By Andrew Shin
The video game industry in Canada has been growing tremendously over the past few years. With hotbeds such as Montreal and Vancouver leading the way and with Toronto as the next emerging Canadian gaming city, it's no wonder Canada continues its strong presence in gaming. With this growth means opportunities in the form of jobs.
Understanding this growth, Canadian based 3Pod was formed to address the needs by both gaming companies and those looking to work in the industry. 3Pod was founded by Frederick Brassard and along with Pierre-Luc Labbée, the two provide a unique offering as a recruitment agency specializing in the gaming industry.
I had the opportunity recently to interview Pierre-Luc Labbée, Partner Recruiter at 3Pod. Check out the interview below.
NextGen Player: Pierre-Luc, can you provide our readers with a bit of background on 3pod?
Pierre-Luc Labbée: Well, 3pod has been around for the last 3 years. 3pod has 2 major recruiters in the industry. Frederick Brassard, who worked at Ubisoft for 10 years, and myself, Pierre-Luc Labbée, who worked at A2M for more than 2 years. Frederick Brassard founded 3pod because many people in the industry were constantly complaining about recruiters who had no idea of what was done on a production floor. Before, there wasn’t any recruitment firm that consisted of people who really knew how to make games, people who actually evolved in the industry. That is why 3pod was founded. Frederick and I really know what these guys do. Frederick has an undoubtedly strong networking and business development experience and I have experience in international recruitment, relocation, and visa management.
NGP: What are some of key services provided by 3pod?
PL: Our main services are recruitment and consulting. We help companies in their recruitment for key and senior positions that they have a hard time filling. We first meet with them to precisely determine what they are looking for. We take into consideration not only the technical aspects of the position but also the core values of the companies to make sure we find candidates that really "fit" their values. After that, we search around the globe, through our network, to find exactly what they are looking for. We also advise companies that are planning to move to Montreal, so they can manage more effectively the different aspects of setting up a studio in Montreal.
As for our work with the candidates, it consists of many services that start with helping them build a strong and appealing resume. We also introduce them directly to the clients, usually to a director, therefore avoiding them the mayhem of anonymous web application. By taking advantage of that shortcut, candidates not only save time but also avoid the risk of being lost in the handling process. We also advise them on how much they should be asking for and we give them a real feedback on their interviews. Basically, we make sure they are presented to our clients at their best and maximize their chances of getting their dream job.
NGP: How does 3pod source opportunities within the industry?
PL: We are connected. Seriously connected. Always connected. This is one of our major strengths. We talk to everyone in the industry and that way we always know what’s going to happen, who needs what, who’s planning to make a move, etc. For both sides, potential companies and candidates, our goal is to be everywhere! We try not to miss an event and we make sure that everyone knows we are there, always looking to make great matches within the industry.
NGP: Being a Canadian recruitment company, what do you feel are some of the strengths and advantages 3pod has?
PL: 3pod is based in Montreal, where many companies are established, and that allows us to work closely with many important clients. Also because we live in Montreal, it’s easier for us to describe to our candidates what it is like to live in this diversified, multi-cultural and dynamic city. We have more credibility when we say that Montreal has all the advantages of the big cities with a very low cost of living. We are definitely in the middle of the action. Being Canadian, we are greatly advantaged by the exceptional proximity we develop with the important players of the industry and by our inside knowledge of the Canadian reality. Whether it is for immigration procedures, lodging and living or just for suggesting a good place to go for a drink, we have firsthand experience.
NGP: The Canadian gaming industry is growing at a fast pace. Can you share your thoughts on its current state and what you see for the future in terms of careers and opportunities?
PL: In my opinion, it can only get bigger! Government is putting a lot of efforts and money to attract new companies, and also to help existing ones grow. The opportunities are already huge, and many schools now offer great training, which is very good for the future of the industry.
NGP: Based on your experience working with game companies, what do you feel are some of the key characteristics or abilities a candidate should have in order to be successful in this industry?
PL: The first quality a candidate should have is talent, of course. But many people don’t really know how to present their talent in a resume, or in a portfolio. The first step in getting a dream job is to create a portfolio that really represents them. I often meet some very talented people that are not called for interviews simply because their resume or portfolio is not representative of their talent.
Once a person is hired, I’d say that the quality all game makers have in common is passion. Every person on a project is passionate about his or her work, and it really shows. So, a good candidate that has talent and passion is definitely going to make his or her way in. I have no doubt about that.
NGP: We’re seeing an increasing trend of investment in Canada’s game industry at both Federal and Provincial levels. What are your thoughts on the government’s role in contributing to the game industry’s growth?
PL: It has a huge effect on the industry in Canada. When a company is "shopping" for a new office location, the government is always there to offer great investments and support. If you add that to the skilled local labour, you get a powerful mix that obviously works.. These investments are sometimes what make the companies decide between Canada and the United-States or Asia.
NGP: Is there any upcoming news or developments with 3pod that you’d like to share?
PL: 3pod is expanding its expertise very fast. 3pod’s consulting services are used more than ever by potential video game developers who are considering Montreal as their next location. Over the last years, 3pod’s team has taken its expertise to a global level by advising companies as well as guiding candidates in their job research around the world. 3pod now has a great list of clients and has a diversified choice of candidates that are very talented. I’d say that 3pod was focusing on Montreal in the past, but now has an international vision that is growing very fast. We are now working with companies and candidates around the globe, which is very exciting.
NextGen Player would like to thank Pierre-Luc Labbée for taking the time to do this interview. For more information on 3Pod, visit their website at www.3pod.ca.