"Previously, the focus was on the numerical growth of teams, now it's on relocation packages," Marina Lopatina from WN Talents In Games about the main thing for 2022

We continue the series of interviews in which we summarize the results of the year together with experts and top managers of the gaming industry (and related ones). This time we talked with Marina Lopatina, Director of business development of the recruiting agency WN Talents In Games.

What was the year like for you personally?

The year, I think, like many, was a test of strength, flexibility and speed.

The phrase “Save and multiply!” turned out to be the main slogan for me in all spheres of life.

What was the year like for the recruitment agency? What have you done that I would like to highlight in terms of achievements in general?

1. We have reached the international level

Access to other jurisdictions has always been in our plans. This was due to both business interests and demand (we were regularly contacted by specialists with a request for employment abroad).

The current geopolitical situation this year has not changed our plans. On the contrary, against the background of a significant decline in recruitment in Russia, we stopped shelving them and focused our efforts on the international market.

2. Held eight events for HR specialists and top managers (mainly abroad and in English)

We wanted to hold the first foreign HR breakfast in Berlin back in 2020. Then, because of the pandemic, it was not possible to do this. As a result, it took place two years later in Istanbul.

In addition to HR breakfasts abroad, we have also started holding closed round tables for founders and senior management of gaming companies within the framework of the WN Conference in different cities and countries.

In just 12 months, we managed to hold eight events of various formats. These are breakfasts, tables, and we had a big HR Conference. Most of the events were held in English in the MENA region.

3. Conducted one large salary study and completed several customized analytical reports

While some companies have been making cuts this year, others have been working to retain employees, for example, they planned to raise salaries. For such companies, we have prepared several analytical reports on the situation on the labor market and the level of salaries during the reporting period.

Also, against the background of the mass relocation of domestic IT specialists, we conducted a study on the salary level of employees of gaming companies in Cyprus. The results of the study were announced at the WN Conference Cyprus 2022.

What trends do you see today in the personnel market in the gaming industry?

Budgets are being redistributed. Previously, the focus was on the numerical growth of teams, now it is on relocation packages. Companies today prefer to retain and transport their employees rather than increase staff.

But the latter, of course, is at best, since another obvious trend is the closure of legal entities in Russia by gaming companies and significant reductions (often entire departments). As a rule, creative teams, corporate events departments, as well as those responsible for PR are the first to fall under the knife.

At the same time, there is an increase in demand for business development managers and sales managers with fluent English. Here, by the way, there is nothing surprising: once domestic businesses today are beginning to position themselves in high-quality foreign companies far from only legally. Accordingly, they need strong employees to promote, to build a brand in such a way that, if possible, it is not connected with Russia at all.

And although such positions as developer, art lead, game designer, producer are still relevant for companies (there was an increased demand for the last two professions in the summer), many of them are already starting to look for them abroad.

What are the recruitment agency’s plans for next year?

To increase the number of international clients, to keep current ones, as well as to grow expertise (including in the international personnel market).

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