With the meteoric rise of the esports industry comes a growing demand for skilled and driven people. With such a proliferation of jobs across the globe – including, at one point, 1000 concurrent postings on HitmarkerJobs – the job market has reached a scale that poses new challenges for employers and workers alike.
Cam Brierley, Content Lead at HitmarkerJobs sat down with Esports Insider to share his story, how HitmarkerJobs has scaled up to match the industry’s demands, and what employers are looking for in today’s job market.
Esports Insider: Could you briefly tell us a bit about yourself and how HitmarkerJobs got off the ground?
Cam Brierley: I’m the Content Lead at HitmarkerJobs. What that means is that I handle our website content – the jobs we post, our career advice section and our blog. I also run our social media channels on a day-to-day basis and work on the growth of the platform.
I joined the company in April 2018 after doing freelance writing in esports for around two years prior to that, and running some of my own websites I made to widen my skill set. However, HitmarkerJobs began in May 2017 as a passion project. Our founder, Phil Huggan, spotted how there wasn’t one centralized place to find careers in esports, so set about building HitmarkerJobs.
He and a group of close friends maintained the platform in their own time until November 2017, when Phil’s brother, Rich, our Managing Director, joined the company and it was decided that they’d commit to HitmarkerJobs fully.
They rented an office in Newcastle upon Tyne, England which is where we’re still based. The company was self-funded and ran at a loss until January this year, so it took some time to get off the ground and to where it is now as the only complete collection of esports jobs. Our key was and is consistency: we post jobs every day of the week, week in week out, and have a Twitter schedule that never stops. This meant we were pulling seven-day weeks for well over a year until we hired a freelancer to cover weekends for us, so it’s certainly been a process! But we’re all passionate and believe in HitmarkerJobs as a brand, so it’s something we’re happy to do.
“As the industry grows and more opportunities open up, we grow alongside it”
ESI: It seems to be that you’re fielding more and more positions around the world at an ever-growing rate. Have you found there are any particular trends shaping the hiring process and the industry landscape more broadly?
CB: With so many companies wanting to have at least some presence in esports, the jobs advertised really do start to add up. Non-endemic companies testing the waters combined with funded startups and industry veterans means there’s jobs coming from all over the place.
As for what these trends are, it’s hard to pin this down to one thing in particular. The nature of our platform means that as the industry grows and more opportunities open up, we grow alongside it. It’s also worth noting that we’ve become a lot more adept at finding opportunities and attracting companies to post them with us than when we started, which has certainly contributed to the increase in careers available.
ESI: You conducted a recent Twitter Poll asking the question “Have you ever been interviewed for an esports job?” The results turned out that just over half of voters have never had an interview. While the results are not definitive and the sample size was small, what do you think are the main contributors to this?
CB: Correct, we had 770 people vote, with 53% saying they had never been interviewed for an esports job, and 47% saying they had been. It’s a good question, as we hear people who might apply to 10 jobs in a week, which you’d think would yield them at least one interview. However, in the same sentence, we hear them say that they didn’t even get a reply – let alone an interview.
I think this is reflective of the hiring process being quite cold, and just tossing away an application if it doesn’t meet their requirements without following up or anything. When it’s that hard to get a response, then it’s harder still to make it through to interview, and hiring managers aren’t lacking for applications to choose from in most of the positions we post.
ESI: In your experience, what are employers most looking for in their potential candidates?
CB: This question has come at a really good time, as we’ve just released the first episode in a video content series we’re doing called Insider Insights. In it, we speak to esports professionals (most of whom hire themselves) about what it is they look for.
A variety of things come up, but certainly, passion is often at the top of the list. Though, in an industry where this is commonplace among fans, this nearly always needs to be backed up with tangible skills. By that I mean, if you’re applying for a role in marketing, show the employer why you’re good at marketing. If it’s a job as a developer, tell them why this is something you’d excel at.
Another trend we’ve seen from hiring managers is that they love to see passion about their brand in particular, and evidence that this isn’t just “another” application for the candidate.
Finally, the ability to work together and succeed together in a team is something we hear quite frequently. Show that you’re looking to be a part of the company you’re applying to for the long run!