skills, networking, and data centers. The same workers that keep ERP systems online will be needed to keep games online, and therefore could be lured away by the cutting-edge technology companies creating these games.

The “what’s next?” attitude. The video game “Mario Bros.” came out in 1983 as a spinoff of “Donkey Kong” and went on to spawn many other versions, including today’s “Super Mario Bros. and “Mario Kart.” The gaming industry is used to a fast pace where you are only as good as what you’re about to release, not what you’ve already done. This makes innovation and speed to market extremely important, which can be very attractive to IT professionals.

When you think about your company and industry, look for similar attributes that could attract potential employees. Here are three questions to help identify the right aspect to leverage:

  1. What products do you make? How are they impacting the world, entertainment, science, etc.?

  2. What is unique about your company culture? Why do you work there?

  3. What is your company’s vision? Where has the company been, and where is it going?

Today, the war for talent is now the war for individual skills. Many companies and industries are competing for the same talent, especially in IT. The more ammunition you have (in the form of some of the attractive qualities above), the better equipped you’ll be to keep key employees and find more.


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