Yggdrasil’s rapid growth in recent years has seen it open offices in Krakow, Malta, Stockholm, Poland and Gibraltar. As the team has expanded to more than 150 members, finding and recruiting the best talent has become a core challenge.
The recent opening of a new Krakow office, which is now home to more than 90 Yggdrasilians, gave Yggdrasil an opportunity to reflect upon how a company can build the right type of culture; one that encourages innovation and creativity to create a product-driven organisation.
The firm has worked hard to build its brand in Poland by taking a unique approach to recruitment. It often recruits outside of the gaming sector, as a way of both broadening the pool of potential recruits and injecting fresh perspectives into the development process.
This starts with the office itself, which is located in a completely refurbished brewery in central Krakow. It even brewed its own Yggdrasil-branded beer to celebrate the opening.
It has also worked hard to position itself at the centre of the technology and art communities in its key locations, particularly Krakow, where it has hosted a series of Coding Challenge events to introduce the company to local talent.
A new innovative coding challenge event in Poland
“Yggdrasil wants to attract the very best talent, people who are hungry for success and will thrive in the environment we have created,” says Wawrzyniec Sosnowski, CTO for Yggdrasil Poland.
“This means growing the Yggdrasil brand in relevant local communities, and creating a genuinely desirable work environment for employees.”
Wawrzyniec “Lawrence” Sosnowski CTO outside the Yggdrasil office in Krakow.
There are ways the company can help build such an environment. For instance, in Yggdrasil’s Malta office, a company chef cooks meals for the team each day, on the understanding that they all do their best work with a stomach full of healthy and delicious food.
But it is important to understand that culture is not something that can be dictated from the top of an organisation; it must grow organically and be allowed to flourish.
This means recruiting people who fit with the Yggdrasil ethos. Of course, technical expertise and experience are vital, but they are also looking to hire new team members who share their outlook and ambitions.
“People often question what eats what for breakfast: strategy or culture?But the reality is not that one-sided.To be competitive at the highest level you must create a culture of people making the very best strategic decisions,” says Fredrik Elmqvist, CEO of Yggdrasil Gaming.
“I like to aim at what I call a ‘spacetime culture’, where people have the time to think and the space to act within an organisation.”
Although Yggdrasil’s growth has meant it has scaled extremely quickly, this has not meant sacrificing the quality of new hires, and at all times it has correlated to the company’s business needs.
But the flipside of this is that the environment Yggdrasil has created means that once new hires are onboarded, they rarely want to leave.
“You can feel the passion and enthusiasm in the Yggdrasil offices, whether that’s in Poland, Malta, Stockholm or Gibraltar,” says Charlotte Axelsson, Marketing Manager at Yggdrasil.
“While we have grown extremely quickly, we have maintained the entrepreneurial ethos that remains in the company’s DNA. We aim to maintain a flexible mindset into the future.”
And it seems that the employees agree.
“Yggdrasil has been the most welcoming, creative and fun place I’ve worked,” says Przemysław Piekarski, the company’s Head of Lab.
“I encourage anyone who wants a new challenge in the gaming space to see if you might be a good fit too.”
Yggdrasil hosted a Behance event in April 2017
Yggdrasil Gaming is a provider of superior online and mobile casino games. All games are designed and produced in house from concept, game mechanics, graphics and development including 2D and 3D animations. They are integrated via the industry-changing iSENSE 2.0 HTML client framework which allows for simultaneous launches on desktop and mobile, and is supported by BOOST™, a collection of in-game promotional tools focused on engagement and retention.
Read more about the open positions at Yggdrasil Careers