Location: Hamburg, Germany Meet the German F2P developer looking out for game development talent
“WE USUALLY PREFER GRADUATES WHO HAVE SOME PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE IN THE FORM OF INTERNSHIPS”
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