Smooth relocation of international game talent

Nordic game studios discussed the relocation practices in the gaming industry in a Nordic Game Talents panel discussion.

Nordic Game Talents, an online event dedicated to recruitment and career-building in the games industry, was held on 27.-29. October. The event brought together leading Nordic game studios as well as talents from around the world. Finland Relocation Services participated in the event as a partner.

Marina Velikova from FRS hosted a panel discussion “Smooth relocation of international talent to the Nordics” at the event. The panelists, John Nylund from Next Games, Linh Pham from Rovio, and Natalie Mellin from Resolution Games, discussed the relocation aspects to the Nordics for game industry professionals from abroad in the current circumstances.

Game studios recruit internationally – even during the pandemic

In all three game studios, a significant proportion – even 70% – of new employees are recruited from abroad. Surprisingly, the share of international recruitments has further increased during the coronavirus pandemic. A possible reason was thought to be that the exceptional situation has made people more open-minded to look at alternatives.

More on this topic: Global talent is moving to Finland

The recruitment process is similar, whether the candidate is foreign or local; with the pandemic, interviews have been conducted remotely for locals as well. It is still considered important in companies that the candidate can get to know the country in advance.

In some cases, the pandemic has made the international recruitment processes slower, as embassies in some countries have been closed. This has made timetables and potential starting dates more unsure, and sometimes the new hires have started the work remotely. Panelists say the main thing is clarity towards the candidate, explaining what is going to happen and what is required from them. You need to keep a close eye on travel restrictions, as they may change from the day when the offer is signed to the day the employee is moving. Relocation consultants have close communication with the relocating employees and keep them informed about the changing situations, so they keep calm and know how the situation is.

Supporting relocation

The panelists agree that the smooth relocation process is important, and all three companies offer the services of a relocation company to their relocating employees. They think the help of a relocation company is especially important in the immigration process and in home search.

“We work with FRS, that’s been a great support. Candidates appreciate that there is someone who explains what’s the paperwork, what’s the schedule, and supports the process, temporary housing, finding apartment, bank account etc.” says John Nylund from Next Games.

In addition to relocation services, companies support the new hires by ensuring a smooth start to work and by organizing language training, events, and hobbies. Moving abroad is a big step for an employee, and the more it can be supported, the better the employee experience.

Information to support decision making

Throughout the relocation process, it is important that the applicant receives sufficiently reliable information about both the process and the country. Before deciding to accept a job offer, the candidate is provided with information on the culture of the country, the cost of living, etc. An example of key information is the general level of English in the country; In the Nordic countries, knowing the local language is usually not necessary, which makes everyday life easier. The companies also connect the candidates with people who have relocated earlier, preferably from the same country. According to the panelists, it is important that the candidate has context for the offer, so they understand what it actually means to them.

The importance of family members

All panelists mentioned the great importance of family members in the relocation decision, and companies support the relocation not only of the employee but also of their family. This includes, for example, children’s school and kindergarten arrangements and supporting the spouse in job search. Inviting spouses to language training and workplace events also helps them create networks in the target country. Networking and social integration are considered important for the employee as well; the employee experience depends also on the people around them, not only the job.