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7th Feb 2022

Hitmarker releases findings from its first ever candidate report

Making the job search easier for people in the games industry is a core mission of ours. Everything we do on our website reflects that, from the curated jobs feed to the library of advice and resources available. We want to make the job search smoother and better for everyone, and with our first ever report on candidate preferences in the games industry we believe that we’ve taken a significant step towards that.

In 2021, we produced a survey that asked people about their likes and dislikes when job seeking. 632 participants spent a total of 191 hours responding to the survey, helping us build an image of how recruitment in the games industry currently is and how it should be improved. We analyzed how the responses changed between different demographics, genders, and experience levels, which gave way to some really revealing insights.

KEY FINDINGS:

  • Only 30.5% of candidates write a unique cover letter for each job.

  • 84.4% of candidates rate answering job-specific questions as preferable to submitting a traditional cover letter.

  • Automated interview rounds are largely disliked by candidates, with underrepresented groups feeling the most uncomfortable in these settings.

  • 70.9% of candidates with at least three years of experience describe salary information as very important. This rises to 84% among underrepresented groups in the same category.

  • 40.8% of all candidates view gender-neutral job descriptions as very important, with this number rising dramatically among underrepresented groups and non-binary people in particular.

  • The number one challenge that candidates face when job seeking is a lack of feedback, followed by a lack of entry-level jobs, and then by a lack of salary information.

You can view and download the report for free here, or continue reading for an overview of its findings.

SECTION #1: CANDIDATE PREFERENCES IN THE JOB DESCRIPTION

Benefits

All candidates:

  • While 37.5% of all candidates found including company benefits in the job description to be very important, this rose to 45.8% among cisgender women and 52.6% for BIPOC individuals.

Candidates with full time jobs and over three years of experience:

  • Experienced candidates value benefit information even more. 51.9% of all participants with full time jobs and at least three years of experience found benefit information to be very important, which rose again among BIPOC candidates to 58.8% and cisgender women to 66.7%.

Key takeaways:

  • Benefit information becomes 14.4% more important for candidates with at least three years of experience.

  • Across the groups we looked at, cisgender women and BIPOC individuals valued transparent benefit information the most.

Culture

All candidates:

  • Only 33.7% of cisgender men said that defining a company’s culture in a job description was very important, compared to 45.9% of BIPOC candidates, 43.1% of candidates with disabilities, and 41.7% of cisgender women.

Candidates with full time jobs and over three years of experience:

  • 45.6% of candidates with at least three years of experience rated company culture as very important. This increased to 52.9% for BIPOC individuals and 61.5% for people with disabilities. In fact, after excluding the industry’s most represented group, white cisgender men, this rose to a massive 68% with only a single response for company culture being somewhat not important.

Key takeaway:

  • Company culture information is most significant to groups that haven’t historically been well represented in the games industry.

Location

All candidates:

  • 67.9% of candidates rated location as very important compared to 72.4% of those with disabilities.

Candidates with full time jobs and over three years of experience:

  • 64.6% of candidates considered information about the job location to be very important. Once again, when we look only at people with disabilities, this figure jumps to 76.9%.

Key takeaway:

  • Being clear about your place of work, specifically regarding remote options and flexible hours, makes for a better candidate experience and increases the relevancy of applications.

Progression

All candidates:

  • Over 70% of all candidates indicated that progression information is at least important to them, with 34.5% finding it very important.

Candidates with full time jobs and over three years of experience:

  • Progression information was very important to 39.2% of candidates with a full time job and over three years of experience, a slight raise from 34.5% when looking at all candidates.

  • Among more experienced candidates, 44.4% of cisgender women and 58.8% of BIPOC candidates found progression information to be very important, compared to 38% of cisgender men.

Key takeaway:

  • Women and BIPOC aren’t proportionately represented in senior roles in the industry. Being clear and transparent about role progression in the job description could help drive more people from underrepresented groups into senior positions.

Salary

All candidates:

  • 56.7% of all cisgender men said that salary information was very important to them, compared to 66.7% of cisgender women and 68.1% of transgender people.

Candidates with full time jobs and over three years of experience:

  • 70.9% of experienced candidates considered salary information to be very important. This jumped to a massive 84% when looking at all groups except cisgender men.

Key takeaway:

  • Adding salary information to your job adverts is one of the easiest steps you can take to appeal to a wider, more diverse audience.

Gender-neutral language

All candidates:

  • Only 40.8% of all candidates rated gender-neutral job descriptions as very important. This figure dropped to 31.9% among cisgender men, compared to 52.1% with cisgender women, 55.3% with people with a disability, and 73.3% with non-binary participants.

Candidates with full time jobs and over three years of experience:

  • 39.2% of experienced candidates considered gender-neutral job descriptions to be very important. Without the industry’s most represented group, cisgender men, the percentage rose to 48% with only one (4%) answer for anything below somewhat important (compared to 18% with cisgender men included).

  • 53.8% of candidates with a disability and 52.9% of BIPOC individuals rated gender-neutral job descriptions as very important.

Key takeaway:

  • Using gender-neutral language in your job posts makes them much more accessible to underrepresented groups, especially non-binary people.

SECTION #2: CANDIDATE PREFERENCES IN THE APPLICATION PROCESS

Cover letter

All candidates:

  • Only 30.5% of candidates said that they write a new cover letter for each job. This rose to 37.5% among cisgender women and 43.3% among non-binary respondents, whilst dropping to 27.2% among cisgender men.

Candidates with full time jobs and over three years of experience:

  • While experienced candidates write unique cover letters more regularly, it’s a narrow margin. 34.2% of respondents with full time jobs and at least three years of experience in games said that they write a new cover letter for each application.

  • 28% of cisgender men in this group answered that they always write a unique cover letter compared to 55.6% of cisgender women, 35.3% of BIPOC candidates, and 46.2% of people with disabilities.

Key takeaway:

  • The least represented groups in the industry tend to put more effort into their cover letters than cisgender men.

Job-specific questions

All candidates:

  • An enormous 84.4% of all candidates said that job-specific questions were preferable to cover letters, showing that there’s massive desire for change in this area.

Candidates with full time jobs and over three years of experience:

  • This number rose very marginally to 84.8% of experienced candidates saying that job-specific questions would be preferable to a traditional cover letter. No matter their seniority, candidates are tired of submitting cover letters that don’t necessarily represent their skill fit for a job.

Key takeaway:

  • Using job-specific questions instead of cover letters can increase the relevancy of your candidate pool and is strongly wished for. They also make your process less biased against candidates with disabilities and non-native speakers.

Automated first interviews

All candidates:

  • While 20.1% of candidates were somewhat comfortable with automated interviews, 19.5% were very uncomfortable with them.

  • Automated interviews are especially uncomfortable for some groups. 46.7% of non-binary candidates rated it as very uncomfortable followed by 26.4% of transgender candidates, 23.6% of cisgender women, and 22.8% of people with disabilities. This is compared to 14.9% of cisgender men.

Candidates with full time jobs and over three years of experience:

  • 22.8% of experienced candidates were very uncomfortable with automated first stages, while a further 20.3% were uncomfortable.

  • Among cisgender men in this group, 20% were very uncomfortable with automated interviews compared to 38.5% of people with disabilities and 27.8% of cisgender women.

Key takeaway:

  • Automated first interviews are generally disliked and don’t provide a quality candidate experience, in addition to decreasing the size of your candidate pool and lowering its diversity.

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To read the full 26-page report, click here.