Career Day

Career Day
A Casual Environment

Shannon "Vandemar" Drake | 4 Sep 2007 13:23
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I asked for her pitch for a prospective recruit, and she said, "Honestly, I don't believe I have a 'pitch' to prospective employees. I treat prospective employees with honesty and respect, and, happily, PopCap and the opportunities here really sell themselves to a significant extent." Those that seek her out already know about the environment there, she says. "PopCap is a fun place to work, and we believe in treating our employees well, but we also work really hard, so I do make sure that people clearly understand our expectations. Can the candidate accomplish projects without perfect information or constant supervision? Does this person understand that a critical factor for success here will be the ability to move quickly in the short-term, but with an eye towards meeting long-term objectives?"

The hiring process "starts with a candidate sending in their resume through an internal referral, a job posting site or our website. From there, I look over every resume to see if the position they are applying for is the best fit. If not, I try to see if another potential position might work, or if a position slotted for a later hire date might work." After that, she gets in touch with the candidate, and they talk. "If they pass the 'Stephanie test,' I schedule a time with the hiring manager. If that works, we usually have another interview where a few PopCap employees have the opportunity to meet with the candidate and weigh in during the decision-making process."

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Assuming they make it through the hiring process, she says, "PopCap is a fairly easy company to acclimatize yourself to. The only real suggestion I have for potential new hires is engross yourself into the many social events that are scheduled, and feel free to approach people." On the working side, "PopCap offers many flexible working options for employees. ... We definitely stress the work-life combination. For example, one of our departments had a pretty daunting schedule of numerous releases, and after a month or so, one of the managers in the group brought up the issues that the group needed to find a way to make the work more fun. The group worked together to figure out how to meet the business needs of the company, but also their own personal needs. From an HR perspective, this ability is so very important. We enjoy very low turnover and a higher level of productivity as a result."

Overall, she says, "Our company culture is our people: colorful, dedicated, passionate about games and passionate about PopCap. There is a definite vibe that exists at PopCap, people are just pumped about the things they are doing, and we are still a small enough company that each person really has an impact on what we do and what PopCap is. ... We believe in having a place that helps maintain and foster creativity; a fun, exciting place to work that people look forward to going to; a place that feels like home away from home."

Sometimes, the carrot works better than the crunch mode stick. Considering PopCap's success, it's a wonder more companies don't emulate them.

Shannon Drake is a former Contributing Editor to The Escapist. He now rides a polar bear to work.

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