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The company I'm working for is growing fast and there's been talk of trying to hire level designers from the modding community. My question is simply, where would be good places to look for this, and how would we go about vetting who to hire?

Does anyone have any experience of this?

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As someone who's actually done this in the past, I feel like answer can in fact be "supported by facts, references, or specific expertise" - a shame this got closed, despite 4 up votes. – Tim Holt Aug 14 '12 at 20:49
Yes, I did this with Valve for Day of Defeat. We did not directly up-front hire modders or contract with them, but rather purchased their maps and assets for inclusion in the game. They got commercial credit and content included in a published game, we got great maps - win/win. This was also the first step towards possible eventual hire or contract work. – Tim Holt Aug 14 '12 at 21:10
I'm unsure why this was closed as not constructive, personally I think it would be very constructive both to those looking to hire level designers, and for prospective level designers looking for employment. Can we re-open this please? – SirYakalot Aug 15 '12 at 15:32
It's got my vote to reopen. – Tim Holt Aug 15 '12 at 15:41
Maybe not constructive isn't the exact best reason, but it's still going against the faq, specifically the part where every answer is equally valid. You're asking for a list - if you get half a dozen answers, which one is the "right" answer? – Cyclops Aug 15 '12 at 20:31

Ultimately, I think a lot of people end up going to various game forums and posting requests for applicants. However I think that doing it this way leads to a lot of unqualified applicants and can waste a lot of your HR persons time sifting through them.

When my company started hiring game developers and modelers, they ended up going to several game conventions (GDC is the only one I can think of off hand) and setting up a booth. That way, you know the people there are more serious about wanting a job and not just replying on a forum. Also, the potential applicants know that your company is serious about hiring devs.

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DesuraNet got a hiring/jobs section on their websites which is shared across ModDB & IndieDB. (Those are quite big developer/modding community's)

I saw Mojang there a while ago hiring some artists for Minecraft too.

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My company has decided to run a level design competition with our lead designer offering insight at each stage as to why certain things were good, and what is done in the industry etc.. sort of like a mini-masterclass but driven by several little design challenges. The runners-up get a load of swag and the winners get interviewed - the best of which will start working for us.

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