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Q&A: PEER's David Musgrove On Recruiters' New Org

Following last week's announcement of the formation of PEER (Professional Electronic Entertainmen...
Following last week's announcement of the formation of PEER (Professional Electronic Entertainment Recruiters), a new trade association created by some of the more notable video game industry recruiters, a number of online stories attempted to tie the story more closely to discussions on 'quality of life' and game unionization issues. However, Gamasutra followed up with PEER president David Musgrove, who is a partner in firm International Search Partners, to discuss the formation of the organization, and he explained that "the timing of forming PEER had nothing to do with Electronic Arts' [quality-of-life related] class action suit", rather explaining of the motivations for setting up the organization as being the need for a voice for "professional external recruiting." He particularly commented from his perspective: "Companies are reacting to bad [external] recruiting, and are starting to take measures which are impacting our ability as recruiters to fairly conduct their business", noting that this was in part due to the video game industry's long-term growth spurt: "The industry has grown - there's a lot of people, it's certainly a candidate-driven market. There are a lot of new recruiters and internal recruiters." Musgrove further commented of the increasingly complex relationship between game professionals, internal and external recruiters: "We have no problem with internal recruiting, but because of our nature, we are the people who maintain a candidate relationship... we see so much that passes for 'recruiting' that is less than professional, and as recruiters are saying: 'Look, we'd better set some standards'." Finally, and re-clarifying the point on video game unionization, Musgrove noted that he doesn't favor a labor union for the industry, believing that, going from examples in other industry, unions often "don't measure up to expectations", and the membership ends up suffering. He suggested: "People, if they are unhappy with their working conditions, should be able to vote with their feet." According to the association, PEER launches with eight charter members: Digital Artist Management, Entertainment Technology Source, Exclaim Recruiting Agency, GameRecruiter.com, International Search Partners, Mary-Margaret.com, Premier Search, and Prime Candidate, Inc, and more information is available on its official website.

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