Lo­ca­tion: Ham­burg, Ger­many Meet the Ger­man F2P de­vel­oper look­ing out for game de­vel­op­ment talent

EDGE - - TIME EXTEND - CHRISTOPH HILLER­MANN Team lead HR busi­ness part­ner


Ham­burg-based stu­dio InnoGames has made a name for it­self by cre­at­ing, among other things, hard­core strat­egy games for browsers and mo­bile de­vices. Tribal Wars and Forge Of Em­pires have en­joyed suc­cess, and the com­pany’s port­fo­lio can claim over 110 mil­lion reg­is­tered play­ers. We spend some time with re­cruit­ment team leader Christoph Hiller­mann to find out what his com­pany looks for in grad­u­ate ap­pli­cants.

Have you no­ticed any changes in grad­u­ates’ ex­pec­ta­tions in re­cent years?

I think there have been changes. To­day’s grad­u­ates are more self-con­fi­dent and there­fore have very con­crete ex­pec­ta­tions of what the com­pany or job should of­fer. That cor­re­lates with the stronger need of com­pa­nies for spe­cific qual­i­fi­ca­tions. Very of­ten, [grad­u­ates] are not only look­ing for a job to earn money for a liv­ing, but they still want free­dom, room for cre­ativ­ity… and an open work­ing at­mos­phere.

Given all that, do you look for any­thing dif­fer­ent in grad­u­ate em­ploy­ees to­day than you used to?

Since we’re not yet an old, es­tab­lished com­pany, per­haps we haven’t changed that much. But al­though they’re im­por­tant, of course, we still look for more than just the best grades! We want can­di­dates who re­ally have the pas­sion for our prod­ucts, and who have al­ready shown their in­ter­est in a spe­cific field in their spare time or as a hobby by pro­gram­ming their own app or sim­ple game, for ex­am­ple. And aside from their tech­ni­cal and pro­fes­sional know-how, we be­lieve that a per­sonal com­pat­i­bil­ity with the team and/or the com­pany is ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial.

What do you think it takes to make a suc­cess­ful so­cial game?

First, you need a good idea and good people who are able to put that idea into oper­a­tion… But, as I said be­fore, it might be more im­por­tant for us to find people who iden­tify with the prod­uct to a very strong de­gree in the fu­ture, and who bring lots of love for de­tail in ad­di­tion to their tech­ni­cal skills. If any­thing, clas­si­cal game de­vel­op­ment and the way on­line or free-to-play games are made will be­come more sim­i­lar, and for both you need ded­i­cated people.

Do you of­fer any form of work ex­pe­ri­ence for stu­dents?

We are cur­rently of­fer­ing many dif­fer­ent forms of work ex­pe­ri­ence, in­clud­ing in­tern­ships, dual study pro­grams in var­i­ous fields, mon­i­tor­ing mas­ter de­grees and also the clas­si­cal ap­pren­tice­ship. We are al­ways look­ing for tal­ented ju­niors and grad­u­ates, and for this pur­pose we usu­ally pre­fer grad­u­ates who have some prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence in the form of in­tern­ships.

Does InnoGames work closely with uni­ver­si­ties, then?

Yes, we are work­ing very closely with five uni­ver­si­ties in dif­fer­ent fields, most of them lo­cated in Ger­many. We be­lieve that it’s very im­por­tant to keep an eye on young aca­demics and, of course, we hope to grab the best di­rectly from [ed­u­ca­tion]. We’re ba­si­cally in the start­ing phase of these part­ner­ships, and plan­ning to ex­pand our col­lab­o­ra­tion in fu­ture.

“We pre­fer pro­grammes that trans­fer a huge amount of prac­ti­cal knowl­edge and don’t mainly fo­cus on the­ory,” Hiller­mann says, while em­pha­sis­ing the im­por­tance of lec­tur­ers hav­ing real in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­ence

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