We ask esports headhunter Joe Hills from recruitment firm LFG, who has been playing competitively at an amateur level since he was 11 years old, for his advice in this area…
What is recruitment/HR?
Recruitment in a nutshell is about finding the best person for the job.
Recruiters will work on behalf of a client to find a suitable person for a specific job role. The service is usually free for the individual; recruiters make a living by charging clients (companies). This type of work is usually outsourced, with companies using third-party recruitment agencies.
Recruitment hasn’t become standardised within esports just yet, but as the sector continues to grow, there is a greater demand for jobs – including people with a specific skillset.
Human resources (HR) is similar to recruitment, but is usually an internal department within a company that is responsible for people management, looking after staff, settling disputes, arranging employee benefits such as workplace pensions and ensuring staff are happy – and law-abiding.
How to get into esports recruitment
Joe Hills, an independent esports executive search consultant and director at LFG (Looking For Group), explains: “There aren’t any real qualification requirements for this role. You need extensive consultant level experience in executive search where you are comfortable pitching to clients and confident in your network of high potential talent.
“Building case studies of successful placements is key to winning work. Be successful elsewhere, then blend your esports passion into business development meetings with potential clients.
“My best advice is to choose an industry or discipline that you truly enjoy and love learning more about. It’s common for exec search and recruitment firms to push you into a certain mould. If they don’t have faith that esports is a viable vertical or that you should focus elsewhere, all you can do is prove them wrong and educate internally (around the potential of the industry etc).”
Joe says that this kind of job requires extensive knowledge of corporate esports organisations, candidate identification and approach strategies, flexible account management with clients and a genuine passion and desire to see esports mature and professionalise further.
Hours and salary
Recruitment is generally a 9 to 6 type job, but the option of self employment obviously brings flexibility.
Salary is based on your experience and skill level, where you work and who you work with.
According to Prospects.ac.uk, trainee recruitment consultants start on around £15,000 to £20,000, with senior consultants earning £28,000 to £35,000.
Managers and more experienced consultants can earn £40,000 to £60,000 or beyond, but bear in mind these figures are averages for general recruitment roles, and are not esports-specific.
Perks of the job and more advice
Joe Hills comments: “Perks include engaging with esports leaders on a daily basis and making a tangible mark on the industry. Indirectly improving an industry you care about is exceptionally satisfying.
“The challenges are really around the narrowness of the industry. Not all organisations have the budget or requirement to use these services, so it’s more about understanding your own position, where you really add value and networking appropriately.
“It never hurts to be a genuine person as well!! Genuine people make good impressions and build solid relationships. I’d advise dropping the corporate way of speaking pretty quickly… honesty wins over everything. Be yourself!
“I’m always happy to have a chat with any aspiring esports consultants and help however I can. We’ve got to make this pie bigger, not take a bigger slice for ourselves – so I want to see competition!”