SBC: Hi Fredrik, it’s a pleasure to interview you. Can you detail to SBC readers the need for your European recruitment drive? Why is this initiative required for Yggdrasil operations?
Fredrik Elmqvist: Quite simply because we are growing at a remarkable pace. If you look at the number of operator sign-ups, game launches and new promotional tools we have launched in recent months, we needed to scale quickly. We’ve signed some big names recently, including bet365, and there are more to follow, so it is paramount we maintain the level of service excellence we have become known for.
On top of this, we’ve expanded our presence across Europe with our global tech centre in Poland and a new commercial operation in Gibraltar. Less than a year ago our team was just 25 members, but now we are 65-strong and that number will continue to grow.
SBC: Undertaking a large scale recruitment drive is no easy task; how has this initiative challenged your leadership and operations?
FE: You are right, large scale recruitment is tough. In many respects, we’ve made the challenge even tougher by setting such high standards for ourselves. We do most of the recruitment in-house, rather than outsourcing it to agencies. We also try to look outside of the industry when recruiting.
What it has done is really focused my mind on what Yggdrasil does well and what we are aiming for. Building a strong team is the most important part of any business, and the process has only reaffirmed this.
SBC: As leading industry game and content developers, what key employee skillset and competencies are you seeking to add to your operations?
FE: Of course there are very technical specifications we require, and some of these are tough to find. But just as important is that new hires are a good cultural fit with Yggdrasil. We are on the lookout for open-minded people who can bring a fresh perspective to this industry. We’ve turned down a number of senior applicants, many with strong gaming credentials, because they were not a good cultural fit with us.
We do not want team members bringing baggage with them. We want the very best.
SBC: Yggdrasil has placed a high emphasis on employee diversity. Why is this such an important factor to your recruitment drive?
FE: Again, it is a question of perspective. We have the most multi-cultural and dynamic team in gaming. At last count, there were 17 nationalities working at Yggdrasil, and this means we naturally take a different approach to challenges.
Our industry talks a lot about innovation, but innovation must be driven by people. We are changing the way things are done by employing people with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.
FE: It has helped that we have quickly established a reputation as one of the best employers not only in gaming, but in the wider tech industry. We have so many applications for roles that I often say it is harder to land a job at Yggdrasil than it is a place at Stanford University. We place a lot of emphasis on career growth and we are flexible when it comes to progression.
We also value transparency and openness, inviting all of our employees to customer events, which creates an inclusive atmosphere. It is little touches like this which add up to make us so desirable.
SBC: Finally, can you detail to potential employees your firm’s long term and short term goals within the industry?
FE: I’ve always said our aim from the outset is to become the best supplier on the market. This doesn’t necessarily mean the biggest. Our emphasis is on quality: market-leading games, innovative promotional tools and flawless customer service.
We have grown extremely quickly since we started out and we’re already held in very high esteem across the industry. The aim for us to maintain this momentum, keep growing and continue to improve.
Fredrik Elmqvist – CEO – Yggdrasil Gaming
To explore Yggdrasil Gaming’s current vacancies please visit http://www.yggdrasilgaming.com/en/careers