Recruiter Hot Seat: EA DICE

Recruiter Hot Seat: EA DICE
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

May 2nd 2013 at 10:00AM

DICE head of recruitment Fredrik Johnsson explains what the studio has to offer developers

[This feature was published in the April edition of Develop magazine, which is available through your browser and on iPad.]

BIO
Name: Fredrik Johnsson
Title: Head of Recruitment
www.dice.se

What differentiates DICE from other development studios?
DICE is a strong institution in the Swedish gaming industry with more than 20 years of experience creating games appealing to a big audience; the main titles being the entire Battlefield series, with Battlefield 3 and its five comprehensive DLCs as the latest instalment.

The game has sold more than 18 million copies and has won an extensive amount of awards (130-plus), topped by three BAFTAs from 2011: Audio Achievement, Online Multiplayer, as well as the GAME Award of 2011.

Our employees are passionate gamers who strive for innovation and extraordinary quality; this is reflected in these awards.

Being located on the waterfront of Stockholm, the location of the office is definitely one of the best in Sweden’s capital, with a stunning view over the city centre. While also hosting the team behind the Frostbite engine, the office also supports several EA studios around the world and hence creates the opportunity to be involved in several different game franchises across the company.

How many staff are you currently looking to take on?
DICE is currently looking to hire an additional 60 people to the games development team and the Frostbite team. A significant amount of these positions are to be filled by talented C++ programmers, but there are also several positions within art as well as additional designers, QA and marketing.

At times we’re also able to offer internships within different areas and as of now we’re looking for someone who can do their Master thesis within VR Technology in Games. More info can be found at www.dice.se where we always update our current open roles.

What perks or privileges are available to staff working at your development studio?
Being part of DICE means being part of a studio that strives to build excellent games using the latest technology – that is being developed within the studio. It also means being part of a very dedicated group of people from which you can learn a lot.

Gathering the very best people in the world from various fields and relocating them to us brings us that benefit, and I think many of our employees or former employees would mention DICE as a very creative and inspiring environment that helped them taking it to the next step of their respectively career.

At DICE, we have an extensive package including benefits such as a solid pension plan, a five-plus week vacation annually and a generous bonus system.

What should aspiring developers do with their CV to get to an interview?
You need to show what you are capable of creating. When screening people, you can only evaluate what you can access. Put your code or portfolio online or send it to us. We receive a lot of applications and to somehow stand out and be seen is not always easy. The best advice though is to create content. Develop something that is beneficial to your area of expertise. Content is king.

Who is the best interviewee you have ever had and how did they impress you?
I would say candidates in general that prove themselves very dedicated in the specific role they are interviewed for and can back it up with the appropriate experience.

Then, of course, candidates with a lot of experience, telling us about their journey within the industry are always inspiring to listen to. We have many of those here at DICE among our senior employees and it is always a joy to see a young, dedicated person join the company and years later become a part of the senior leadership team.

And who was the worst?
Not to mention anyone specific, but to come unprepared to an interview is never a good move. Interviewing candidates with an obvious hangover kind of makes you think about how interested they really are in the opportunity. Talking very negatively about their former employer can sometimes backfire also.

What advice would you give for a successful interview?
The utmost important thing to point out is that every candidate should arrive prepared in any ways possible, whether it’s by playing Battlefield 3, reading up on DICE and our games or by being confident in talking about the role that they’re being interviewed for and what’s led to the fact that they’re being interviewed. It’s as beneficial to the interviewer as it is to the interviewee.

If your studio has recruited talent internationally, what was the process like?
We do relocate talent on a regular basis. It is pretty much the same kind of process as for locally based candidates. Our testing and interviews are not separating candidates in any way based on where they are from.

I think it is important to consider all things related to a move to a new country. In our experience, a relocated employee is much more likely to feel at home in Sweden if the whole family found its place – meaning finding a good housing solution, daycare and so on. It is easy to sometimes only look at the job itself, but we always encourage candidates to consider the opportunity carefully with their family.

To read our other recruitment spotlight's from studios looking to hire, visit our archive