Recruiter in Focus: Martin Kullberg

Our admiration for recruiters is never-ending. That's why we want to put recruiters in the spotlight, to get to know them even more. This time we were curious about Martin Kullberg, the HR & Recruitment Specialist at Paradox Interactive. Paradox has been a leading global publisher of PC Games since 1999 and has had a great year with the release of the game Cities: Skylines.

Tell us about yourself and how you became the HR & Recruitment Specialist at Paradox Interactive!

This is actually my first job in Sweden since I graduated with a degree in HR from the University of Linköping back in 2011. Up until I moved to Stockholm and Paradox in March this year, I spent time working in Budapest, Copenhagen and Oslo. After completing my bachelor I started studying towards my masters, but just a few days in I got an opportunity to travel to Budapest for an internship that proved too tempting to turn down. While this was supposed to last six months, I ended up staying almost a year, starting out with legal recruitment and later having the chance to be part of a fascinating start-up – a niche career portal for lawyers in Central Eastern Europe.

This was the beginning of a fascination for tech companies and start-ups which led me to my next move, a Danish start-up building a career network for top universities throughout the world. Returning to HR and recruitment was always on the cards however and not long after I decided to join Academic Work in Oslo as a recruiter, focusing on engineers and programmers. Working with a lot of different companies and profiles, this was definitely where I shaped my career as a recruiter.

When the opportunity presented itself to join Paradox, I didn’t hesitate to make the move. With the company having been through a lot of growth in recent times it seemed like a great challenge, as well as I could imagine the culture being a great fit for me being a gamer at heart.

What’s a typical day like for a recruiter at Paradox?

While it is tempting to go for the usual cliché of every day being different to the other, the work done throughout the day is usually split between working with our ongoing assignments and improving our recruitment processes. While the former consists of everything between publishing job-ads, reviewing candidates, meeting managers to interviews, the latter can be a bit more difficult to define. We are constantly trying to improve the way we handle recruitment and while I think we have accomplished a lot, there is still some distance to go. This very reason is actually playing a great part in making the day for a Paradox recruiter as fun as it is.

What’s unique about recruiting for a game publisher and the gaming business?

To put it simply – passion. I think you would have to look very hard to find an industry where this is so apparent. I find myself in a very fortunate position almost always interviewing people who really, really want to be here. While this gives me a lot of energy on a personal level, it is also important from a recruiting perspective since passion is an important part of our values and our culture.

Do you see any trends in HR right now?

I might be slightly biased here previously coming from the recruitment industry which is very candidate driven, but we have spent a lot of time talking about “the candidate experience” and I think we might see the shift soon where we actually start doing something about it and realize its importance. It is far too common for candidates to experience a poor process and I think we will reach a point soon where companies really understand that this might have consequences.

What advice would you give other recruiters?

In this line of work, where it can become a habit to enforce numbers, policies and processes – I think it is important to remember that we are working with people. While it can be tempting to change everything at once, it is important to approach your work with a pragmatic mindset. Changing the way something works and how it should be done can sometimes be frustrating and we can’t approach all situations and all people in the same way. Some changes might take a lot of time, but they are usually also the most rewarding ones.

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