What is a “recruiting event” like in your industry?

There’s a variety of different kinds of recruiting events. I’ve never been invited to a digital recruiting event, but the in-person events typically fall under one of two major categories:

Tables at a Show

This is common at larger industry events like GDC, or at tech job fair events at universities. We set up a table or booth on the show floor, hand out branded swag like t-shirts and toys, and talk to the variety of job seekers who come by. The table is staffed primarily by recruiters and HR people who have a list of job descriptions they’re looking to fill. These recruiters will have a few representatives from engineering, design, art, production, etc. nearby that they can set up for impromptu interview sessions. The table is often where we get a lot of junior job seeker resumes. The more promising candidates usually get asked back to talk to one of the interviewers and/or invited to a…

Recruiting Party

This is typically an event thrown by the studio at some offsite location (often a bar or restaurant) where there’s free food and drinks, party games and prizes, and a number of developers from the recruiting studio on hand. Those invited to these recruiting parties are usually either the top picks of candidates gathered from the table, or “on-the-list” candidates explicitly invited to these events. Explicit invitees to these events are usually referrals from employees. Recruiting parties run the gamut of being strictly-business where it’s obvious that the devs in attendance are there for the express purpose of vetting the candidates over a meal, all the way down to drunken affairs where the alcohol flows freely and are the beginning of many convention horror stories.

The purpose of recruiting events is to gather a bunch of candidates as potential employees. We cast a wider net with tables at bigger events, and we hold informal interviews at the recruiting parties to skip the sifting of many candidate resumes. These kind of live events primarily exist to shortcut the normal and lengthy hiring process with face-to-face contact.

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