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Riot Games offers "mismatched" new hires cash to walk away

Riot Games offers "mismatched" new hires cash to walk away

Fri 20 Jun 2014 7:27am GMT / 3:27am EDT / 12:27am PDT
DevelopmentJobs

"Queue Dodge" initiative will put up 10 per cent of salary in the name of protecting company culture

Riot Games is offering new hires up to 10 per cent of their annual salary to leave the company in the first 60 days. They're calling the initiative, "Queue Dodge."

The goal is to provide a "well-lit, safe exit path" for anyone they choose to hire who doesn't wish to stay. The deal only applies to North American hires at present, and extends to a maximum of $25,000.

In a post on its website, Riot acknowledged that it is following the example set by the online retailer Zappos, which started offering its new employees a similar escape route back in 2009. The stated goal for Zappos was to protect its internal culture by ensuring that its employees were there for, "more than just a paycheck."

"Culturally aligned people and teams are more effective, and alignment around mission and values allows us to better serve players," Riot said in the statement on its website. "We've designed Queue Dodge to help self-identified mismatches move on in an open, positive, and constructive way."

Riot continued: "We carefully vet every new hire through a rigorous interview process, but that's not enough to ensure a great fit every single time. Rather than allow mismatches to fester, we want to resolve them quickly. This is good for the company, and good for the professional. We don't know yet how many people might choose to Queue Dodge, but we'll learn from this and make better hiring decisions as a result."

Riot has been commended for its treatment of employees and its working environment in the past, and this move only lends credence to the results of those polls and surveys.

11 Comments

James Boulton Tools & Tech Coder, Slightly Mad Studios

133 171 1.3
That's a novel idea, giving an incentive to people who don't necessarily feel they fit in to move on. A bit questionable in the first 2 months, though, I always find it takes me at least 3 months to settle into a new company.

Posted:4 months ago

#1

Jessica Hyland Character Artist

337 1,438 4.3
This is an interesting idea. From what I read about Riot's fairly... intense... company culture, it sounds like you either really fit in there or you really, really don't. Good solution, I suppose.

Posted:4 months ago

#2

Rolf Klischewski Founder & CEO, gameslocalization.com

43 117 2.7
We carefully vet every new hire through a rigorous interview process, but that's not enough to ensure a great fit every single time. Rather than allow mismatches to fester, we want to resolve them quickly.
Well, that says a lot about their hiring process, now, doesn't it? If you, for some reason, get hired and then don't happen to blend into their "culture", you're a festering boil in the body of their company?

Posted:4 months ago

#3

Wayne MacDonald 3D Artist

2 9 4.5
Popular Comment
I think it's potentially less about "you're a festering boil in the body of their company?" and more about if you don't find the culture comfortable or welcoming for whatever reason you have a way out that won't leave you in trouble money wise and is a legitimate reason to move on if discussed in future interviews. How many people in our industry have moved across country (across the world in a lot of cases) for a job. How many of those may have been unhappy in the company but had invested too much already to just move on again after a short time?

Posted:4 months ago

#4

Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend

261 577 2.2
Well, that says a lot about their hiring process, now, doesn't it? If you, for some reason, get hired and then don't happen to blend into their "culture", you're a festering boil in the body of their company?
I know it sounds a little harsh, but these decisions are made all the time and most of the time people don't get told about it. Companies are about having a team that enjoy working together and if someone comes in who threatens the harmony then sorry, they have to leave if they can't assimilate the culture.

Personality is the one of the most important things to look at when hiring, not whether they are any good at their job or not. People can be taught to do almost any task, but if someone is an asshole, they are likely to continue to be an asshole no matter what training you give them.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 20th June 2014 1:41pm

Posted:4 months ago

#5

Gary LaRochelle Digital Artist/Game Designer, Flea Ranch Games

68 60 0.9
Can a team "vote someone off the island"?

Posted:4 months ago

#6

Christopher McCraken CEO/Production Director, Double Cluepon Software

111 257 2.3
Popular Comment
Well, that says a lot about their hiring process, now, doesn't it? If you, for some reason, get hired and then don't happen to blend into their "culture", you're a festering boil in the body of their company?
Even the best vetting process is subject to the law of averages. Believe me, I have seen it. You can only discern so much in an interview process. The social aspect of human interactions is something that simply takes time. You have to choose wisely when you bring someone on board, but even then...there is no interview process in the world that can fully reveal a persons complete personality. You have to choose the best you can based on the information you have at the time.

There is nothing that can kill creativity, workflow, and team harmony quicker than the presence of someone who does not fit, does not feel like they fit and eventually because of that...does not want to be there. It can permeate and infect a team. A happy team is a productive one. Throw a wrench into that and well...we've all seen the results at various studios.

Riot's offer is a good one. It allows you to get out, and land somewhat safely. It's good for them, it's good for the person who needs the parachute...and it helps foster a positive place in the gamedev community, which right now has a pretty low reputation when it comes to how it treats staff.

Posted:4 months ago

#7

Benjamin Crause Supervisor Central Support, Nintendo of Europe

82 38 0.5
I like that idea. It leaves an open door to both sides.

Posted:4 months ago

#8

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
Now, if only we could do that with politicians here in the US (sans the severance package of course), grrrr...

Posted:4 months ago

#9

Diana Hsu Product Manager, Free-to-Play, Big Fish Games

10 42 4.2
Eh? The whole point is the money -- otherwise, it's just quitting, which anyone not under specific contract terms can do at any time (in the U.S.).

Posted:4 months ago

#10

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