Recruitment: the Liquid Swords Way

Let’s look inwards and talk about our recruitment process, the steps involved, what we’re looking for, and how we assess candidates. For all the insider info, we went back a final time to our TA Team and spoke with Leon, our in-house Talent Acquisition specialist.

“It’s a pretty quick process, and we’re proud of that,” he explains. We polled our followers asking how long they felt a recruitment process should take. Two to four weeks, from application to offer, was the outright winner with 57%, and we shared that our own process had averaged just 24 days in the previous five months. With that, let’s jump into how our three-step process works.

Step 1: The First Chat

If we think your CV is a good fit, you’ll have an initial high-level chat with me – how lucky for you,” Leon jokes. At this stage you’ll hear a little more about the studio, talk to our TA Team about the role and your experience, and finally cover the logistics, including a first discussion of salary. This part is over the phone or preferably a short video meeting.

Step 2: Meet the Manager

“If the first step goes well, the next step is to meet with the hiring manager, essentially the person that you’d be reporting to day-to-day,” he continues. If it’s relevant for the role, another key person at the studio might join, but this tends to be a one-on-one meeting. Again, this usually takes place on a video call, but sometimes onsite for those that live locally in the Stockholm area.

In our last article, JP set out his Six Super-Simple Interview Tips. There he explained how we use a STAR approach to help understand your skills and experience using concrete examples from real-world situations. Following the interview, the TA Team will hold a debrief with the hiring manager to help them assess your suitability, how you’d complement the team, but where you might have room to grow as well. Leon also notes, ‘We’ll have a debrief with you over the phone, to get a sense of your thoughts and how you feel about continuing in the process.”

Step 3: The Final Stage

The final stage is an onsite here at the studio, if you’re coming from further away, we’ll cover your transportation and accommodation costs – and help arrange these for you. Once you’re here, the meeting normally takes two to three hours and you’ll meet around three to five members of your new team. “This can sound a little daunting, but honestly it’s not,” Leon reassures. “We take these meetings in a very informal setting and the style is always relaxed and conversational.”

Before your visit, we’ll ask you to sign an NDA so we can show you a playable prototype of our game. This should help to give a sense of what we’re working on and how your role fits into the bigger picture. “We’ve consistently heard from our candidates that this is the part of the process that they appreciate the most and that few other studios do this,” he says. It’s also in line with our ‘show more than tell’ approach, which underpins how we communicate. After the second debrief, if it’s a ‘yes’ from all parties, the final part is to agree on the particulars: salary, start date, any relocation package, and your contract.

What else?

Aside from the job ad, there are a few extras that we’re on the lookout for at each step, which speak to the studio we’re building. “Humility is really important to us. We want you to be real, to be able to admit when you’ve been wrong in the past, and where you have room to grow,” explains Leon. “We’re a small studio, so flexibility and a willingness to shift your priorities is needed.” Communication is also equally important in this context – both in and between teams. We also love to see genuine enthusiasm and drive, these matter so much in a passion industry like video games.

And lastly, respect is our number one priority at Liquid Swords. “We’ve dropped the buzzwords, egos, and unnecessary distractions: we expect the same from you,” Leon concludes. If an egoless studio sounds good to you, then check out all our current vacancies. Not seeing a specific role that fits your profile, we still love to hear from talented people with our open application.