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Gamasutra: Pay employees as little as possible

Gamasutra’s just posted an Opinion piece (so it’s not GS’s position, they’re just giving air-time to the author) about the interview process for getting a job in the video game industry.

Right up-front the author states that one of the three aims of the employer is:

“To pay as little as possible”

What?

No.

Don’t work for companies who have that on their agenda, unless there really aren’t any better opportunities available (hey, it’s a recession – maybe you just have to accept a second-rate job right now).

A company that wants to pay as little as possible cares less about you than they do about sucking value out of you for their profit and spitting you out once you’ve been used up. Note: this is not “making best use of their assets”, this is “carpet-bagging value-extraction”. It’s an attitude that leads to miserable work environments and unstable teams.

So, to anyone getting a job in the industry: Please stop propping-up the bad business models of the companies that do this, and work for the most decent company you can find instead.

EDIT: clarification, after several people responded to say that the statement really meant the company was just aiming to “pay no more than is necessary to secure your services”:

  • I will pay a contractor “no more than is necessary”.
  • I want more from an employee. I will pay them how much I value their contribution to the company.
  • Then when I ask or hope for more from them than 37.5 hours a week and a “I only do what it says in my job description” attitude, I can feel that the balance of payment is fair.
  • And when a contractor says “that’s not in my contract”, I’ll feel guilty for trying to sneak a freebie past them – and blame *myself*, not them, for saying no.

(NB: I like the overall idea of the article, but I object to quite a few other details, especially from the employer perspective; for instance, telling candidates to pretend to be something they’re not just in order to get the job is not appreciated, dude. Both company and candidate need to be honest in the interview, because otherwise one or both of you will get rather unhappy starting about 2 hours into your first day on the job, and it’s not a relationship that’s going to last)

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