Climax is opening its doors to fresh talent. Here’s Stuart Godfrey on what to expect and why he wants to hear from you
[This feature was published in the September 2013 edition of Develop magazine, which is available through your browser and on iPad.]
Name: Stuart Godfrey
Title: Recruitment Manager
Developer: Climax Studios
What differentiates Climax from other developers?
We have a proven and hugely creative team that have a great handle on leading-edge gaming technology that truly love what they do. We actively encourage our staff to have a voice and to contribute ideas. From the most junior of our designers to one of our senior artists, if they have something to say of value then they are listened to. It’s key to us that they have ownership of what they do. No one is a cog in a machine at Climax Studios – we are a meritocracy where everyone is encouraged to give their ideas and suggestions. Our 12,000 square feet, open plan, state of the art studio is home to well over a 100 staff across all disciplines. We enjoy a very friendly and relaxed but professional working environment.
How many staff are you currently looking to take on?
We are looking for numerous folk across most of the disciplines at present. There are some truly exceptional opportunities currently available in the coding team for programmers of all levels. We are also on the look out for some very creative and talented special effects artists. Another cracking opportunity that has just opened up is for a user interface artist with an exceptional eye for detail with a strong technical background. A look at our brand new website www.climaxstudios.com will give you an excellent idea of what we are currently hiring for and all the relevant details.
We can be found at pretty much all of the games and media industry shows, at home and abroad. We also make great efforts to attend as many graduate and university events as possible; so come and seek us out, as we are always happy to meet with and talk with anyone interested in working with us.
As part of our continued proactive approach to recruitment, September will see us embarking on a multi-city tour of Europe. With the assistance of some of our bilingual staff, we have arranged meet ups and presentations in a number of cities known for their nurturing of video games development talent. We will begin with a pop-up presentation in Rome, from there we will head over to Spain where we have arranged a days of talks and introductions at the University of Madrid before heading on to Portugal, Greece and finally on to Bulgaria and Romania. We have found increasingly that there is some exceptional talent to be found in these countries and felt it made perfect sense to target these exciting markets head on.
What perks or privileges are available to staff at the studio?
Work-wise, by being an independent studio we are not tied to any kind of project and the positive side to this is that we can work on any platform. And not just on any platform but with any technology. We have an excellent and proven team who are all top of their fields. New staff will be able to learn from and have the opportunity to be trained by the best. And because of our incredible team we are able to win first-class projects with a fantastic variety. As a member of Climax Studios, you will be able to get involved in all kinds of projects on many platforms and in many genres. Which in turn offers all our staff the perfect opportunity to constantly challenge themselves and expand their skill bases.
In terms of employment perks, we offer highly competitive salaries and extensive benefits that include private health care cover, a fruit bar, an excellent holiday package, flexi time, subsidised gym memberships, a Gunwharf Quays discount shopping card and the ever popular Beer Fridays. This all comes with the added bonus of our stunning harbour-side location with sea views across the Solent.
What should aspiring developers do with their CV to get to an interview?
Keep it clean, concise and simple, clearly listing out your skills and aspirations. Where possible, make sure your passion for games and all things development flows through your CV. Direct applicants always get priority as it shows us that they are targeting the job role that they wish to secure. Once the applicant has submitted their CV, it’s always good practice to follow this up with an email or a telephone call to ensure the studio has everything they need from them to consider their application fully.
Who is the best interviewee you have ever had?
Without doubt it was a young character artist we met at a university showcase. Her passion and drive to get into the industry really left a mark on me. We kept in touch all through her studies and when she returned to her home country. When we had a position open up, I got back in touch, we interviewed her and shortly after she was offered the job. She went on to become a lead artist within the studio.
And who was the worst?
The very few who fail to turn up to their interviews.
What advice would you give jobseekers for a successful interview at Climax?
Research, research and research. Be prepared and make sure you get across to the company what you want to do and try and be as confident and as passionate as you can. If you are an artist or an animator, bring in your show reel, portfolio and sketchbooks. Designers should come prepared with examples of their work – running in engine, videos and any relevant documents. And finally, coders should bring along any demos or code samples they feel highlight their skills.
If your studio has recruited talent internationally, what was the process like for your studio and for the applicant?
We have been recruiting international talent successfully for many years now and have the process down to a fine art. It’s quite a complex and often daunting procedure; however we work hard with the candidates and advise them on all of the required form filling, document checks as well as offering advice on the most effective way for them to work with the Home Office on ensuring a successful application.
International candidates should always make sure that the company they are approaching has a Sponsor License and an A-rating, so they are able to issue Certificates of Sponsorship, which is the key factor when securing a UK work permit. This can be done by simply searching on the Home Office Register of Sponsors.
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