Hiring, Teamwork, and Networking During and After COVID Times
We’ve already talked about how the switch to remote work has changed HR, now let’s tackle a similar idea from a different perspective. Matthew Patrick, who goes by MatPat online, hosts the Game Theory channel on YouTube and makes some quirky, funny, often fascinating videos about video games. Occasionally, those videos are rooted in the real world with meaningful takeaways. Let’s expand on one of those video-game focused videos that also provides a chance to reflect on our own careers.
Humans, Resources, and Human Resources
The video in question talks about the impact of COVID-19, changes to the gaming industry in 2020, and then gets into the human resource and hiring challenges game developers faced in lockdown. Specifically, the loss of networking benefits that conferences like GDC (Game Developers Conference) can provide. Think of the SHRM Annual Conference, but for game developers. We have all been affected by this, inside and outside of the HR solutions or gaming communities.
For game developers, GDC is an essential solution for meeting the right people with the right resources. Aspiring developers go to find recruiters and management teams from Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, or any other game company. Independent developers attend the conference, searching for a publisher who is willing to invest in their game, providing the funds to hire staff, take advantage of human resource benefits, and other funding perks that come with having a large publisher behind you. Without that conference taking place in person, making those connections and meeting those people is difficult.
So what do we do about it? What do John or Jane Doe do about the fact that they missed out on conference and networking opportunities? In the business world of networking, shaking hands, and talking over good food, what happens when you can’t shake hands and all the restaurants are closed?
Finding a Workaround
Another big topic from MatPat’s video is the kind of games that got popular in 2020. It was the usual multiplayer and single-player games like Call of Duty or The Last of Us, but it was also the rise of community-based games. Fall Guys and Among Us were some of the biggest games of the year, not because they were the best games of the year, but because they allowed people to communicate and meet people from around the globe, spend time together, and enjoy each other’s company. They became a social network. Among Us specifically got popular because there was minimal skill involved. It was all just talking to people (even if it got a little heated sometimes). It was the perfect game for even non-gamers to use as an outlet for communicating with other humans in our shut-in world. Small content creators could collaborate with larger content creators, and as a result, they become a more popular creator on the platform. It was identical to the kind of networking provided by the GDC or any other business conferences.
The gaming and entertainment industry found a workaround for this problem, but what about business? Live streams hosted by Adobe or Google provide the content and the context, but there is still a lack of organic ways to meet people vs just watching the speakers “perform.” What workarounds are there in the human resources space?
Networking and Social Networking All the Same
Many people are members of communities on Reddit or Discord, where the niche community is the focal point of their time spent. Even more people are users of Twitter or Facebook, subscribing to and sharing content that they are personally invested in. One thing to consider is using these personal platforms to market yourself to key players for your professional space. It comes easily for some companies like our friends at Right to Evolve, who are embedded in social media and digital content as part of their day-to-day job, but it can be more difficult for some fields to come up with how to establish themselves online.
One example of social media in the professional space is LinkedIn. Though there are still a few people who will share crazy cat videos and more personally focused content, LinkedIn can be a great place to find team members, gather inspiration from brands you admire, and meet the right people to become apart of your business’s team. Think of LinkedIn as a virtual weekend conference where the fun never stops!
You Deserve to be Seen
In 2021 most people already use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Discord, etc., to meet people, provide and share thoughts and ideas, or explore interests and hobbies. The difference is most people are sharing personal thoughts and interests instead of professional. Looking at this from a search perspective, when people search for “job near me” or “job hiring,” the first thing that comes up is something on Indeed or LinkedIn, with Google’s own built-in hiring solutions added on top. Finding ways to make sure we and our clients visible in those lists, is to simply be present on social media. One way to aid that effort is to get ahold of the team at Right to Evolve and see what you could do better, or if they can help you with managing or posting content completely!
As we are still firmly rooted in the ‘new normal’ brought to us by 2020, businesses need to think outside the box to fill the gaps in their business development and human resource needs. By taking a page out from how the gaming community adapted in 2020 to become more of an extended social network, we think that businesses can use social networking in 2021 as a way to replace in-person networking in 2021 and beyond. By finding the right social network for your niche, you can allow professionals to connect and collaborate, and creating intentional networking events online to simulate conferences and chamber events. Find key players for your team, increase the knowledge of the current rock stars on your staff, and save a little money on per diem!