Recruiter Hotseat: Frontier Developments on life at the Elite Dangerous and Planet Zoo studio

Declan Blayney, Frontier Developments

Frontier Developments is hiring! We spoke to talent acquisition partner Declan Blayney to find out about the benefits of working at one of the UK’s biggest self-publishing developers

What differentiates your studio from other developers?

We’re an independent developer and publisher based in the wonderful city of Cambridge, with a 27 year legacy of much loved titles including Elite Dangerous, Planet Coaster, Jurassic World Evolution and Planet Zoo to name a few!

We’re passionate about creating authentic worlds through innovative, genre leading games.  We’ve grown significantly over recent years taking us to over 670 people. There couldn’t be a better time to join, we have an exciting pipeline of games with Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and F1 licenced games currently in development, lots of opportunities to join, have your say and grow with us!

What perks are available to working at your studio?

We want our people to share in the company’s success, so as well as a competitive salary there are generous company bonus and equity schemes. We also offer flexible working and will soon be trialling a hybrid working model as we look to reconnect with the studio.

We put the wellbeing of our teams at the centre of work and provide support to staff such as free 1-to-1 counselling, mindfulness and yoga sessions. Of course, there’s a range of other perks and benefits such as gym membership discount, a staff restaurant, private health care and regular social events.

What advice would you give for a successful interview at your studio?

It’s okay not to know everything in an interview (we don’t expect you to!) but a willingness to learn and an appetite for solving challenging problems is what we’re looking for in our developers. Technical skills and knowledge is always important but we also need people who can demonstrate that they can take constructive feedback and work collaboratively as part of a team.

We want to see your passion for games too, so make sure you tell us about what games you like and why. Most of us are gamers too!

If you have recruited internationally what is the process like?

We recruit worldwide to find the best talent at all levels; we’ve sponsored numerous  Skilled Worker Visas so far this year, and hired people from as far afield as Nigeria, Ecuador and California! We know that time zones can make the interview process complicated, so we always make a special effort to accommodate candidates and support their needs throughout the process.

We pride ourselves on being a culturally diverse studio with over 38 different nationalities, so we have plenty of experience supporting people and families in moving to an area which is local to Cambridge. We offer a comprehensive and supportive relocation package to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. If you’re overseas and interested in joining us then your location certainly won’t be a barrier for the majority of our roles.

What processes do you have for on-boarding staff remotely?

During the pandemic we didn’t slow down our hiring (in fact we sped up!), which is testament to the work of various departments, staff and managers who needed to adapt quickly to the unprecedented situation we found ourselves in. We’ve now hired around 280 people since the first lockdown!

As a new starter, the equipment you need to do your job is delivered to your home ready for your first day.

On your first day HR will make you feel welcome and give you a fantastic induction via video call; introducing Frontier’s history, current projects and future plans.

Your line manager will then be on hand to introduce you to the team and show you how things work. From September, we’ll be moving to on-site induction (although the majority of staff will still be working remotely for now) and we very much look forward to meeting people in person once again.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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